13th Feb2020

‘To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You’ Review (Netflix)

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Emilija Baranac, Jordon Fisher | Written by Sofia Alvarez, J. Mills Goodloe | Directed by Michael Fimognari

ps-i-still-love-you-poster

In 2018 Netflix came out with an original movie based on a young-adult novel by Jenny Han called To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. It was a charming, whimsical teen rom-com that was a genuinely good film. It did very well, too, and so they’ve released a sequel, based on the sequel book by Han. Directed by Michael Fimognari (who directed the first film too) and with screenplay penned by Sofia Alvarez and J. Mills Goodloe, P.S. I Still Love You continues the story of Lara Jean, her life, her love and everything in-between.

We revisit Lara Jean, played with a sparky energy by the talented Lana Condor, who is in the early stages of a relationship with Peter (Noah Centineo) and still learning what it means to be in her first relationship. She has insecurities related to Noah’s previous girlfriend, Gen (Emilija Baranac), and the fact that she isn’t sure how this whole “girlfriend” thing works. Then she gets a big ole blast from her past when John Ambrose (Jordon Fisher), one of the boys to receive a love letter from Lara Jean back in the first film, writes her back, and winds up volunteering along with her at a retirement home.

It’s a story of young love, of the confusion of youth, of coming to terms with your feelings, and of coming to terms with the things that are causing you insecurity. The film is similar in tone to the first one, so it’s easy to say that if you enjoyed the first one, then you’ll likely enjoy this one too. I didn’t feel like the original and quirky nature of that first movie was as prevalent here though. I felt like this movie went much more down the stereotypical and somewhat predictable rom-com route. I mean… it’s based on a novel, so they can only go where the material takes them to some degree, but I felt like the charm was less than it had been. Still, the characters and performances are likeable and bring a quality to the film that is often missing from the romance genre. I think Condor is exceptional and she has a real vibrant way at bringing Lara Jean to life, giving her dorky parts, silly parts, imperfections the help make her feel much more human than many rom-com lead female portrayals. The remainder of the cast are strong too, with Centineo seemingly playing a Peter with a charming ease again.

While it didn’t hit the same strides as To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, I still think this was a very good film, easy to watch with a nice message and pleasing scenes throughout its 100 minutes. The book series is a trilogy, so I imagine, and hope, we’ll see the third and final part (Always and Forever, Lara Jean) to Lara Jean’s story soon enough.

To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You is available now on Netflix.

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