Review: ‘To All the Boys I Loved Before: PS I Still Love You’

Courtesy of Netflix

"There are no pressing issues that push us to watch the third movie out of curiosity and the classic love triangle has already been played out. It seems that all the series can provide now is a montage of stylish outfits and angsty music."

“To All the Boys I Loved Before: PS I Still Love You” begins with a nostalgic scene imitating the ‘90s movie “Adventures in Babysitting.” Main character Lara Jean, played by Lana Condor, prances around her room, switching between dresses and lip-syncing to “Then He Kissed Me” by The Crystals. There is a sense of ease and relaxation as we watch Lara Jean adorably get excited about her date with Peter Kavinsky, played by Noah Centineo.

While all seems well in their relationship in the first few scenes, Lara Jean receives a letter from an old crush, John Ambrose, played by Jordan Fisher. Of course, given the formula of two guys and one girl, we see a love triangle develop. 

However, despite these flaws in the plot, the movie manages to save itself by using aesthetic scenes and a perfect soundtrack. Each scene possesses a color scheme that represents the mood of the characters. Bold and bright colors can be found in any happy or romantic scene in both the background setting or in Lara Jean, Peter and John Ambrose’s outfits. The coordination of all these colors and attention to small details makes the movie visually pleasing, making even simple activities like going to a coffee shop look beautiful. 

The soundtrack is also full of songs perfectly matching the mood of each scene. For example, after Lara Jean and Peter break up, a slower, sadder version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” rings through her room. 

However, an integral part of the plot line is that this triangle didn’t happen earlier because John Ambrose lost contact with Lara Jean after he moved. Lara Jean wonders if they would have ended up together if John Ambrose never moved. However, given the fact that it’s 2020, how did he even lose contact in the first place? We have Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, FaceTime and many other means of communication. Couldn’t he just have searched her name up on a social media platform and sent her a DM?

Another issue is that much of the movie’s conflict doesn’t seem that difficult or relatable. All of it roots from the fact that Peter and Lara Jean are shockingly bad at communicating with each other. While miscommunication is definitely a real issue in relationships, the level that they are bad at interacting with each other is frustrating to watch. For example, Peter can’t even bother to text Lara Jean that he’s going to be late in one movie scene, and Lara Jean can’t even bother to explain to Peter that she’s upset about his relationship with his ex without picking a fight. At this point, John Ambrose seems like an obvious choice considering Lara Jean and John Ambrose know how to actually communicate without picking a fight and throwing accusations at each other. 

Despite the beauty of the movie, its low quality plot makes audiences have little hope for the third movie. There are no pressing issues that push us to watch the third movie out of curiosity and the classic love triangle has already been played out. It seems that all the series can provide now is a montage of stylish outfits and angsty music.