To All The Boys I've Loved Forever (Rom-Com)
The final chapter in Lara Jean and Peter's love story might have been better suited to the episodic treatment, but it's still a sweet end to one of the streamer's best franchises. In the third and final entry in the teen-centric To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before rom-com trilogy, Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky’s relationship is tested when they discover that they’ll be attending different colleges, which throws a wrench into their long-term plans. The third installment revolved around the couple making college plans as graduation approached. Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky are back together for the long haul and planning to go to Stanford together until LJ finds out she has been rejected from the Northern California university. The news forces her to explore other options including going to UC Berkeley to be an hour out from Kavinsky or moving to New York to attend NYU, which she unexpectedly falls in love with.
The End Of All The Boys: Always And Forever
After much internal turmoil, Lara Jean makes the right decision for her personal future and decides to go to NYU. It’s not an easy decision for Peter to stomach at first, because it means the couple will be doing long distance instead of attending college together as they had intended. LJ and Peter are stepping on eggshells on Prom night, but she still feels obligated to initiate their first time having sex, feeling insecure that the couple had yet to take that step. Peter stops things to have a conversation with Lara Jean, that turns into an argument between them that ends with the two contemplating breaking up. Due to the couple’s turmoil, Peter skips out of being the wedding date on the special day of Lara Jean’s father. Later that night, LJ has a heart-to-heart with her sister, who shows her the first letter she ever wrote about Peter. The couple reconcile with a contract that calls back to the situation that started it all in 2018’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before when they decided to initiate a fake relationship so Peter can make his ex jealous. It serves as a reminder of the time they initially fell in love. The movie suggests that the couple do have sex together before going in different directions for college, with intentions to write love letters to one another during long distance.
Will Lara Jean And Peter Kavinsky Stay Together?
The ending of All The Boys is a hopeful one, but certainly leaves some questions unresolved, such as if the couple will actually stay together once they get settled into attending university and the college scene catches their eyes. The All The Boys movies really relies on the audience’s capacity to hold onto the hopeless romantic aspect of its storyline. Thematically, the idea of their relationship starting with love letters and it needing to stay together with love letters is the poetic conclusion that is as perfect of a conclusion the story could tell to keep the couple together by the end. Although To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before begins with five private letters that LJ’s sister sends out to the boys she had crushes on at different points in her life, Always and Forever is only about one boy, and that’s Noah Centineo’s Peter. The only decision Lara Jean has to make has to do with which vicinity she will continue her relationship with him. But, what about all the other boys in All The Boys?
There’s an interesting contrast in the film, too: Lara Jean has never felt more human than in this movie, but the film itself knows it can’t be a completely grounded drama – it still needs to scratch an itch for its rom-com-loving viewers. That explains its flawless, cinematic, picture-perfect vision of New York City, the kind of depiction that’s only seen in the movies. Lara Jean falls head over heels in love with NYC, hitting every major tourist attraction, attending a chic rooftop party, and inexplicably loading a pink couch onto the subway with friends.
The film’s strongest moments are, once again, some of its smallest. Without much of a dramatic arc, the movie is at its best when it homes in on the kinds of teenage decisions adults no longer think about. This being the final installment, it’s now or never for the couple to have sex, and the emotional heft our society puts on girls as they make that decision is authentically portrayed.
It's equally hard not to envy Lara Jean. For all her insecurities (of the regular kid variety), she's the kind of teenager who doesn't shy away from her own feelings, from owning them. In that way, she's a great role model for young girls unsure of whether to trust their gut.
To All the Boys: Always and Forever may not live up to the bar that the first movie set. But that's okay – it was a sweet cherry on top of the cake, and that's all it ever needed to be.
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