By Anaka Bretzke
Courtesy of The Boston Globe
Who isn’t a sucker for a good ol’ rom-com movie every once in a while? As Valentine’s Day just passed, I’ve found myself re-watching some of my favorites, including To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
The newest and final installment of the trilogy was released this Friday, Feb. 12, on Netflix. That said, I knew I had to give the new film a watch and relive the stories of the previous films.
To All the Boys I Loved Before
We all were introduced to the story of Lara Jean Covey, a high school junior who wrote a love letter to each of her childhood crushes in the first movie. Although she never intended to actually send the letters, her rambunctious little sister, Kitty, sneaks into her room to send the letters. Much to Lara Jean’s horror, she is confronted at school the following week by one of her crushes, Peter Kavinsky.
She has to explain to him that she no longer feels that way about him, and that she actually has eyes for her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh, who also received one of the letters. Peter then proposes that the two fake date one another to make Josh and Peter’s ex, Gen, jealous. Eventually, the two end up falling for each other, and actually start dating.
My friends were raving about this movie when it first came out – and I was skeptical. But the undeniable chemistry between Noah Centineo and Lana Candor makes the film a standout, putting it up there with other teenage rom-coms such as The Duff or Easy A.
To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
Just when you thought the letters were done and over with, another recipient emerges from Lara Jean’s past: John Ambrose. Although Lara and Peter are dating now, when John writes a response back to her letter, old feelings re-emerge. Before she considers writing him back, she meets him by chance face-to-face and they bond over old memories from their childhood.
After a series of little fights between Lara and Peter, she discovers that the night she met Peter in the hot tub on the school ski trip he wasn’t waiting for her but was waiting for Gen. They break up because of this.
Long story short, Lara Jean ends up kissing John Ambrose which ultimately makes her realize her true feelings for Peter. The two make up and re-confess their love for one another.
While I enjoyed this film, the storyline wasn’t as original or exciting as the first installment. The whole overdone love triangle just wasn’t exciting to me. Again, the chemistry between Lana and Noah keeps the film afloat, but this installment overall felt unnecessary.
To All The Boys: Always and Forever
The newest and final installment of the series is centered around Lara and Peter’s senior year of high school. The two are trying to navigate the future of their relationship and how they will survive long-distance in college.
I won’t give too much away, but I wasn’t expecting to like this film as much as I did. While nothing can top the first film, the storyline and the character development throughout the film was much better than the second installment. The ending was satisfying enough, and my favorite scene has to be the one with the yearbook toward the end (no spoilers I promise). Although Peter and Lara Jean’s chemistry still shines on screen, there’s not the same flare present in this film that was there in the first.
Overall, definitely watch this film if you're a fan of the last two installments, or if you’re looking for something new to put on your watch list! Happy streaming!