“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You” review

Christina Terasavage, Staff Reporter

It’s finally happened! The long awaited sequel of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” has arrived, ladies and gents! It has been two years since the original TATBILB premiered. Its sequel, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You,” was released by Netflix on Feb. 12. 

Our favorites, Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky, picked up right where they left off: IN LOVE. Yes, the pair are officially a couple and boy is it cute.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The film starts with Lara Jean acting in classic Lara Jean fashion, singing whimsically into her mirror as she gets ready for her first date with Peter. In case you missed it, it is also her first date ever.

In terms of tone, the sequel has the same feel of the original —– romantic, quirky and sprinkled with nostalgic Peter Kavinksy mumbles and true Lara Jean charisma. 

One of the first things I loved about the first movie was its unique playlist. This time around, nothing has changed. *Queue to me making my roommates pause the movie in the middle of our Galentine’s festivities to find singer Sofi Tukker’s song, “Purple Hat,” and add it to my Spotify* (This song is a bop and gives a unique twist to pop/edm). 

Shifting gears, Lara Jean and Peter had me rooting for them throughout the movie. The pair are official and stepping into new territory that comes with being a new couple. Territory that Lara Jean has never experienced before. Throughout the sequel, Lara Jean’s inexperience with love and relationships is juxtaposed with Peter’s veteran past. 

Lana Condor, the actress who plays Lara Jean Covey, portrays how stressful overthinking the newness of a relationship can be. Candor made it easy for the audience to feel the mix of highs and lows of Lara Jean’s first relationship, empathizing with common feelings of confusion and self-doubt. Peter Kavinksy is played by actor Noah Centineo. Centineo’s role provides a different perspective, having more experience with love than Lara Jean. However, the difference in experience within the couple was papably authentic and sweet. Peter often reassures Lara Jean, taking the pressure off of her and her crippling habit of overthinking.

The film delivers in every way it was anticipated to. It covers Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship, the Covey family, and Lara Jean’s middle-school love and Model UN partner, John Ambrose. However, it did not provide me with a new angle that was special. John Ambrose’s unexpected presence in Lara Jean’s life had the potential to add a certain je ne se quois. Except, it fell flat and felt a bit lackluster. I was waiting for a spark of uniqueness and was left unsatisfied. 

Regardless, some highlights came from other moments in the film, for instance, Lara Jean’s friendship with residents of the senior living home that she and John Ambrose volunteer at. Lara Jean and Stormy, a resident, played by actress Holland Taylor, have arguably the cutest second relationship in the film. 

Taylor’s character steps in as a maternal presence, offering Lara Jean advice about life and love with a bit of Stormy’s personal sass. Also, the Covey family’s commitment to keeping up with their Korean heritage offered bright moments of diversity and deeper character development. A scene captures quick clips of traditional food prepared and eaten to celebrate Korean New Year. Lara Jean and her younger sister, Kitty, are seen dressed in traditional Korean clothing as well.

Photo From Wikimedia Commons

This montage of their culture made me fall in love with the supportive, love-centered relationship that Dr. Covey has with his daughters. Though he is not Korean himself, he makes the girls understand the importance of remembering where their late mother came from. You go Dr. Covey! Can I get a “we stan Dr. Covey” in the group chat? Also while I am at it, Netflix, can Dr. Covey’s relationship with his new neighbor develop more too? Thanks! 

Overall, the sequel gave the fans what they wanted. They delivered on Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship, but again, there was an element of sparkle missing. 

However, there may be hope for the next title to reignite that extra something the original movie captured so well. Netflix confirmed Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky’s story is only just beginning as the third installment to the franchise, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: Always and Forever, Lara Jean” was posted on Netflix’s “See What’s Next” account back in August of 2019, announcing that production is underway. 

Here’s to the next sequel, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: Always and Forever, Lara Jean.” I really hope the saying “Third time’s a charm” doesn’t let me down.