A middle school crush, an old letter and readily available stationary leave Lara Jean Covey unprepared for this Valentine’s Day.
“To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” is the sequel to “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” which debuted on Netflix in 2018. The movies are based on the book series of the same name by Jenny Han.
In this lovable sequel, Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) are back with more cheesy dialogue and heartwarming moments. Just as LJ and Peter are learning how to be a real couple, John Ambrose McClaren (Jordan Fisher) sends LJ a response to the love letter he received at the end of the first movie. Confused as to how to respond to John Ambrose’s flirtatious attitude, LJ is caught in a love triangle prompting the audience to answer one question: Are you team Peter or team John?
Similar to the first movie, the sequel features a cheesy plot with appropriately cheesy dialogue. LJ and Peter Kavinsky regularly exchange quotable conversations alongside their picture-perfect dates. The cute moments between the couple leave the audience gushing and falling in love right along with them. The movie only crosses the line from cute to cringe when LJ’s internal dialogue, shown through semifrequent voiceovers, begins to sound like a 13 year old reading their overdramatic diary.
Aside from their cute dates and adorable moments, LJ and Peter are refreshingly imperfect. LJ is a bubbly, clumsy and awkward high school girl the audience roots for and can easily relate to. Peter is an understanding, goofy guy that makes mistakes but shows willingness to quickly correct them. Their flaws and insecurities make the two characters relatable and realistic.
Besides Peter and LJ, other side characters provide comic relief and entertaining, albeit somewhat surface-level, subplots. LJ’s younger sister, Kitty (Anna Cathcart), chuckles at her own jokes, wiggles her eyebrows and always looks like she’s up to no good, lending perfectly to the “annoying little sister” trope.
John Ambrose elicits sympathy and internal conflict not only in LJ but in the audience as well. Despite his likability, he is underutilized throughout the movie as it fails to provide the audience with reasons to root for him outside of cute, surface-level interactions. Stormy, a woman living in the retirement home where John Ambrose and LJ are both volunteering at, appears so sparsely throughout the movie that audiences may not even remember her name. In the books, she’s a badass, over-the-top woman with slightly provocative stories to tell and a bossy, yet caring attitude. While portrayed well, ultimately all three characters could use a little more screen time.
The camerawork and angles add comedic elements to the movie with strategically placed transitions, most of which work in the movie’s favor. The entire movie appears to have a blue-toned filter over it. While the look is different from most films, it works here and results in visually pleasing, Instagrammable scenes.
All in all, the cringe factor and unresolved subplots are overshadowed by the movie’s relatable moments and cheesy, yet heartwarming dialogue. “To All The Boys: P.S I Still Love You” will leave audiences swooning over both Peter and John Ambrose, laughing alongside Kitty and internally overthinking with LJ.
4.5 misplaced love letters out of 5.
Editor's note: This story was updated to correct the spelling of Lara Jean Covey.