To All The Boys I Loved Before is the hit Netflix Original trilogy based on the book series by Jenny Han. And this Valentine’s Day Weekend, Netflix brings us the final chapter with, “To All The Boys: Always and Forever”
“You can’t save this relationship by not growing”
Let me start by saying, this series is my absolute favorite coming of age, teen movie series I have seen in a very long time. Having read the books I was a little hesitant. I find them entertaining, but fall into a lot of teen tropes with the girl eventually giving up everything about who she is and wants to be in order to be around the boy she loves – who is actually very toxic and not super likable. However, the movie series fixes all my issues with the book series, including Peter (Noah Centineo) and in the end Laura Jean’s (Lana Condor) decision on college.
A Quick Recap
The To All The Boys I Loved Before series tells the story of Lara Jean Song Covey, a young girl with a head full of romance and unrequited love. Instead of sharing her feelings with the boys she’s crushed on over the years, she writes everything down in letters, sealed and addressed, hidden in a hat box. One day, her little sister, Kitty, decides to take matters into her own hands and mails these forbidden love letters off to their recipients – and the teen love drama ensues.
One of these love letters ends up in the hands of Peter Kovinsky, the most popular boy in school and played with effortless charm by Noah Centineo. Another letter ends up being sent to Josh, her older sister’s ex boyfriend . YIKES! Peter, having recently broken up with his on and off again girlfriend, decides to devise a plan with Lara Jean (who needs to keep Josh away) to pretend to date. One thing leads to another, and after lots of OMG drama the two realize they’re mad for each other and begin dating in real life.
To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You sends Lara Jean on a journey of self-discovery and confidence building. Testing her and Peters relationship after developing feelings for another letter recipient, John Ambrose (Jordan Fisher). As well as, coping with Peter’s incredibly close friendship with his ex-girlfriend. In the end, they work out their issues, once more choosing each other and happiness ensues.
To All The Boys: Always and Forever
I didn’t think I could love this series more and then I watched the final installment. The dynamics within the family are something to enjoy – I am 100% in solidarity with Kitty for considering dumping her boyfriend for not liking Harry Potter. Lara Jean’s father, Dr. Covey (John Corbett) is getting remarried and watching them welcome Trina (Sarayu Blue) into their home and lives in such a healthy way is incredibly refreshing.
I love how they keep every character true to who they are while allowing them to grow. How else were you going to get Chris (Madeleine Arthur) to go to Prom? I absolutely loved the changes made for Peter and Lara Jean. In the original book series, the school choices were much closer – UVA, Willam & Mary, and Lara Jean’s final decision UNC. The film puts a 3000 mile decision in front of Lara Jean. Peter will be going to Stanford and she can choose to go to Berkeley an hour away or NYU across the country. This change raises the stakes to a whole new level forcing Lara Jean to decide what is right for her and not for Peter.
I appreciate the way the writers chose Peter’s reaction to every twist and turn, and choice Lara Jean makes. Never making it about himself, listening to what she needs, and for her to follow her dreams – even though it’s putting physical and emotional distance between them. Kristoff who?
In the end, Peter and Lara Jean realize that love isn’t just a feeling it is also a choice. A choice they keep making and want to continue to make. Thus, bringing our story full circle with a new relationship contract.
The Ending That Will Never Be
I do wish we would’ve gotten the ending button discussed by Lana Candor in an interview with Refinery29. During which Candor shared that there was an alternative scene where Laura Jean is at NYU and there’s a knock on the door which turns out to be her ex-bff (whom we’ve seen them trying to heal and grow during the last film) asking her if she wanted to go get lunch. This moment was so important for Lana saying,
“It was important for us to show a female relationship that heals. Women grow, and it’s really special to try again.”Lana Condor – Refinery29
Maybe it’ll be a deleted scene somewhere on the Netflix internet. If you see it, let me know.
Make sure to check out To All The Boys: Always and Forever on Netflix Friday, February 12th!!