Movie Review: “To All the Boys: Always and Forever”

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Anastasia Martinez, A&E Staffer

Netflix has reached its third and final chapter of the “To All the Boys I Loved Before” series. The original movie was released in 2018 and the second movie was released in 2020. 

The sequence picks up at a stage in the Covey family trip to Seoul, South Korea. It’s a chance for the three sisters — Lara Jean, Margot and Kitty to spend time together and get in contact with their mother’s culture. The horizon is stuffed with possibilities, inclusive of Lara’s hopes to observe Peter, her boyfriend, at Stanford where he goes to school. However, her chances are no longer certainties. When she doesn’t get accepted into Stanford, Lara is pressured to determine not only what she wishes out of her relationship with Peter but what she desires for herself and her personal college experience. 

The story progression is modified for the story’s final series. There are more visually appealing moments like the opening scene in a Seoul cupcake shop made to appear like a hand-drawn setting. The director continues the series’ vivid and sunny aesthetic which is additionally mirrored in the production design: For example, the usually white-and-tan modern style Covey home where a good deal of the film is set. Over the previous three movies, Lara’s room has usually been an enjoyable departure from the neat and tidy home Dr. Covey keeps and it continues to play an element in her story. This film shows a variety of emotions, which keeps it engaging. It can truly be cathartic to people who have lost relationships they want to hold on to.

However, this film does have its disagreeable representations especially the romantic love portrayed. The intensity of some of the physical affection displayed was concerning especially considering this movie is marketed towards young girls. One impressive thing behind the romantic love portrayed was Peter and Lara Jean’s initial decision to not have intercourse. It shows how the sexual act is not a tool to emotionally manipulate your significant other in times of distress but rather a free and total gift of self. Although it was an action that should be praised, it can also give an unrealistic and cheap expectation of love. 

For a film targeted at a younger audience it would be most beneficial to have more realistic elements in order to not negatively influence its audience. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Mediocre high school kids getting into elite colleges in every teen movie is disappointing. Getting into Stanford, UC Berkeley or New York University is extremely unrealistic and annoying judging by the fact that the movie has never portrayed the characters working hard to get into these types of schools. Needless to say, the entire movie is very predictable. It’s great and a cheesy fantasy to watch though. I would give this movie a 4/10 because it lacked a lot of things but it isn’t terrible.