First of all if you’re expecting a fourth installment of the franchise when they’re in college you may need to slow down. “To All The Boys: Always and Forever” has been deemed the third and final installment in the franchise. A bitter-sweet goodbye if you will.
Now the film, how was it?
From the first scene with Lara Jean in the beautifully themed room writing a letter to her boyfriend to the beautiful views in New York, Seoul and the ever-changing colours in the same cool aesthetic and cinematography, they did quite well to make this one spectacular.
We get to see Lara Jean out of her comfort zone or the zone we’re used to seeing her in -her room a dysfunctional mess she seems to make work with subconscious visits from all the boys she’s loved before (take note, in this one it’s just Peter). Well she’s in her room less, not as confined to the messy room were the only thing that roams is her mind. She’s traveling more which means she’s growing, we see her connect to her heritage a bit more and take her future more seriously outside the stanzas of boys and rom coms. For the fans it’s a great watch because we see more of the family; dads getting more lovey dovey, Kitty has her first boy crush and Margot is on the screen more, plus the dog, we can’t forget the dog.
A criticism you could have about the film’s predecessors was they were a bit overly focused on the love thing. I mean true that is why we all sat on our beds and sofas with popcorn and the like but it kinda felt like that was all we were getting. Lara Jean was in love and it was tricky business, that felt like the whole plot sometimes. This time it’s deeper with a couple of more focuses; Peter dealing with feeling abandoned by his dad and not “feeling chosen”, Lara Jean and Peter a couple in crises at the end of high-school, that big change from high-school to college, and a step-parent moving into the house “permanently”. These are things a lot of the viewers can either relate to or would like to see. The movie puts all these topics in but it still feels like the TATB we have been watching since 2018, it’s still got the cool and calm romantic soundtrack, the beautiful aesthetics and what would this franchise be without that charming little café.
A high-school romance movie like in real life can end in two ways, either it works out or it doesn’t, you either applaud the win or you smile with a tear in your eye. A realist will tell you they usually don’t last after high school and a romantic would kiss your forehead then sniff a rose. The ending of this movie in a phrase is “Always and Forever” because that’s what Peter and Lara Jean decide to be. I think this is a perfect ending for the franchise because from the start Lara Jean wants a romantic movie like situation, she gets that and why should it not end the same way. Obviously in real life one could say this and one could say that, but in the world we live in, with all thats going on, wouldn’t it be great if you got to watch a fairytale ending were they really get what they want and its all flowery and rosy?
I think it fair to give Lara Jean and Peter their happy ending, because once in a while we need to see that.