Coronavirus closure: Movies worth watching

Netflix sequel leaves viewers heart-warmed


Official Netflix trailer

Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky participate in a local lantern festival.

Imagine that your little sister mails out five love letters that you wrote to the people that you’ve ever had feelings for. One of them approaches you after receiving it and decides to pretend to date you in order to make their ex and your actual crush jealous. It eventually turns into a real relationship.

If you thought that sounded interesting, then you’ll be thrilled to hear that it has a sequel. “To All the Boys: P.S, I Still Love You,” is your classic high-school romance movie with a twist.

This movie was based on the original book written by Jenny Han and fans of the book series were not disappointed. This movie captures the beauty and somewhat cheesiness of high-school relationships with loveable characters such as Lara Jean and John Ambrose that were included in the books.

To watch this sequel, it’s almost imperative that you watch the first movie which is described earlier.

A short summary of this sequel is that another one of the recipients of the five letters responds, John Ambrose, while Lara Jean is dating Peter Kavinsky, another person who received a letter. Lara Jean catches feelings for him and must battle between the feelings she feels for both of them. To add more drama, Peter and John were childhood best friends.

One device that I especially liked about this movie was the use of flashbacks and the visualization of Lara Jean’s internal thoughts. They cast younger children for the flashback scenes that looked very similar to the present versions of the characters. 

The voice-over scenes were shot in slow-motion and it was made clear that they were used to depict the voice inside of Lara Jean’s head. Whenever Lara Jean thought about someone saying something in her head, the actor would also show up and say it as if they were actually there. It was clearly evident whenever Lara Jean was thinking versus what was actually happening.

Compared to the first movie in this trilogy, the sequel fell short in a few areas. There were some questionable things about some of the characters that were revealed as true in the second movie. However, Lara Jean ignored these things and that bothered me.

Sophomore Alena Murdakhaev watched this movie and agrees that the sequel could’ve been better. “It was alright, but it wasn’t as realistic as the first one,” she said.

There were also characters that were completely cut out or mentioned very little. For example, Josh received a letter and he also happened to be their neighbor. He had a very significant part in the first movie, but he was neither shown nor even mentioned in the second movie. 

Margo, Lara Jean’s older sister, was also a relevant part of the first movie. She and Lara Jean would often video call, but in the sequel, Margo was mentioned once in the beginning and that’s it. I expected to hear from her more often because of how close Lara Jean and she were shown in the first movie.

Another element to criticize about this movie were some of the scenes. The writers of this movie were trying to capture the reality of high-school relationships, but some of the scenes were just cringy. There were a few scenes where you had to look away from the screen due to second-hand embarrassment. 

This could probably be because of the lack of chemistry between the characters. The acting of all of the leads seemed very forced and it made the movie seem unrealistic. Sophomore Olga Murdakhaev said, “Honestly, I would just recast it because there was no chemistry between the actors and it just didn’t work well.”

However, this movie had many nice plot-related elements despite some of the awkward scenes. I especially liked the characters that this movie featured. Character’s that I specifically enjoyed were the characters used for comic relief: Kitty, Lara Jean’s younger sister, and Stormi who’s a senior citizen that Lara Jean volunteers for. 1s

Topics that were highlighted in this movie included heartbreak, coping after a family member’s death, and the struggles of having a sibling leave for college in another country. I found all of these very important and useful for the viewers. There was also a scene where the severity of global warming was talked about which I find very important.

Another concept that I look for in movies is how well they’re actually filmed. I believe that this movie used really pretty locations to film. For example, there’s a scene at the carnival and the colors were very bright.

Sometimes in movies, the filming is very shaky or not dynamic enough to keep the viewer interested. To All the Boys was filmed beautifully and kept me pretty engaged throughout the movie.

Something that isn’t plot-related that I look for in movies is the type of music that they have. This movie featured songs by a girl group called BlackPink and a solo singer by the name of Ashe. It appealed to many groups of people.

Ashe’s song “The Moral of the Story” went viral shortly after the movie was released. She gained a lot of recognition that she deserved.

This movie is also very accessible: It’s available on Netflix. I’d rate this movie a 3/5 love letters, so if you ever have downtime and are in the mood for a cheesy high-school romance story, then this movie is for you!


To All The Boys: P.S I Still Love You

101 Minutes

Actors: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Jordan Fisher

Director: Michael Fimognari

Producer: Overbrook Entertainment

Rating: TV-14 for profanity

Genre: Romance

Fun Fact: Thousands of people sent in audition tapes to try and get the role of John Ambrose. However, they casted Jordan Fisher at the last moment.

6.1/10 on IMDB

3/5 Love Letters