FEBRUARY 21, 2020

More to the story

BY ELLA RIVERA
PHOTO COURTESY OF NETFLIX

The highly anticipated sequel of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is finally here.

It’s been almost two years since To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was introduced to our collective consciousness, consequently reigniting our love for teen rom-coms that are reminiscent of those beloved Amanda Bynes starred mid-2000s gems. Unlike its predecessors though, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before brought a dynamic and diverse cast — it introduced Lana Candor, who embodied her character, Lara Jean, in a complex and modern way that felt true and balanced. It popularized Noah Centineo, who played Peter Kravinsky, and took Netflix’s rom-com genre by storm.

The cast, the plot, and the loyal interpretation of Jenny Han’s best-selling trilogy charmed us all. 

It turned out to be an honest and painstakingly detailed take on adolescent love, one filled with trivial but monumental little details that brought romance to life. It gave us that easy, delightful feeling that rom-coms can bring and reminded us of the power of rom-coms and its simple storytelling.

The result was a home run for Netflix, as the streaming giant ordered a sequel, with To All the Boys: PS. I Still Love You strategically coming out around Valentine’s Day. With that, let’s revisit why it was good, and check out why the sequel’s worth watching.

New characters (and a love triangle!)

Move over, Peter. It seems like a love triangle is in place. From the trailer itself, a storm is coming. However, that comes in the form of Jordan Fisher, who is playing John Ambrose, another recipient of Lara Jean’s letters and a former middle school crush. Not only is he an eye candy, but he seems to have more in common with Lara Jean too. Flirting seems inevitable, which begs the question — will they or won’t they?

Kitty’s meddling

Lara Jean’s beloved sister Kitty took the spotlight in the first movie with her wise remarks and admirable intuition. She’s the reason why Lara Jean and Peter are together in the first place, and why John Ambrose is suddenly in their lives. Her insights would be deeply valuable for what’s to come in Lara Jean’s life. Peter seemed to have won her over — with yogurt and popcorn, nonetheless — but we have yet to see what John Ambrose can bring. Above all else though, it’s nice to see their familial dynamic, making us wish we all had a trusty little sister too.

Lara Jean’s homage to her culture

One of To All the Boys’ strength is in its diversity, with Lara Candor being one of the firsts Asian-American lead in a teen rom-com. This gives her a specific relatability that resonated with a wider audience. In the sequel, she’s embracing her culture more — within the first few moments of the trailer, we see her and Kitty wearing a Hanbok, a traditional Korean dress. Let’s not forget that To All the Boys made us crave Yakult too. (It even boosted its sales.) We’d love to see more of that representation on screen.

A plot twist or two

Young love is filled with many firsts, and Lara Jean’s life is no different. She is faced with a conflicting dilemma that plagues even the strongest of relationships. Jenny Han’s second installment is filled with many surprises, taking the audience on a journey that is both frustrating and exciting. No spoilers, but do expect tension-filled scenes.

All that unfiltered kilig

Let’s be honest — we’re not above romantic comedies. To All the Boys was great fan service, and from the looks of it, the sequel’s no different either. The flowers, the love letters, and even the trip to a carnival all feel wide-eyed and pure, a wholesome feeling that we’re all suckers for. The formulaic trope works best here, and the earnestness of the characters is what makes them feel real. To All the Boys is a perfect movie on its own, enveloping us within a cozy, gleaming glow.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is now streaming on Netflix.

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