By Scarlett Hatton
The 2018 Netflix hit To All of the Boys I’ve Loved Before left fans hungry for more. Its charming display of teen romance and relatable characters made the perfect rom-com for its huge audience. The movie was a film adaption of the first book of Jenny Han’s best-selling novels. Because there were more books in the series, fans of the story anticipated a sequel. To All of the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You was just that.
The film did a great job of staying true to its first movie. Rather than feeling like a sequel, it felt like a direct continuation of the love story of Laura Jean Covey [played by Lana Condor] and Peter Kavinsky [played by Noah Centineo] in the first film.
Covey continued to have her quirky, relatable personality that viewers loved so much. While her innocent nature continued throughout the sequel, she experienced character development similar to what is portrayed in the book. Covey was terrified to drive in the first movie; however, in the second, she eagerly offers to drive. While this is just a small example of her personal growth, it felt necessary to show that time had passed and she had matured.
The writers made a risky choice in pretending the end of the previous movie did not exist. At the end of the first movie, John Ambrose McClaren [played by Jordan Burtchett] met Covey at her door in the final seconds of the film. This seemed like it was supposed to foretell the beginning of the next movie. However, To All of the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You put it on as if that encounter never happened. Instead, Covey met McClaren [now played by Jordan Fisher] later in the movie because they both volunteered at Belleview retirement home. Not only did they rewrite the original plot but they also changed the actor. While some viewers were upset by this, ultimately, it was a good decision and did a better job of reflecting the book.
Fisher did a wonderful job playing his role as McClaren. He was one of the most likable characters throughout the film. McClaren was seen as shy and sensitive in the book, and Fisher portrayed that well. It is unlikely that anyone could have done better playing that role.
The movie took a lot of time setting up the plot. The film had unnecessary events such as Covey and Kavinsky’s first date that were simply time-fillers. The movie was definitely less eventful than the first, but that is common in most sequels.
The biggest issue with the movie was the absence of a crucial part of the book in which the group plays the game “Assassins.” Anyone who has read the series associates P.S. I Still Love You with this pivotal plot point. In the book, the “Assassins” game started in the treehouse. Players secretly drew the name of someone they had to tag out and the winner got a wish granted. The game led to alliances and conflict between the characters. Not only did the film leave this out, but the ending felt rushed and incomplete without it.
Ultimately, the movie did not do the book complete justice. However, on its own, the film is definitely enjoyable and worth watching. With production for the third movie already taking place, it is safe to say that To All of the Boys I’ve Loved Before fans have more than enough to feast on.