If you didn’t go out this past weekend with friends or that special someone for Valentine’s Day, I hope you were wrapped up comfortably with a bowl of your favorite ice cream to watch To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. For what seemed like an eternity for the sequel from the first release in 2018, it’s safe to say that Netflix did NOT disappoint.
So, the sequel immediately picks up in the same right where we left off in the first movie, so things are definitely less confusing. Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo) are freshly beginning their “legit” relationship and we see the honeymoon butterfly stage at its finest. However, one of Lara Jean’s previous love letters that got sent out to five different guys, has reached a major past potential love interest of hers. Although she assumes that the scholar, John Ambrose, is just being nice and that there’s no way he could’ve seriously been interested in her all this time, she’s in for a blissful surprise.
Lara Jean definitely plays with fire as she figures out what she wants from her significant other and how to be the “perfect” girlfriend in her own way. Also, this is the first time we learn the truth of how Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship unfolded and how just different it could’ve been. We discover that in the first film when Lara Jean and Peter have their romantic make out session on the ski trip in the hot tub, Peter was originally waiting for his ex girlfriend Gen to arrive, not Lara Jean. This was a shocker and audience blow because Lara Jean wasn’t technically his first choice, regardless of how the cards ended up being played that night.
Although this was disheartening, I loved that the film highlighted that this could’ve been a real scenario in a high school relationship that’s trying to navigate through different stages of maturity. Personally, I don’t know if I would’ve been able to stay with Peter knowing he was originally waiting to see his ex, but doesn’t young love almost want to forgive anything when you’re in it?
Due to this, Lara Jean and Peter break up and she finds comfort in the bland world of John Ambrose. I love that Lara Jean’s confidence can be shown growing throughout the film and how she realizes just how desirable and beautiful she’s always been. Although John Ambrose (Jordan Fisher) and Lara Jean did share a connection at their high school volunteer event and a harmless kiss in the falling snow, sometimes you know where your heart belongs even when standing in front of someone else you adore.
Lara Jean and Peter do reunite at the end of the film and realize that their promise to not break each other’s hearts can’t be guaranteed. However, what can be guaranteed is their openness to receive and practice vulnerability and trust to let themselves truly fall in love with one another.
Regardless if you have young love, a high school sweetheart, or whatever your heart strings tell you, that emotion felt is often real. And don’t let yourself cheat love out of your life when all you need to do is let go of that control.
By Kori Barnes, Sophomore, UNLV