Since the summer of 2018, the “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” series has proved to be a Netflix powerhouse. Millions of viewers have been engulfed in Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky’s (Noah Centineo) relationship and are constantly pining for more. “Always and Forever,” the final installment of the series, came out on Feb. 12, and luckily, offered a proper farewell.
Through love letters, a fake relationship turned real and a love triangle, Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky have been through it all, at least until senior year. The movie begins with Lara Jean visiting Korea with her family during spring break. Although she enjoys the country, she misses Peter and is shortly reunited with him. Soon, the main premise is introduced: the frenzy of college decisions and wanting to attend the same school as your significant other.
Peter has already been accepted into Stanford for lacrosse and Lara Jean desperately wants to be there with him for another four years. They both share realistic fears that without being close to each other, their relationship will end. The rest of the movie delves into the trials and tribulations the couple faces during the end of their senior year.
I remember when I watched the first movie of the series, everyone I knew was obsessed with Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky. At the same time, my friends and I acknowledged their relationship was purely fictional and could never be achieved in real life. With the release of the second movie, “P.S. I Still Love You,” the storyline became even more fantastical. However, this movie surprised me in the way that it actually felt realistic. High school relationships are difficult, to say the least. It feels like your significant other is the love of your life and you want to plan your future together, but at the same time, you wonder if they’re going to hold you back and you’re going to miss something greater. This is a common feeling for most high school students in relationships, and one that Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky have to work through during the end of their senior year.
In terms of production, the editing in this film is standard for the series. With bright colors and pastel hues, the movie feels bright and uplifting. The subtle undertones in certain scenes bring a sense of nostalgia for the past movies. I also appreciated the montages scattered throughout such as the Coveys’ vacation to Korea and Lara Jean’s senior trip to New York. Although they’re cheesy, you sense the characters’ genuine enjoyment and the soundtrack is always fitting. The acting may not be the best, but to be fair, the storyline doesn’t allow for much complexity. Certain scenes are a little cringe-worthy but overall, there’s little to critique.
The realistic nature of “Always and Forever” makes it easier to watch and not cringe at compared to the prior movies in the series. I found the second movie to be a letdown, and if I were to rewatch the first one now, I’m sure I would enjoy it less than I did three years ago. As the final installment, this movie provided a proper ending to the series and concluded on a high note, a rarity for trilogies. With a fitting soundtrack, realistic storyline, subpar acting, non-cringy lines and steady narrative development, the “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” series is at its best with “Always and Forever.”
Thumbnail photo courtesy of @toalltheboys on Twitter.