“Always and Forever” marks the end of the “To All the Boys” trilogy

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Udita Jonnala

Despite some flaws, “To All The Boys: Always and Forever” is a heartwarming end to the trilogy.

Tessa Galeazzi, Staff Writer

“To All The Boys: Always and Forever” was released on Netflix on Feb. 12, 2021, as the third and final movie within the series.

This film mainly follows the characters Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) through their senior year of high school as they try to understand how their relationship will work as they continue on to college. 

It opens on the Covey family traveling around Seoul, South Korea on a family vacation where they explore their late mother’s culture. However, Lara Jean becomes preoccupied with her pending application to Stanford, where Peter is attending on scholarship. Their dad, Dr. Covey (John Corbett) tells his daughters that he plans to propose to Trina (Sarayu Blue) who we were briefly introduced to in “To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.” 

The opening scenes set up the plot for the film while still incorporating elements like their trip to South Korea, which was something reflected on in the book series, but not so much the earlier films. The use of music in “To All The Boys: Always and Forever” from “To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” changed in a positive light. Originally, music was used in a way that originally seemed out of place in “P.S. I Still Love You.” However, I think it works much better in sequences like the opening scene, which instead incorporates the music in the form of a travel montage rather than a sudden change in style resembling a music video instead of a movie.

Lara and Peter’s relationship is tested when Lara Jean isn’t accepted into Stanford and debates whether she should go to a school in the Bay Area where she’s closer to Peter or NYU, where she visits on a trip to New York and quickly grows to love it. I appreciate that Lara’s misunderstanding with Peter about being accepted into Stanford didn’t last long into the movie. I would have dreaded watching the movie if they had chosen to draw out the conflict, instead they opt to follow the larger misunderstanding with another similar one with less stakes as the plot continues.

“To All The Boys: Always and Forever” is a cheesy and a feel-good end to the series.

This movie became more reliant on visualization and aesthetics as a way of storytelling. The opening scene is drawn out for us (literally) and they continuously feature many travel montages. This is both a downfall and a rising point as it shows how the school year progresses with significant color changes in scenes, but also brushes past character interactions with the amount of montages.

We briefly explore more of Peter’s character when his father tries to become a bigger part of his life, but he’s hesitant to open up to him, much to Lara Jean’s dismay. She wants him to build a relationship with his father again since she was never able to grow up with her mother. Peter doesn’t find their situations comparable and is frustrated by Lara Jean’s ignorance. This is a much smaller part of the story on screen compared to the books, which is understandable with plot points like the brief college misunderstanding at the beginning of the movie, Lara and Peter’s song and Gen and Lara’s friendship taking up most of the empty space surrounding the main plot.

Characters that were a part of the plot from the first movie like John Ambrose (Jordan Fisher) are completely abandoned and unheard of in this movie. However, I do appreciate that characters like Chris (Madeleine Arthur) and Lucas (Trezzo Mahoro) became a bigger part of the scenes in this movie. After all, they are Lara Jean’s friends and I think they have trouble expressing this through the movie series. I would have preferred that these characters had a larger role throughout the series, but at least it seems that they tried to make up for this in the final film.

The movie revolving around college makes it so the setting quickly changes from Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter and facing changes as they prepare to go to college, to NYU becoming the focus to the point where it felt like an advertisement mid-movie. While it seems like they were able to balance the conflict of relationships and college fairly well, it seemingly went out the window in some of these scenes before eventually getting back on track.

“To All The Boys: Always and Forever” is a cheesy and a feel-good end to the series. While the trilogy was kept together well compared to other series, there are still many flaws regarding the plot and changes from book to film that gloss over important topics. This movie allows its viewers to look back on Lara and Peter’s relationship and also encourages them to look forward to new memories.