To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before first came out back in August 2018 and left a remarkable impression on the audience. The unconventional, yet conventional, high school romance was such a hit that Netflix greenlit the sequel–To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.
The sequel released last week on Feb. 12, just two days before Valentine’s day to ease us into the mood (I’m assuming). And after watching the movie, I’m not quite sure I’m eased in. If anything, I’m a bit…heartbroken? Maybe that’s too extreme of a word–I’m a bit disappointed.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead for To All the Boys.
The movie begins with Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) going on their first date ever after having ended their fake relationship and entered a genuine one. So, it picks up right where the first movie ended. It was absolutely adorable and only made me more eager to see the progression of their relationship. As the movie goes on, you see their typical high school dating life and then bam–Lara finds herself entangled in a love triangle with Peter Kavinsky and another one of her love letter recipients, John Ambrose (Jordan Fisher), who finally wrote her back. This is where the story is supposed to get juicy. And did it? Eh.
Things I didn’t like about To All The Boys:
Lara and Peter’s Relationship
I was looking forward to seeing the growth in Lara and Peter’s relationship. But in actuality, the whole movie is basically Lara being on edge about their relationship, as it is her first time being a girlfriend, so naturally that is followed by many concerns… Main ones concerning Gen (Emilija Baranac). Their relationship is cute but bland, with little fights sprinkled in like parsley. Except the making out in the car part, now that was kind of spicy. I didn’t think there were many memorable scenes of the couple.
However, I do have a favorite Lara and Peter moment: at the end, when he shows up to the ball dance at her volunteering place on a snowy night un-notified–after they had broken up (gasp, but not really), and tells her he’s there because she said she has a fear of driving in snow. This part made me emotional and don’t ask me why because I have no idea.
The movie is predictable
Not that I’m a connoisseur of movies or anything, but the events happening in this movie are fairly predictable. Such as Lara being the only student at their school signing up to volunteer at Belleview while Peter signs up for Oakwood, then Lara shows up to the volunteer place and guess who else is there from a different school? I won’t say anything but once you watch the movie it will not be difficult at all to figure out.
It got cringingly cheesy
Another point, and maybe this is just because I’ve matured since the last movie but some scenes were cringingly cheesy. I don’t know man… The first movie I ate all that cheesiness up and with this one I caught myself saying “oh my God” and lifted my shoulders up like how one would when they’re about to get tickled in the neck.
At the end, Lara chooses her prince, cool, I’m happy for her. But throughout the whole movie, there weren’t any staggering scenes or events of which that could convince us she should’ve chosen the person she chose. It was just kind of like, oh okay.
Things I did enjoy about the movie:
While the sequel couldn’t compare to the first one (in my heart), there were several things I enjoyed about it:
The little side love story
Lara Jean’s dad has a crush on their neighbor after having been single for so long. Lara and Kitty (Anna Cathcart) are wholeheartedly happy and supportive of it. It’s a little side love story that’s refreshing to see after the small arguments between Lara and Peter.
Lara and Stormy
Lara and Stormy’s (Holland Taylor) relationship is full of spunkiness and love. Stormy definitely radiates cool auntie vibes as she first appears in the film drinking a bloody-mary–ah yes, a woman of taste–and a disclose of her quick-witted personality. They bond rather quickly and Stormy became one of my favorites.
A glimpse into Korean culture
The showing of the hanbok, traditional Korean dress, and a tiny glimpse into the Korean New Year traditions. How often do we get to see a hanbok in American films? And while we’re on this topic, I also would like to point out the amazing diversity in the cast. It makes my little heart happy.
My favorite thing about this movie though would have to be the extremely aesthetically pleasing color grading–daring teal and pink hues–and the stunning shots. I didn’t come across any mundane scenes.
Personally, I prefer the first movie just because I think the plot is more complex, engaging, and provides more substance, whereas the sequel is lacking a bit in those departments. It’s still a fun watch, but if you go into it with any expectations, you’d end up disappointing yourself like me. However, the best way to find out if this movie is good or not is to watch it yourself. I’m not a certified movie critic and my takes on movies might not align with your takes and so who knows, you might just end up absolutely loving the movie.
And if you do, let me know on Twitter @GeekGalsCo how I’m extremely wrong…or right!
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Featured image credit: Netflix