Writer: Anusha T.
Visual: Anushka V.
Editor: Kay S.
DISCLAIMER: This is a review of the highly anticipated sequel of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. If you haven’t watched the two movies yet, be warned that this review contains spoilers.
In the summer of 2018, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before released and despite the majority of the cast being newbies, the movie became extremely popular and was watched by more than 80 million people. In particular, it succeeded in capturing the hearts of starry eyed teenagers, across the world, including me. Ignoring the whispers from my pile of homework, I set everything aside on a school night, to watch TALB and I could not have loved the movie more. Fans identified with the introverted, emotional, over analytical Lara Jean and TALB became one of the most viewed original movies on Netflix. When news of the sequel arrived, I was ecstatic!
The much awaited sequel To All The Boys I’ve Loved: PS I Still Love You (TALB 2) was released on February 12 and introduced the last boy that Lara Jean sent a letter to, John Ambrose. I looked forward to reliving the waves of emotion I felt watching TALB 2 but to put it bluntly, I was disappointed.
One of the things about TALB that was so special was at the core of it, it was a classic rom com. It brought us back to the days of The Breakfast Club and 16 Candles (even referenced so in Lara Jean’s rules to faking a relationship). While a little corny, it left you with a feeling of tenderness, innocence and young love.
TALB 2 explored the aftermath of its original fantasy; it aimed to depict more real life situations however it failed to achieve its objective. A key difference between the sequel and TALB is the characterization of Peter. In the first movie, Peter is, “the misunderstood guy who’s wrongly pigeon-holed but ends up being a real sweetheart. To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You almost completely undoes all of that.” Screenrant(an independent movie and tv critic website) continues on to say, “Doubt is perpetually thrown on Peter’s actions (or lack thereof) surrounding Valentine’s Day, as well as a clear ongoing connection with his ex, Gen”. It feels like the writers are throwing us further and further away from Peter and into the arms of John Ambrose. Played by Jordan Fisher, there is chemistry between Lara Jean and John Ambrose from the moment they reunite at the Bellevue home for the elderly.
At the end of the movie, all I could think about is the undeniable connection between John Ambrose and Lara Jean the writers had set us up for and yet we came back to the exact moment the movie started at! In my opinion, John Ambrose represented the naivety and innocence that was depicted in TALB and we needed more of him. Unfortunately, like many other hit movies, TALBILB fell into the trap of a failed sequel however I still am holding out hope for the final movie in the trilogy.
Gardner, Abby. “’To All the Boys’ 3 Is Happening, So Here’s What You Need to Know.” Glamour, Glamour, 18 Feb. 2020, http://www.glamour.com/story/to-all-the-boys-ive-loved-before-3-details.
Kaplan, Ilana. “’To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ … and to Fans Hungry for More.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 12 Feb. 2020, http://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/12/movies/to-all-the-boys-ps-i-still-love-you.html.
Roettgers, Janko. “More Than 80 Million Subscribers Watched Netflix Rom-Coms This Summer.” Variety, 17 Oct. 2018, variety.com/2018/digital/news/netflix-rom-coms-80-million-1202981966/.
Willmore, Alison. “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You Almost Argues Itself Out of Romance.” Vulture, Vulture, 13 Feb. 2020, http://www.vulture.com/2020/02/to-all-the-boys-p-s-i-still-love-you-netflix-film-review.html.
Woburn, Daniel. “To All The Boys 2 Is Weaker Than The First Movie.” ScreenRant, Screen Rant, 14 Feb. 2020, screenrant.com/to-all-boys-2-weaker-sequel-original-not-good-bad/.