After the success of 2018 rom-com “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” many fans of the movie or the original book trilogy by Jenny Han were hoping for a fantastic sequel. Unlike many of Netflix’s attempted teen romances — many of which star Noah Centineo — “To All the Boys” received major credit and success. Created just five years after Han’s book of the same name, “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” was released. The film follows the story of Lara Jean after former letter recipient John Ambrose McClaren (played by the dashing Jordan Fisher) walks back into her life. Lara Jean struggles with maintaining a real relationship amidst wordy, romantic speeches and underdeveloped dialogue.
Lana Candor and Noah Centineo returned as Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky Feb. 12 in the long-awaited sequel, as well as supporting cast members, including “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” star John Corbett as Dr. Dan Covey. Netflix provides a two-minute recap of the first movie for those who missed out on the hype, or those who are just riding that post-Valentine’s-Day rom-com wave and didn’t feel like rewatching. Just in case you skipped over that recap as well, Lara Jean’s younger sister Kitty (Anna Cathcart) explains Peter and Lara Jean’s romantic situation to a disinterested cousin on Korean New Year.
Kitty had no business speaking this much truth during her few minutes of screen time, but as the sassy teenage younger sister, she is practically obligated to tie Lara Jean back down to earth. She spends an awful lot of time in her little romance land, filled with cursive writing and jean pocket spins, and needs a dash of much-needed reality.
Donned in rose-colored glasses and incredibly elaborate stationary, Lara Jean promises Peter that she will not break his heart, but I think watching this film broke my appreciation for many things sappy altogether.
Overall, the film felt unbalanced, attempting to juggle an array of supporting characters and a love triangle. Dancer and actress Maddie Ziegler made a cameo for some reason, as if there weren’t enough named characters already. Many of the characters from the original film are chopped out altogether, perhaps to save time for Lara Jean’s baking montages.
Lara Jean and Peter’s first date was way too good to be true, and the overall structure of the film was all downhill from there. Meanwhile, Fisher’s performance of John Ambrose McLaren was the epitome of the middle school crush we all dreamed would like us back, and I applaud his piano abilities. Fisher’s John Ambrose is charming, well-read, friendly and willing to write back a heartfelt letter of his own. What more could a girl want? Apparently, someone messier with pizza-stealing tendencies.
To all the boys: once upon a time my heart was yours, but now I just want a spinoff of Trina and Dr. Covey, the only relationship that I was fully invested in during this film.To all those left waiting to hear what becomes of Lara Jean and her high school romantic plights, fear not — in “To All The Boys: Always and Forever,” Lara Jean is currently in post production and will wrap up Han’s trilogy. Let’s hope Lara Jean and Peter can keep their heads out of the clouds this time around.