To all the movies that I’ve hated before: this was definitely one of them

March 12, 2020 — by Anouk Yeh and Apurva Chakravarthy

Recently, we went to Apurva’s house to watch the most anticipated movie for us this year — “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.” We found the newly released movie on Netflix and was ready to lose ourselves in the world of John Ambrose and Peter Kavinsky, the two major love interests in the movie. 

Let’s just say we were severely disappointed. 

The first movie, released in August 2018, begins with Lara Jean Covey’s little sister, Kitty Covey, mailing Lara Jean’s love letters, a.k.a., five private letters that Lara Jean had written to the boys she had liked in the past. 

Peter Kavinsky, the school jock and object of every girl’s affection, receives one of these letters. After an awkward conversation about this letter, Peter asks Lara Jean if she would pretend to be in a relationship with him to make his ex, Genevieve (who also happens to be Lara Jean’s ex-BFF) jealous. 

Thus, the story starts. After many fights and a super-romantic school ski trip, Lara Jean and Peter finally arrive at their happy ending. 

We were big fans of the first movie and wished for our very own Peter Kavinskys, so we were excited to watch the second movie.

The premise of the second movie starts when another recipient of the letters, John Ambrose, comes back to town and develops a strong connection with Lara Jean as they reminisce on their middle school days. While this is happening, Lara Jean and Peter start going through a rough patch, leaving Lara Jean torn between John and Peter.

While the plot itself could have been very interesting, the blatant change in personalities for Peter and Lara Jean, and the obvious cliches made the movie less than subpar. Between Lara Jean’s emotional cheating with John Ambrose, as she flirted with him and thought about him when Peter was not around, and Peter’s inability to accurately express his feelings for Lara Jean, we as watchers would have been perfectly fine with Lara Jean choosing John over Peter, or better yet, taking some time for herself to figure out what she truly wanted. 

To be able to analyze the disaster that is “P.S. I Still Love You,” we have to first look at the plot holes.

First off, in the first “To All the Boys I’ve Loved” movie, John Ambrose, the wholesome, Model UN loving middle schooler, was clearly Caucasian. When he made his debut on screen in the second movie, he was no longer white. In a statement to EW stating that the role of John Ambrose would be played by Jordan Fisher, who is African American, producer Matt Kaplan gave no indication as to why the change was made. Although in the big picture, John Ambrose’s change in race wasn’t a big deal, it still created some unecessary confusion for die-hard To “All the Boys I’ve Loved fans,” who were already familiar with Ambrose’s character. While diverse representation in movies is important, so is continuity. 

The second plot hole appears in Peter Kavinsky and Lara Jean’s personality changes. In the first movie, Kavinsky is the lovable, misunderstood jock who just wants to find real love. However, the second movie tries so hard to justify Lara Jean’s flirtatious nature with John Ambrose that they made Peter a horrible, insensitive boyfriend to Lara Jean. This was displayed multiple times, starting from the way Peter did not explain to Lara Jean why he was getting so close to Gen. Then, there was the obvious cliche when Stormy told Lara Jean that she needed to find a man who would write her songs, but Peter’s poem to her was stolen by Edgar Allen Poe. 

The whole movie was set up to make viewers love John Ambrose and hate Peter Kavinsky. In the first movie, Lara Jean was presented as an opinionated, albeit shy, girl who knew what she wanted. Yet, in the last five minutes of the movie, Lara Jean kissed John Ambrose and seemed to magically realize that Peter was the one for her. Yay, happy ending! But what’s good about a happy ending when there were absolutely no signs in the entire movie that showed the audience that Peter and Lara Jean were meant to be together?

Quite honestly, with the amount of development for LJ and John’s relationship, we are pretty sure that the writers meant to keep LJ and John together, read the book, and realized that in order to even remotely stay within the book’s premise they had to make Peter and LJ end up together.

While there were some good parts of the movie, as when Gen and Lara Jean finally make up, their horrible personality changes render the movie extremely hard to watch. We hope that in the third movie, they stick to the personalities of the characters and not make them out to be people they’re not. Verdict: 2.5 out of 5 Falcons.

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On March 27, members of the Air National Guard converted the Santa Clara County Convention Center to a temporary federal facility for about 250 coronavirus patients. The center is to house those who have tested positive for the virus, but don't require intensive in-hospital care. More information can be found through the local news. Photo courtesy of Randy Vazquez of the Bay Area News Group.

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