To All the Boys I Loved: Always and Forever Movie Review

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Netflix

Lana Condor plays Lara Jean in To All the Boys I Loved: Always and Forever

Karen Chen

To All the Boys I Loved: Always and Forever is the third and last movie in the To All the Boys I Loved Trilogy. The main character, Lara Jean is in her final year of high school, preparing to leave for college at Stanford with her boyfriend Peter Kravinsky. Unfortunately, she’s rejected from Stanford and decides to attend NYU, a university on the other side of the country. The two reflect on their own ambitions and the future of their relationship as their senior year ends. 

I watched the first and second movies in 2019 and To All the Boys I Loved: Always and Forever didn’t disappoint. It held the same cozy and heartwarming feeling of teenagers finding themselves and romance. 

Like most coming of age and rom-com movies, To All the Boys I Loved: Always and Forever was a lighthearted and heartwarming movie to watch. Although it followed a cliche plot-line, the cinematography and aesthetics of the movies made it entertaining to watch. Visually, the movie was bright and youthful, yet classy. The animated panels give a playful and journal-like feeling, while the blue tones with pops of muted pink and yellow added a pastel touch. From the title scene in Korea to the trip in New York, the usage of animated pops and collages mirrored a bullet journal or scrapbook. 

Equally important, the music helped tie together transitions from scene to scene. The inclusion of the current trends in music such as K-pop brought a familiar mood and tone. I even found myself noting down songs that I hadn’t heard before.

While this movie was definitely on the cliche side, I still resonated with a lot of its themes. Lara Jean’s transition to college and contemplation towards leaving home for her dream city has been something I’ve been thinking about as well. I think many students preparing for college at the moment have gone through a similar concern with choosing the right path. Lara’s glorified trip to New York played into my own dreams of moving there. 

Granted, the movie did feel less exciting due to its cliche storyline. Many of the conflicts such as deciding colleges and long-distance relationships were on the predictable side. However, predictability didn’t take away from the viewing experience. I think director Michael Fimognari did a great job of using visual and musical components to draw focus to the movie. 

However, I didn’t like Peter Kravinsky’s character. During Lara’s decision to go to NYU, it seemed like Peter was passive-aggressive with his opinions and disappointment towards Lara’s choices. It felt like he was acting immature and dismissive, but I could see how his background with his absent father brought upon worries for their relationship and created his own personal struggles. 

To All the Boys I Loved: Always and Forever has become one of my favorite feel-good movies. Its cheesy storyline made it easy to love. This is definitely one of those movies where I feel a sense of nostalgia even though I myself am still in high school.