The Final Film in the Trilogy, “To All The Boys: Always And Forever”



Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky celebrate their senior year together before going off to college.

Lara Jean Covey and her boyfriend Peter Kavinsky embark on their final adventure in the final installment of the To All the Boys trilogy, “To All the Boys: Always and Forever.” Released on Feb. 12, two days before Valentine’s Day, the film attempts to wrap up the two’s sweet romance as they prepare to journey off to college. With the first two films giving me mixed emotions about the series, I was prepared for anything when I sat down, popcorn in hand, to watch this romantic comedy.
The final film to this trilogy is set in Lara Jean’s senior year of high school following her return from her family trip to Korea. Lara Jean is faced with the decision of where she will spend her next four years of her education and must battle the possibility of losing her boyfriend Peter as he commits to Stanford University and she falls in love with New York University. The film explores other topics alongside romance including her Korean heritage, her dad marrying another woman, and her relationship with her sisters.
The first film “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” sets the stage for the next two film that would follow, capturing the charming story of how Lara Jean and Peter first fell in love. “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” followed and spread disappointment with its pointless, questionable storyline. With “To All the Boys: Always and Forever,” it was neither amazing nor terrible. It seemed to dance in between and play it safe with basic plot points and conflicts.
While rom-coms aren’t well known for their realistic portrayals of life, “To All the Boys: Always and Forever” makes even the cheesiest rom-coms look closer to reality. For example, the plot point that made me scream “make it make sense” was when doe-eyed, lacrosse boy Peter got into Stanford over intelligent writer Lara Jean. While sometimes in reality, athletes are favored in the college admissions process, the circumstances of this college decision didn’t add up.
In addition, Lara Jean falls in love with NYU, thinking it’s the only one for her, when she has yet to visit any other colleges to make a comparison. This film overall romanticizes every single aspect of Lara Jean’s world, which accurately reflects on her mind set and character throughout the story.
This third installment had the opportunity to explore a variety of deeper topics that could add more depth to the movie. When Lara Jean goes to Korea, she mentions how she never felt connected to her culture, but then just leaves it at that. She gets into fights with her sisters occasionally but their resolutions are either simplistic or non-existent. Even on the romance side, she and Peter take random detours that beat around the bush of the real issue, making the overall storyline distracting and dull.
Despite most of the letdowns throughout the film, one part that I thoroughly enjoyed was the vibrant graphics interspersed throughout each scene. Whether it be through line art transitions or illustrated maps as the characters travel from place to place, the illustrations are beautiful details intermixed with each beautiful scene, drawing one’s eyes back to the screen in intrigue.
Unfortunately, the detailed graphics and colorful scenes were the only thing keeping my attention on this film. Continuously throughout the film, I was tapping the screen wondering, is it over yet? And I was disappointed everytime when I realized I still had to endure the two hours this movie went on for. If one wants to be dragged around a sporadic, yet aesthetically pleasing, film for two hours, then this is the perfect movie for them. But, if you value your time, I would spend it rewatching the first movie as its emotional value is much higher.