Braylyn Bruno | staff writer
On Friday we reached the final chapter in the To All the Boys franchise with the much anticipated release of To All the Boys: Always and Forever on Netflix.
The third movie, starring Lana Condor (Lara Jean) and Noah Centineo (Peter), determines Lara Jean and Peter’s future, post-graduation. The movie is bound to please fans as they get a deeper insight to Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship and the intimate details that come with young love.
To All the Boys: Always and Forever is by far the most realistic movie in the franchise, making it more relatable for fans who have gone through high school romances and had similar experiences to the on-screen couple. The practicality of the movie makes it less cliche than the first and second movies, strengthening the overall quality of the movie and plot.
This installment of the franchise has a more mature feel to it, as the characters are faced with tough decisions regarding their futures.
We say goodbye to the cheesy love triangles, instead bringing the attention to Lara Jean and her journey to self-discovery. Lara Jean must determine what she wants her life to look like after experiencing thought-provoking trips and events that make her question what her future has in store for her. The audience watches as Lara Jean prepares for adulthood, and thinks beyond the boundaries of high school.
This shifts the direction of the movie from being about boys, to being about a woman who is finding herself.
Due to the change in narrative, To All the Boys: Always and Forever is much more pleasing to sit through than the previous installment, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. The second movie painted Lara Jean as indecisive and unfair to those around her because she was too self-absorbed, and lost momentum for many fans of the To All the Boys films. It is nice to see Lara Jean no longer messing with the hearts of numerous boys for a change.
To All the Boys: Always and Forever has gotten the franchise back on track, capturing moments and characteristics the audience has not seen before. Peter displays vulnerability that was not evident in the other movies by putting his emotions on full display, and the audience is able to see a more personal side of his family dynamic. Lara Jean’s character is also developed more to show depth as to who she is and honing in on her decision-making process.
Teen rom-coms have a tendency to fizzle out when they try too hard to have numerous installments that do not hit the mark. However, the story of Lara Jean and Peter has kept the audience invested since day one, and by sticking true to the roots of the original story, they show that teen rom-coms can be successful as long as the story is delivered correctly.
The bittersweet ending to the franchise says goodbye to the characters and audience in a way that does justice to both, serving as a final love letter from Lara Jean.