Last Friday, Netflix dropped its third and final installment of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, based on Jenny Han’s trilogy published under the same name. Peter Kavinsky and Lara Jean Covey-two very prominent names if you ask any teenage girl around you. Driving all the way from romantic novels to a full-fledged Netflix movie, the characters have just relived their fame to a whole new level. But just as it came to an end, let’s gets back to reviewing the franchise, for the last time.
So I personally ship Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky, and honestly, who wouldn’t? I mean the kind of old-school romance that has been depicted in the movie is precious from the very beginning. But if you ask me how the movie ended, that’s not something you’ll be excited to see. The third movie was by far a little slow and stretched out the same topic for quite a long time. The movie wasn’t an actual depiction of the third book and had various changes in the plot, maybe because the chosen storyline suits better with the previous movies. It could have been more magical, but it stood nowhere if you compare it to the last two movies.
Let’s get you through the story of To All The Boys: Always And Forever. The movie opens up in Seoul, where we see Lara Jean and her family holidaying together and spending some quality time before Lara Jean gets busy with her senior year and gets into college. Since Lara Jean’s mother belonged to South Korea, the family has a soft corner for the place. Since the girls never got the chance to know their mother, they found it as a way to feel close to her.
Lara Jean is having the best time of her life-for she knows, once she gets to college, she’ll be missing out on all the fun things with her sisters and her father. Due to the time zone difference between the two places, Lara Jean and Peter have scheduled their time to video call each other. And before Peter sets out for his lacrosse practice, he makes sure he contacts Lara Jean, before she’s off to sleep.
The family has now accepted Trina, the neighbor completely. The girls are happy that their father has found love again. He never wanted to let her daughters grow in the shadow of some other woman. But now, as his daughters have grown up, he feels he can hold Trina’s hand, who equally loves his daughters. The family comes back home, and Peter has organized a welcome home setup for Lara Jean. While Dr.Covey spends some time with Trina and proposes to her for marriage, Lara and Peter are on their regular movie date back at home.
Peter has applied to Stanford and so has Lara Jean, and Peter has been accepted early on a sports scholarship. They plan on getting into college together so that they won’t have to get into a long-distance relationship, for they fear, if they get into different colleges, they won’t be able to maintain their relationship. They believe that distance and 4 years would hamper their love for each other as it does for other high school couples. But if they stay together, they’ll never have to say goodbye to each other. Lara Jean’s application has been pending and she wholeheartedly wishes to get into the same college. Little does she know, what life has already planned for her.
Dr. Covey and Trina break the news of their marriage and it enlightens Kitty and Lara Jean. They start having discussions about what dresses they’re gonna carry for being Trina’s bridesmaids, what cakes Lara Jean is going to bake and how will they decorate their lawn. But amidst all the excitement, a notification from the college regarding the selection pops up. Lara Jean stumbles on this news and gathers the courage to check about the admission status. But to her disappointment, she doesn’t get in. The mere thought of being away from Peter begins to bother her immensely and in a confusion, she messes up and sends the text to Peter, which was supposed to be sent to Margot. And now due to this utter misunderstanding, Peter thinks that Lara Jean has been selected.
Excited and happy Peter takes her to their favorite cafe and asks her out for prom. He begins planning for their college schedules, and seeing his glowy face, Lara Jean fails to clear the confusion. While everyone back at her home is aware of Lara Jean’s rejected application, Trina and Kitty try to cheer her up. And then, another notification from UC, Berkeley pops up. This time, Lara Jean asks Kitty to check it, and to their amazement, Lara Jean gets in. But, it’s not what she wanted. UC, Berkeley is just an hour away from Stanford and the thought of being able to meet Peter easily brings a smile to her face.
Lara Jean starts preparing for the Senior Trip and the students leave for New York City. The couple sneaks out from the hotel, they weren’t meant to leave without permission, and Peter takes Lara Jean to a beautiful bakery, which he feels would make her happy. While trying out cupcakes, Peter couldn’t hold his excitement regarding Lara Jean being with him all throughout graduation. But Lara Jean now feels, she needs to break the news. She clears the confusion regarding her selection, and Peter, although sad, takes it well. He tries to console her and cheers her by coming up with a new plan. He tells her that it’s just a matter of one year. After a year, she could get herself transferred to Stanford. The two leave all their worries aside.
The next day, the students leave in different groups to explore various parts of the city. Lara Jean and Peter, although in different groups, manage to keep in touch by sharing selfies and pictures of different locations. While Lara Jean and Christine are wandering around, they end up bumping into Genevieve, who has applied to New York University, and invites them to a party organized by the seniors in colleges. Although Lara Jean too had applied into college, she never imagined herself actually living here and liking it, but surprisingly, she falls in love with the place. And the best part being, we find LJ and Genevieve getting close to each other during the party, and Genevieve genuinely wanting LJ to join college with her.
She gets back home and lets Margot know that she is considering NYU as one of the college options for her, but it being 3000 miles away from Stanford is what stands in the way of her choice. Margot explains to her that she should not compromise her wishes and the kind of education she wants. She would be there in college for four years straight and whatever she chooses, should make her happy. Lara Jean tries to keep herself busy, so she could escape the thoughts in her head for atleast some time. While Peter and Lara Jean are spending some time together, having food and trying their hands at bowling, Peter’s father visits that place too with his family. He walks up to him, greets them, and invites them to join his family, to which, Peter bluntly declines.
We see Peter having an emotional breakdown yet again. We are used to seeing Peter all happy and joyful, and expressions like this are seen on his face very rarely. In the second movie, it was because he feared losing Lara Jean, and in the first, where he expressed the absence of his father to Lara Jean. It’s nice to see moments like these between the couple, where they stand by each other in every phase of each other’s lives, and Lara Jean doesn’t fail to do it. She convinces Peter to let go of whatever has happened between Mr. Kavinsky and him. If he is willing to make things right, he should give him atleast a chance.
Gradually, the show progresses, and we see Dr. Covey giving her life lessons, coated under sweet gestures. He tells her that relationships aren’t mean to hold you right. We two people aren’t able to grow, then maybe you’re holding each other two tight. If they’re meant to stay together, then the distance wouldn’t matter. So instead of choosing a college close to Peter, she should choose a place where she genuinely wants to go. And we believe his magic words work at Lara Jean. Just within a few minutes, she gets to know that she got into NYU and she actually considers going there.
Next up we see LJ and Christine getting ready for prom while Peter and Trevor wait for their respective dates downstairs. As the girls come in front of them, all dressed up, the two can’t help but lose their hearts, all over again. They head to the prom night, dance, and have fun, but amidst all, the night turns to be a bit uncomfortable for LJ. Peter is crowned as the Prom King and while he dealing with all the picture-taking sessions, LJ feels that maybe when they part ways, the attention would be totally taken away from her. We don’t know what will happen in the future, but at that point, Peter totally owned our hearts. Despite all the attention he was getting as the Prom King, he made sure that his girlfriend wasn’t sidelined and devoted enough time for her.
Eventually, LJ’s insecurities lead to a heated incident between the two. LJ has always believed in old-school love, but when she chose to sleep with Peter, which is ofcourse, out of her behavior, it made him uncomfortable. She also handed him a box full of letters and photographs, which again catered to his suspicion. Peter knew that the distance chosen by LJ would drive them apart, and by sleeping together and giving him memories, she is trying to give him closure and make up for it. Although LJ denies it, the mere thought of it hurts Peter. He says that instead of stretching the relationship that would hardly last a few months, it’s better to end it as soon as possible. That night, he breaks up with her leaves her house.
LJ is shattered, but she chooses to carry a smiling face for her family. Her dad and Trina get married and leave for their honeymoon. After a long party, when all the guests depart, the loneliness starts eating up LJ. But in no time Peter texts Kitty and asks her to send LJ in the lawn. And we witness a similar patch-up sequence, just like we saw in PS: I Still Love You, but with a sweeter twist. Peter writes a sweet note for her to read where he mentions their meet-cute, which LJ has no memory of. Peter has always been mature while handling his relationship with LJ and by the end of the story, he proves it yet again when he says, that if they’re meant to be together, then four years of college will never be strong enough to hamper their relationship. He comes up with a new contract where promises to be her side no matter. LJ too promises to hold on to him, and both of them spend the night together.
The film brings us to the epilogue, where LJ has reached her college hostel and is putting up her and Peter’s pictures. She’s saying to herself that even though high school couples break up in college, but they won’t. Because they are Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky-two people who are meant to be together, Always and Forever. We then see Peter driving himself to college, with all the sweet box of memories Lara Jean has packed for him, including the hatbox, that began their love story.
The third film brings us to the end of “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” world. The people who are actual fans of this franchise are bound to love this film because ofcourse, it has Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky. But for the ones who don’t follow the story, it might not turn out to be your kind of watch. But on a personal level, the film could have used the characters in a better way and used more subplots to it. Graduation isn’t just about getting away from your high school sweetheart. It’s more about moving away from your family, which according to LJ is a nightmare for her. We even feel that Peter was kind of sidelined from his own story at some point. But overall, the film is a sweet treat for all the people who follow the iconic couple. So don’t miss streaming it on Netflix and enjoying the last film of the franchise titled To All The Boys: Always and Forever.