By Seema Bejai
On Feb. 12th, Netflix released the third installment of its To All the Boys movie series. You know what that means: Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky back at it with new obstacles to overcome and learn from. The third movie follows Peter and Lara Jean as they navigate a new stage of their relationship amidst their final year of high school. Even if you have not seen the first two installments, To All the Boys: Forever and Always gives you all the teenage feel thanks to its seamless storytelling, an upbeat and funky soundtrack, and impeccable scenery of both New York and Seoul. This is a must-watch.
The movie opens up with Lara Jean visiting Seoul with her family for spring break as she searches for a lock her deceased mother once left on a bridge for her father. The message written on the rock reads, “for the rest of my life.” Overcome with emotion, Lara Jean mentions the experience to Peter, along with the fact that they never had a “meet-cute”. This isn’t entirely true because Peter remembers their “meet-cute” even though she doesn’t.
As cheesy as To All the Boys: Forever and Always is, the movie tackles unique relationship challenges that most teenagers can relate to. Personally, I could not help but smile at the movie’s depiction of high school drama and the looming fear every couple has of whether or not they will stay together post-grad.
What started off as a teen rom-com series about a fake relationship and cheesy love letters– has evolved into a charming story about growing up. This movie did a fantastic job of addressing how relationships are affected by external factors and life-altering decisions. In the second movie, Lara Jean has to choose between two boys, but in the third movie, she has to decide between planning her life around being near Peter or leaving to follow her dreams. To All the Boys: Forever and Always is the story of Lara Jean truly finding herself and taking on real young adult problems.
This teen romance showcases true character growth. Lara Jean isn’t portrayed as childish anymore, and both she and Peter take their relationship very seriously. In fact, Peter has many moments where he conveys real maturity as a boyfriend. Whether it be supportively listening to her worries about doing long distance in college or being willing to compromise when letting her choose “their song”, Peter is depicted as the ideal boyfriend.
Lara Jean and Peter tackle the highs and lows of the senior year whilst addressing the toll that college may have on their relationship as Lara Jean anxiously waits for her acceptance letter from Stanford University. Even though Lara Jean wants to attend college with Peter, she remains optimistic about the future. In the end, they recognize that even distance can’t keep them apart. If anything, it will give them an opportunity to keep writing love letters to one another. The same love letters that brought them together in the first place. Watch To All the Boys: Forever and Always on Netflix to see how Lara Jean and Peter found their “beginning, middle, and end” together!