“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” a romance movie released in 2018, is one of the most re-watched original Netflix films. Adapted from a best-selling novel by Jenny Han, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” the movie grew popular especially among teens for its realistic love story between two high school students, Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky. After watching the movie end with Lara and Peter in a happy relationship together, many fans asked for a sequel that would cover the second book in Jenny Han’s series. At last, on Feb. 12, the sequel, “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” was released on Netflix, and fans, excited to see what had happened between the two lovers, rushed to watch the new episodes.
“The original film is one of my favorite movies on Netflix,” said Jennifer Shin (10), who read the novel “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” “I had so many questions after reading the novel and watching the movie, so I hoped a sequel would come out to resolve the remaining mysteries. Therefore, I was really excited when I heard the release of it. The best part of the original was the chemistry between Lara and Peter, and I was hoping to see more of that.”
The sequel starts shortly after the ending scene of the original movie, in which Lara and Peter’s relationship turns official. In the first few scenes, their love runs smoothly, especially after having their perfect first date. However, Lara’s dream of having a romance straight out of a fairytale shatters when she receives an unexpected letter from John Ambrose McClare, one of her love letter recipients, and, eventually, her volunteering partner. Gradually, Peter and Lara’s relationship falls apart as Lara grows closer to John and Peter begins talking to his ex-girlfriend Gen. The conflict remains unsolved, and the tense setting keeps the audience anxious until the very end.
“The dancing scene was the most memorable of all,” said Kate Hyun(10), an avid fan of the series. “During that scene, Lara had to make a decision about her relationship with Peter, and although the ending was pretty obvious to me, it was still nerve-wracking. It is interesting that both series had similar storylines, but they conveyed different emotions. The first film seems to be lighter in general, so the ending of the sequel felt more heartwarming. They were similar, but at the same time, very different.”
Indeed, not all comments were supportive of the sequel. The film was criticized for its lack of subplots and abrupt plot development; some even found the movie repetitive of the original without new, fresh elements. Nonetheless, the movie, in general, was flooded with numerous positive comments that applauded its story. Many fans were satisfied with the film’s main focus on Lara and Peter’s chemistry and its exclusion of unnecessary sub conflicts. Moreover, they appreciated how the film preserved the warmth and romance of the original.
“I felt like the original film was more of a rough draft,” said Sophia Eu(10), who often watches Netflix.” “The sequel was more refined and complete due to its simple storyline. The plot was easier to follow and more focused. Furthermore, I liked how it did not have particular antagonists along with big, complicated conflicts.”