Netflix’s hit rom-com, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” made its return to the streaming platform with its sequel “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The first film revived the romantic comedy genre on Netflix, broke streaming records and started a plethora of memes on the internet. One of the first examples of an Asian protagonist in a lead teen romantic comedy, it introduced Generation Z to their own version of the modern rom-com.
The sequel, “P.S. I Still Love You,” starts where the first film left off. The protagonist and narrator of the story, Lara Jean Song Covey (Lana Condor), begins her story with a montage paying homage to the ‘80s classic “Adventures in Babysitting.” It’s her first date with her charming lacrosse-playing beau, Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo).
As the story progresses, so does Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship. In rom-com fashion, things quickly start to go off course when both of their pasts create roadblocks in their new relationship.
First, Lara Jean, who has never had a boyfriend, begins to compare herself to Peter’s ex-girlfriend, and her ex-best friend, Gen. Secondly, Lara Jean’s world tilts on its axis when she receives a letter from John Ambrose McClaren (Jordan Fisher), one the boys she wrote a love letter to in her childhood. His letter is the only one out of five that didn’t return to her.
John Ambrose, Lara Jean’s middle school crush, writes her a letter explaining his confusion with her original letter. He happily recalls their childhood moments, complimenting Lara Jean for her young vulnerable heart.
This new letter completely fogs up Lara Jean’s analytical mind. It seems as if Lara Jean felt the most intensely for John Ambrose, which will seemly create an issue for her relationship with Peter in the near future.
Coincidentally, Lara Jean and John Ambrose sign up to volunteer at the same retirement home. This kickstarts their blossoming friendship with lingering romantic implications even though she is still with Peter.
At the height of the movie, John Ambrose and Lara Jean set up a party at their old childhood treehouse with all of their childhood friends including Peter, Peter’s best friend Trevor, Lara Jean’s best friend Chris and Gen. The treehouse gathering garners some friction between John Ambrose and Peter because John Ambrose doesn’t know about their relationship.
Peter and Lara Jean’s miscommunications and closeness with other people ultimately disintegrates their relationship.
In typical rom-com fashion, when Lara Jean’s relationship ends, she tries to find solace in John Ambrose, and while it works temporarily, she realizes he isn’t Peter. So, she runs to Peter- literally. Right when she walks through the threshold of the front door, Peter’s already there. He remembers she said, “You don’t like driving in the snow, right?” Swoon. Of course, they end up together after a big declaration of love.
“P.S. I Still Love You” still manages to draw an audience in with its warm and endearing lead actors, Condor and Centineo, its bubblegum sugar sweet-cinematography and its ability to let the viewers into Lara Jean’s love-obsessed, wistful mind. It’s not as iconic as the first, but it still has the same idiosyncrasies and magic of Lara Jean’s imagination.