Is “To All the Boys: Always and Forever” worth the watch?

By Hailey Harris (‘24) | March 1, 2021

The final To All the Boys film was released on February 12 as the perfect Valentine’s Day weekend watch. Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) have blessed our screens for nearly three years now, but it’s time to say goodbye. They promised not to break each other’s hearts—now they’re breaking ours. As a true fan who has read all the books and watched all the prior movies, I had high expectations for this final installment in the trilogy; surprisingly, this film exceeded those high expectations.

In under two hours, this movie invokes a full spectrum of feelings. Different from the first two movies, this film will make you smile, swoon, cry, and even cringe. The predictability of the characters’ struggles in this film set it apart from its predecessors. 

From the beginning of the movie, viewers can see how carefully Lara Jean has planned out her future: after she and her boyfriend Peter attend Stanford together, she will author books, they will marry, buy a house, and start a family. However, after Lara Jean is crushed due to her rejection from Stanford, a very relatable turn of events occurs; she can feel her plans slipping out of her reach. On the bright side, Lara Jean starts to plan for her future at UC Berkeley, just a mere hour away from Peter. Though she was initially afraid and embarrassed to tell him the news, Peter reassures her that their relationship can adapt to the change.   

These modified plans unravel quickly when Lara Jean falls in love with NYU during her senior class trip. Fearful that their relationship will end, but knowing she has to stay true to herself, Lara Jean painfully tells Peter she is going to attend NYU. Due to her decision, Peter feels that their relationship is beginning to fall apart.

Moving forward in their relationship, they reach a blunder which takes place after their senior prom. Hoping for the perfect prom night, Lara Jean is heartbroken when Peter decides to call it quits. In signature To All the Boys fashion, love prevails when Peter regrets his decision and reconciles with Lara Jean on the night of her father’s wedding.  The movie ends with both of them at their respective colleges and vowing to write love letters to one another.

Throughout the film, we see Lara Jean struggle to maintain her relationships with her sisters and adjust to her father’s remarriage, and we also see Peter grapple with reconciling with his estranged father. The film portrays a realistic view of life that was lacking in the first two films. The curveballs that Lara Jean and Peter face are those many young adults face — college stress, heartbreak and strained family relations — making this movie both intriguing and relatable.The true-to-life struggles and parallel moments combined with great acting and an interestingly intertwined plot make To All the Boys: Always and Forever a perfect ending to the trilogy. 

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