“To All the Boys: Always and Forever” is a satisfying wrap-up, lacks same charm as predecessors

Lana+Condor+stars+alongside+Noah+Centineo+in+the+third+and+final+film+of+Netflix%27s+%22To+All+the+Boys%22+franchise.

Juhan Noh / Netflix

Lana Condor stars alongside Noah Centineo in the third and final film of Netflix’s “To All the Boys” franchise.

“To All the Boys: Always and Forever,” the third and final installment of the “To All the Boys” franchise on Netflix has been released on Feb. 12, and it’s far more emotional than the last two films, but similarly cavity-inducing with its gushing sweetness and bright colors like pastel icing on cake. However, the film lacks the same charming characteristics as the first two films, which were far more fun and playful. Admittedly, Lara Jean and Peter’s story could have been wrapped up with the first film. 

The story follows Lara Jean (Lana Condor) through her senior year of high school, as graduation is nearing. She plans to go to the same college as her boyfriend, Peter (Noah Centineo), but when she is denied admission to Stanford and falls in love with NYU instead, she fears that the boy she thought she’d be with forever will leave her.

“To All the Boys: Always and Forever” is a cute movie that really touches on the message that relationships require work: they won’t always be perfect, especially when you’re growing up and finding yourself. Lara Jean struggles between choosing what she wants and doing what she believes would please others. While the audience learns this lesson, it seems that Lara Jean never does, as Peter is the one making decisions about their relationship until the film’s ending. 

Throughout the story, Lara Jean has an obsession with the idea of a perfect relationship. She makes comments about finding the perfect song, or having the best “meet-cute,” and comparing her and Peter to what she’s read in books or seen in movies. While relatable, and a nod to Lara Jean’s character in the first film, these comments are odd considering she had already learned that romance in real life is not like in fiction, so it made little sense as to why she has seemed to back-track in this film.

For readers of the original novels by Jenny Han, this final film was a nice wrap-up to Lara Jean’s story, or for those curious to see how high school would end for her. While not unenjoyable, the film doesn’t have the same fun story the first had to offer, and can’t hold up to its predecessor. But for those looking for a continuation of Lara Jean and Peter, and some sweetness this February, “To All the Boys: Always and Forever,” is a cute, cheesy choice.