The thought of teen romantic comedies often leaves some people rolling their eyes and shaking their heads, as the movies offer unrealistic scenarios with no real message. However, Michael Fimognari’s Netflix exclusive To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You is different.
As the sequel of the 2018 global hit To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Fimognari had a tough job on his hands conveying Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter’s (Noah Centineo) relationship in a believable and endearing manner. Yet somehow he did it.
As a coming-of-age film, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You presents the challenges a teenager faces upon figuring out who he or she is, as well as navigating the complexities of a new relationship.
After pretending to be a couple throughout To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Lara Jean and Peter are now the real deal. While the pair appear to be nothing but crazy for each other, Lara Jean starts to feel as if the grass may be greener somewhere else.
This is emphasized when John Ambrose McClaren (Jordan Fisher) emerges after receiving one of Lara Jean’s old love letters sent out in the franchise’s first movie. Fishers’ character appears to be perfect for Lara Jean. Shared interests and the pair volunteering at the same aged care facility leaves her questioning whether Peter truly is the man for her.
The audience may be divided on whether they will be Team Peter or Team John, but the end result is one that can be accepted by all regardless of their initial opinion.
The film also sees Lara Jean’s regular confidants reappearing, such as Kitty (Anna Cathcart), Margot (Janel Parrish) and Chris (Madeleine Arthur). To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You also introduces an unlikely friend, Stormy (Holland Taylor). While Lara Jean’s regular support system proves to serve her well, Stormy’s character brings an element of flare to the film, offering the girl pearls of wisdom as the elder friend sips from a cocktail.
The idea of being in a perfect relationship often clouds the real experience and To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You challenges this idea quite obviously. One of the first scenes of the film has Lara Jean and Peter promising to never break one another’s hearts, something that is often proclaimed not only in young love but also between adults.
While the pair do find themselves breaking each other’s hearts, how they overcome it is what truly makes the movie. The takeaway message of the film is to enjoy being with the people you love, regardless of what happened in the past or what may happen in the future.
Fimognari is able to depict real relationships to a teenage audience, creating a striking and realistic movie. Unlike some romantic teen comedies that might leave you cringing, Peter and Lara Jean are a couple who can make the audience hopeful for teenage romance.
To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You is available exclusively on Netflix on Wednesday. (wng)
Madison Bogisch traveled to Indonesia under a program with ACICIS Study Indonesia.
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