The time is here. Finally, Netflix releases its final chapter of the story that is Lara Jean Covey’s love letters. It’s an arrival that excites and also will, no question, make its viewers feel bittersweet.
To All the Boys: Always & Forever (2021) Netflix Review
It’s senior year, and Lara Jean Covey (Lana Candor) has an impossibly bright summer. Back fresh from a trip to Korea with her family; now the highlight reel of her high school experience is about to unfold and she plans to enjoy every moment. This includes her class trip, prom, diner runs, graduation, and then, to anticipate, there’s college. Not to mention all of the time she will be able to spend with her charming boyfriend, Peter (Noah Centineo).
Peter is the boy Lara Jean has crushed on for years, but now they’re officially a thing, and she cannot imagine being apart. Everything starts to go wrong when college acceptance letters come back and Lara Jean’s choice of college doesn’t accept her. This puts her plans with Peter on hold, and makes her question what she really wants.
The one thing I wanted going into this is a happy end. Going off the angst from prior movies, I knew there’d be some of that, but so long as the end is happy, I also anticipated dealing with just about anything in the “in between.” We do get the angst, but let’s talk about some of the other things about this film before getting to its ending. As I’m still fresh off the high of finishing the novel on which this is based, there are differences, but I appreciate that the script tries to keep things intact.
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Some of the order of when or how things happen get a remix, but when it comes to something like the trip the Covey family takes to Korea, I like that the script brings everyone (the family) and that the trip opens the film. This is just one of the things that is present, but written differently than the book. It brings in all of the nostalgia, while still making any necessary changes it needs to work as a script (something Katie Lovejoy, the writer for upcoming productions like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, does well). Beyond this, this movie is all kinds of charming.
Ordinarily I don’t love close up shots of faces, but this one is like a play on Lara Jean’s letter writing. It’s as if she’s (or Peter) talking to us rather than at us. While I didn’t notice it (or remember if I did) in the first two books, I actually think Lana Condor makes Lara Jean more likable in these films. She comes across as a little stringent in the third novel whereas here I don’t pick up on that. Either way, the cast, including Condor, Noah, Ross Butler (Trevor), Madeline Arthur (Chris), and the entire Convey family is wonderful. I love them all though perhaps none is better than Anna Cathcart as Kitty.
Writing about something I enjoyed so much is also something of a challenge. Not because I don’t want to write about it, but because I don’t know how to express how much I enjoy something. To All the Boys: Always & Forever is one of these titles. I laughed out loud through the first part, swooned over the romantics, and appreciate the deeper places the story goes in the second half. This is one of those movies that I see myself watching more than once, and while it may have its flaws, ultimately it’s a solid romance that, even in the fairy tale, teaches some excellent real lessons on the reality and beauty of love.
‘To All the Boys: Always & Forever’: Netflix Closes Happy YA Romance Series. The final chapter in the Lara Jean Convey stories. #ToAllTheBoys #ToAlltheBoysAlwaysandForever #ToAlltheBoys3 #Movies #Netflix #Romance #LaraJean #OTP Click To Tweet
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Content: There’s some commonplace profanity, and discussion of being a virgin. A couple plans to have sex (heavy kissing, etc.) before they stop; they do later with some removal of clothing and then we see them lying in bed together. This is all done well and doesn’t abuse its TV-14 rating.