To All the Boys: P.S. Read This First

Courtesy+of+Netflix

Courtesy of Netflix

SARAH ZEHNDER, STAFF WRITER

   The much-anticipated sequel to “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” finally came out on Netflix: “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.”

   The film was released on Netflix on February 12 and was directed by Michael Fimognari. Adapted from the novel written by Jenny Han, “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” picks up the story of protagonist Lara Jean (Lana Condor). To clarify:  In the first movie, Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) were pretending to be in a relationship to make Peter’s ex-girlfriend jealous. At the beginning of the new movie, Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship is going great and progressing. 

   However, Lara Jean then receives a letter from John Ambrose McClaren (Jordan Fisher), an old friend, and her childhood crush, in response to the letter she sent in the previous film. Then, coincidentally, John Ambrose and Lara Jean volunteer at an old-folks home together. They share memories and become very close. Throughout the movie, Lara Jean struggles to choose between continuing her relationship with her current boyfriend or pursuing a blossoming relationship with John Ambrose.

   At first glance, the plot seems like a perfect continuation of these character’s journeys. However, compared to its prequel, the storyline is subpar. In this movie, Lara Jean is in yet another love triangle. But, I wasn’t sure which boy I wanted Lara Jean to choose in the end. I’m sure this was the intent of the filmmakers.

   On paper, John Ambrose and Lara Jean have way more in common than she and Peter did. However, the audience is already rooting for Lara Jean and Peter since the movie begins with their perfect first date. This back and forth between Peter and John Ambrose begins to feel repetitive as the movie progresses. Also, this struggle of Lara Jean’s emotions seems inconsistent throughout the film. Thankfully, the story is nicely tied up in a satisfying ending.

   It was enjoyable revisiting these interesting and relatable characters we met in the first film. Both movies feature a traditionally underrepresented group in teen-centered entertainment, as Lara Jean is Korean-American. The movie is filled with heartwarming family traditions and ideas like the highlighting of the Covey’s family heritage with a Korean New Year scene. 

   “I think the movie provided a little escape of softness and sweetness,” said Condor, who played Lara Jean, in an interview with GQ. “People just need to giggle a little. We don’t do enough of that.” 

   On the other hand, the movie is also filled with unnecessary drama that overpowers the plot. The film details the progression of Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship but includes several scenes that don’t add to the narrative, just the running time.

   Ratings from the public varied. Many fans think the ending undercuts the whole purpose of the movie. Towards the end, it was hard to root for the leading couple because the entire plot was about John Ambrose and Lara Jean’s natural connection. Nevertheless, this hiccup did not take away from the acting performances. The on-screen chemistry between Condor and Centineo was marvelous. 

   I enjoyed watching this sequel, and I think fans of the first movie would as well; however, it was not my favorite Netflix original teen romance.