‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before:’ Another crappy sequel

Sophie Hance, Editor-in-Chief

In 2018, Netflix introduced the romantic story of Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky in their three part rom-com, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” which was first written as a book series by Jenny Han.
The first movie features a girl named Lara Jean Covey, played by Lana Condor, as she navigates high school after her sister, Kitty, sends her 5 secret love letters to their intended recipients. Although they were addressed and ready to be mailed, Lara Jean never intended on actually sending them. In an attempt to persuade one of the boys into dating her, she and another recipient, Peter Kavinsky, played by Noah Centineo, pretend to be in a relationship to make him jealous.
In the midst of this, the two end up falling in love; thus, the rest of the trilogy was born.
In the second movie, “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before; P.S. I Still Love You,” another of Lara Jean’s past loves comes into the mix, making her have to choose between her current lover or this random boy she had a crush on years ago.
Then, instead of getting discouraged by the second movie’s 40% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, Netflix decided to release a third and more terrible movie, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: Always and Forever.”
The first two movies capture the attention of the audience with drama and anxiety about what will happen next. Why? Because there is conflict, something the third one lacks.
It starts with Lara Jean’s family vacation to Seoul, South Korea, which introduces the main and only conflict: A long-distance relationship. After being there for a few days, the two realize that it is hard to stay away from each other and ponder what college life will be like.
Lara Jean, who is now a senior in high school, is having to decide on a college to attend but doesn’t want to be too far away from Peter.
This is the whole movie.
The “subplots” are more like small events that rarely sway the movie as a whole. Lara Jean’s dad gets engaged and his wedding is rarely talked about until it occurs at the end of the movie, only as a mode for Peter and Lara Jean’s reconciliation. Her little sister, Kitty, starts a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend that she met in Korea, but instead of this being used as a cute underlying plot, it is brushed over.
I personally don’t count these as subplots because there is never any major conflict within them. Rather than true subplots, they seem more like “side conversations.”
The rest of the plot is filled up by numerous montages, mostly from her trips to Seoul and New York City. These are filled with obvious non-candid shots of her doing something “quirky” like making a face or laughing with loud music in the background.
This is a lazy and unentertaining way to take up time. The movie is an hour and fifty minutes. It can stand to lose the 20 minutes worth of unessential montages.
While the long-distance possibility in Peter and Lara Jean’s relationship is conflict, this is the only problem in the entire movie. Throughout most of it, no drama ensues. It is all internal conflict within Lara Jean, which makes for a very boring movie.
The only major event is when they break up for a day or two due to the fact that they are going to schools across the country and then get back together after her dad’s wedding.
There are no antagonists to push the story along and foster the plot to make it interesting. In the previous movies, Gen, Peter’s ex-girlfriend, created some conflict between them and made the movies more interesting. Not only is she now an unlikely ally to Lara Jean, but she isn’t replaced by a different antagonist.
Antagonists are key to making a movie more interesting, since without one, a movie seems unrealistic, unentertaining and impossibly perfect to the viewer.
Besides the plot, there are a few odd things about Lara Jean’s personality that I find annoying and repetitive throughout the series.
She is a compulsive liar, which would presumably lead her into some bad situations, but she always gets away with it which just makes it annoying for the viewer and doesn’t drive the plot.
Furthermore, a lot of things that Lara Jean does that are supposed to be quirky or goofy just make her annoying and clumsy.
This makes her very unappealing as a female protagonist because everything she does is with the help and support of her boyfriend and dad. She can’t get anything accomplished on her own which seems a little old fashioned and sexist.
This movie is supposed to be a rom-com, but the only thing remotely funny about it is her clumsiness, awkward personality, and her horribly unfunny one-liners.
From a filmography standpoint, however, the movie looks beautiful and well-made. They captured Lara Jean’s personality through the decor and messiness of her room as they did in the first two movies.
The actors, apart from Madeleine Arthur who plays Christine, did as well as they could considering the plot and lines in the movie were terribly written.
The acting done by Arthur is equivalent to that of a high school theater performer. However, this does fit the immaturity of the character she is playing.
Overall, the movie was not worth watching and possibly ruined the first movie for me which, in my opinion, is the best one.
My advice to Netflix is next time they want to make a rom-com targeted towards teenagers, make it easier to watch, capture our attention, and not be as boring and uneventful as this one was. Also, save us the hassle of having to watch a poorly made sequel by not making them in the first place.