An Honest Review Of 'To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You'

Whether you're on Team Peter or Team John Ambrose, there's so much to love about the sequel!
PHOTO: Netflix

The Long Plot Sans Spoilers

In To All The Boys I've Loved Before, high school student Lara Jean's (Lana Condor) secret love letters find their way to her crushes, turning her previously nonexistent love life upside down. Peter (Noah Centineo), one of the recipients, proposes that they pretend to be a couple to make his ex jealous. Lara Jean says yes to uncomplicate her relationship with her sister's ex, another recipient of her love letters. Their pretend relationship eventually becomes real and the movie ends with Peter and LJ kissing on the lacrosse field, so it should be all good…right?

Because you can't have a sequel without some ~drama~, P.S. I Still Love You finds them being all cute and sweet but also struggling with the past: Peter's post-breakup sitch with his ex and Lara Jean's new connection with John Ambrose (Jordan Fisher), one of the boys she loved before. There might be just two of them in the relationship ~officially~, but Peter and Lara Jean's emotional baggage has things feeling a bit too crowded for comfort.

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The Short, Honest Plot

To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You is a heartwarming letter to young love and to connections that last a lifetime.

The Actors And Where You Last Saw Them

Lana Condor as Lara Jean

Lana recently starred in the ensemble rom-com Summer Night and action-comedy series Deadly Class.

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Noah Centineo as Peter

In 2019, he starred in another Netflix movie, The Perfect Date, and reprised his character in The Fosters in the spin-off series Good Trouble.

Jordan Fisher as John Ambrose

The theater actor currently stars as the titular character in Dear Evan Hansen, and he played Mark in last year's Rent: Live TV musical.

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Did You Know?

  1. Though they're pitted against each other onscreen, Noah and Jordan are actually good friends IRL! They've been friends for eight years and this is their first time working together. Jordan also worked with Ross Butler, who plays Peter’s friend Trevor, in Teen Beach 2 in 2015.
  2. Lana knows she's living the dream as LJ with Peter and John Ambrose butting heads over her—and she loves every second of it. During filming, Noah and Jordan would stay in character for a bit after cameras stop rolling and it was super fun for all of them.
  3. John Ambrose was originally played in the first movie by another Jordan—Jordan Burtchett. He appeared in the end credits holding Lara Jean’s letter and some flowers he got for her. The actor admitted that it was "lame" to be replaced, but it seems to be all good for him. He said, "It's too bad, but great things will happen to them…and great things will happen to me." 
  4. Jenny Han, who wrote the book series that the films are based on, has another cameo in the sequel! Watch for the V-Day scene where she comforts a crying student in the cafeteria. In the first movie, she appeared as a chaperone at the school dance.
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What My Friend Thinks:

"The sequel did not break my heart! The candy colors, gorgeous cinematography, and on-point tunes are back, as are ALL THE FEELS. Peter K is as dashing as ever and the utterly charming John Ambrose is a worthy foe—I love that there's no clear right or wrong choice for beautiful Lara Jean." —Micah Sulit

What I Think:

Like the first movie, the sequel is a delight to watch, like digging into a golden brown cherry puff pastry or a peanut butter chocolate cupcake—both of which matter a great deal in the story. It just puts a smile on your face, right from the opening scene where Lara Jean tries on a flurry of outfits (all super cute!) for her first real date with Peter.

Her kilig cannot be contained (and neither can ours!)—after all, this is her first date ever. Peter takes her to a fancy restaurant, the kind that sets two forks for you just in case you drop one, he jokes. They write a wish on a lantern and send it to the sky, and promise to never break each other's hearts.

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But of course, that's one promise that no one can ever truly guarantee. Their present may be all about firsts and sweet gestures, but their past is putting a strain on their relationship. There's Peter's lingering connection with his ex, Gen (Emilija Baranac), who was Lara Jean's former best friend. There's the surprise that is John Ambrose, one of her love letter recipients who's just as kind and thoughtful as he was in middle school.

Comparison is the enemy of any relationship—while Lara Jean is head over heels for Peter, she can't help but think about all of his firsts with Gen. She can't help but think she'll never measure up. She can't help but think how easy it is with John Ambrose, a fellow Hufflepuff, book lover, and oldie at heart.

It's a testament to the story that even if the characters' white lies and impulsive decisions don't sit well with you, you can sympathize with the insecurities that lie beneath them. These are, after all, young hearts figuring things out for the first time—they're bound to make a few mistakes along the way.

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Major props to the cast, too, for bringing back the magic from the first movie and introducing something fresh and exciting at the same time. Jordan's charm and eloquence coupled with Lana and Noah's undeniable chemistry make these three a party you wouldn't want to miss.

Beyond the Team Peter vs. Team John Ambrose spectacle, there's so much to adore about the story. There's Lara Jean's relationship with Kitty (Anna Cathcart), the little sister who unleashed her love letters to the world. They may get on each other's nerves and pull on the other's hanbok tie, but they will always have each other's backs. (Their older sister, Margot, played by Janel Parrish, is still studying in Scotland and has very little screen time.)

There's the brewing romance between their dad (John Corbett) and neighbor Trina (Sarayu Blue), which the two sisters fully support. They invite her to a family tradition that may seem silly on the surface but is actually a very sweet tribute to their late mom.

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It's a joy to see the movie celebrate their Korean heritage from their mom's side: the hanbok or traditional dresses that Lara Jean and Kitty wear, the feast they have on Korean New Year, and of course, K-pop gold "Kill This Love" hyping up one scene.

Lara Jean also introduces the Korean concept of "jung," the lasting connection between two people no matter what happens. "Even when love turns to hate, you will always have tenderness in your heart for them." It's a beautiful concept that spins gold out of all the heartbreak and broken promises.

P.S. We need to give a shout-out to Lara Jean's feistiest wingwomen: Chris (Madeleine Arthur), her high school best friend who very smartly told her to be "1,000 percent sure that you know how to rev up your own engine before you let anyone under the hood," and Stormy (Holland Taylor), the ~madame~ whom Lara Jean befriended at the elderly center, who made her see the light: If you break a promise, you can always try your best to un-break it.

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I'd Recommend It To:

Everyone! There's something for everyone in the film, whether you're in love, heartbroken, or just not prioritizing romance at the moment. It's like hot chocolate on an uncharacteristically cold night in the city (TY, amihan season)—makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and brings on the sweetest dreams. P.S. Make sure to check out the soundtrack, which is just as full of cool stuff as the first one!

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