I always find it comforting to watch romcoms. I’m not sure if it’s because of the happy nature of the films or if it is the romantic in me, but whenever a new one comes out I always get excited to watch it.
To All the Boys: Always and Forever is no exception.
Having seen the previous two films when they released, I made sure to catch up on the finale. However, I delayed it. Unlike the previous ones, I felt no urge to watch it. Maybe I was all romanced out after Valentine’s Day. But, I finally sat down to view it and it was… okay.
The first installment of the series has a fun charm to it. Lana Condor who plays Lara Jean throughout the trilogy is a welcome return and gives such a energetic and naive performance that makes it impossible to be bored, but her co-star Noah Centineo falters behind her. He isn’t bad per say, but he doesn’t match her enthusiasm.
That is until we reach the latter half of the film.
Unlike my previous reviews I play to restrain myself from posting spoilers due to the film having just released a month ago. But, towards the latter half of the film Lara Jean and Peter (Centineo) have relationship problems, and when he is finally allowed to show emotion and give a reaction with heart his performance begins to shine. No longer is he just the tall pretty boy, but he’s a kid hurt by the people around him. It adds layers to an otherwise bland character.
Speaking of bland characters we have EVERYONE else in the film. As hard as they may try, the secondary characters are all over the top and super lighthearted that it makes you want to puke. We are given joke after joke and heartfelt moment over and over again that it just gets annoying.
Another large problem I had with the film is the situations the characters find themselves in. Halfway through the film Lara Jean and her peers attend a trip to the Big Apple and the entire time they are able to sneak away, go to parties, get in their partner’s rooms, and avoid chaperones at all costs because of a throwaway line about how they are all at the bar. While this may seem like a nitpick, it becomes such a vital scene because while Lara Jean is at New York she comes to a realization that changes the course of her and Peter’s relationship. But, this is only achievable by making every adult on the trip terrible and neglectful.
Rounding out the film is some decent to good cinematography, a forgettable score and production design that makes every place congested.
But, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I found this film entertaining. There are cute moments that make the two hour runtime worth it and makes you reflect on the happy moments in your own life. I know I did.
To All the Boys: Always and Forever is directed by Michael Fimognari from a screenplay by Katie Lovejoy and is based upon the novel Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han. The film is the third and final entry in Netflix’s massively popular To All the Boys film series and was released on February 12, 2021 to positive reviews.