The Netflix teen romantic comedy “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” took the internet by storm upon its release back in 2018. Its highly anticipated sequel “P.S. I Still Love You” has just been released in time for Valentine’s Day. Based on the young-adult book series by Jenny Han, the “To All the Boys” film saga stars Lana Condor and Noah Centineo as the film’s young couple navigating their relationship in high school. Both of the movies are available to stream now on Netflix. There will be spoilers for the first film in this review, so be aware.
The first of the series, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”, focuses on high school sophomore Lara Jean Covey, played by Lana Condor, who has never been in a relationship and spends most of her time reading and baking. When her older sister Margot moves away to Scotland for college, her younger sister Kitty notices Lara Jean’s loneliness and decides to take action. Lara Jean being the hopeless romantic that she is, wrote a series of five letters when she was a kid to all the boys she had crushes on, but never sent them. Kitty discovers these— and sends them out.
Absolutely mortified that one of the letters made it to Josh Sanderson, her older sister’s ex, Lara Jean decides to kiss Peter Kavinsky, another recipient of the letters to prove she is no longer in love with Josh. Peter, who wants to make his own ex jealous, and Lara Jean decide to start “fake dating”. After a few ups and downs, Peter admits he has real feelings for Lara Jean, and she realizes she is in love with him as well. The film ends with two starting their real relationship.
Fast forward a few weeks, and that is where the sequel, “P.S. I Still Love You” begins. Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky go on a real date for the very first time, and Lara Jean begins to feel insecure. She isn’t sure if she is being a good “real” girlfriend, even though she and Peter are very much in love.
Lara Jean then receives a letter — a response to one of her infamous love letters. It’s from John Ambrose McClaren, portrayed by Jordan Fisher, one of the five crushes she had a kid. She meets him once again as she starts to volunteer at a retirement home, and it becomes clear that she might still like him as more than a friend.
When things with Peter start to become a little uncertain, Lara Jean isn’t sure who she should be with, John Ambrose McClaren or Peter Kavinsky. In a typical love triangle fashion, it becomes a Team Peter or Team John situation, where Lara Jean must choose.
Since the film series is based on books, it is hard not to compare the two. “P.S. I Still Love You” hits all the important scenes found in the book, and is a great sequel where Peter and Lara Jean’s relationship is tested. However, Lara Jean’s decision between the two boys feels a bit rushed towards the end, which can have a dissatisfying effect even if you are happy with who she ends up with.
Regardless, the film was filled with great emotion, and audiences are sure to admire Lara Jean as she navigates love at such a young age. It is definitely an excellent film to have on when you want to escape to a world where fairytales might really exist, and you can fall in love with every character. High school romances might seem trivial, but the story does a wonderful job of showing people that these moments can have a great impact on you, no matter how old you are.