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Movie Review: To All the Boys: Forever and Always

To All The Boys I've Loved Before GirlSpring Review

Lana Condor and Noah Centieno have returned to Netflix in the long-awaited To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before part 3. These three movies follow Laura Jean Song-Covey (Lana Condor), her relationship with Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), and their classic rom-com ups and downs. The movies are based on the book series written by author Jenny Han. 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

In the first film, we meet Laura Jean and learn about her habit of writing un-mailed love letters to all the boys she has had crushes on. These letters are secretly mailed to all the boys by Laura Jean’s little sister, and suddenly her life is turned upside down. One boy, Peter, gets his letter in the mail and decides to use it to his advantage. Laura Jean and Peter secretly date to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. Of course, we all know how these things go—the two find themselves falling in love with one another.

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

Unfortunately, not all is perfect in their relationship. In the second movie, another letter causes Laura Jean trouble. Her old crush, John Ambrose, re-enters Laura Jean’s life and she is forced to choose between Peter and John. In the end, of course, she and Peter are still together and better than ever. 

To All the Boys: Always and Forever

To finish the story of Peter and Laura Jean comes To All the Boys: Forever and Always. Weirdly, this last movie has nothing to do with Laura Jean’s letters, but instead, it focuses on her senior year and her college decisions. Unfortunately, this most recent film just seems out of touch and a little too cheesy. 

What happens?

Peter has been accepted to Stanford and Laura Jean wants to go to college with him so that they can continue dating. When Laura Jean doesn’t get into Stanford she has no idea what to do. Luckily, Laura Jean has safety schools: NYU, Berkeley, UCLA. This is where things get a little unrealistic. Laura Jean isn’t top of her class, she mentions no need for financial aid or scholarships, and she has spent the last 2 movies spending all her time with Peter. Without regard to how college works in the real world, Laura Jean gets into Berkeley and NYU. Problem solved! Laura Jean will go to Berkeley and spend the weekends with Peter! And to add a cherry on top, Peter has convinced her to just transfer to Stanford for her sophomore year.

All of this sounds great to Laura Jean until she takes her senior school trip to New York. This is when the movie gets incredibly slow and obnoxiously unrealistic. First of all, Laura Jean lives in Oregon. How in the world did Laura Jean’s public school afford that trip? Second, Laura Jean and Peter sneak out of the hotel on night one. Then, Laura Jean and her friends go to an NYU party on night two because apparently no adults were required to accompany students while they roamed around New York and took rides on the subway. I know that all high school movies are unrealistic and they have to bend the rules to make any sort of storytelling possible, but this is ridiculous. 

A Happy Ending

Regardless, Laura Jean falls in love with NYU, Peter gets mad at her for not going to California with him, he yells at his dad, and then he suddenly decides everything will be okay and apologizes to Laura Jean. They decide that long distance will be a piece of cake! 

Final Thoughts

I’m a fan of the first and second movies in this trilogy but this just doesn’t cut it. Peter is more unlikable than ever, the weird trip to New York was not believable, and, most of all, it had nothing to do with Laura Jean’s letters. However, it is always nice to tie up and put a pretty bow on a high school series and send all the characters off to graduation and college. If you’re a fan of the first two films I suggest you finish the trilogy. If you’re not a fan, you should probably still watch for laughable adaptations of teenage life.

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