To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before:
Always and Forever Review
by M. Lowe
‘The film missed every opportunity to create even a crumb of drama. It felt like watching a feature length montage of its deleted scenes.’
Director: Michael Fimognari
Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo & Anna Cathcart
Synopsis: The third and final instalment of Netflix’s ‘To All The Boys’ series follows Lara-Jean and Peter as they navigate their relationship through college applications in their last year of high school.
Review: I was honestly a little conflicted about this movie, having enjoyed the first two. Was it an appropriate ending to the franchise? Yes. Did watching it fill me with excitement? Not in the slightest.
The reason I took issue with this movie was largely due to its lack of any, and all, conflict. It seems that I wasted nearly two hours of my life waiting for something (anything) to happen. To no avail. The film missed every opportunity to create even a crumb of drama. It felt like watching a feature length montage of its deleted scenes. Perhaps I should have expected this level of tedium from a title like Always and Forever: that’s pretty much how long I felt it lasted. And I’m shocked to say so, but by the halfway mark I was practically willing Lara-Jean and Peter (who I had once loved together) to break up, just to provide some action. If someone had told me beforehand that I would have to sit through Noah Centineo’s victory dancing more than once in a two-hour period I’m not sure that I would have even bothered watching.
I do understand – however – that for fans of the original trilogy, it must have been a satisfying and true-to-the-book adaptation. As can be said for the first two, the visuals of this movie were very aesthetically pleasing. The opening scene was particularly beautiful (set in Greem Café, Seoul) and I felt that the cartoonish style emulated Lara-Jean’s fairy-tale expectations of love. The saving grace of the film was probably Lara-Jean’s younger sister, Kitty, who had a love interest of her own this time around. I enjoyed her witty dialogue and sardonic attitude throughout: it acted as a refreshing contrast to Lara-Jean’s sweet nature. I also must admit that while the sheer volume of couple scenes was truly unbearable, there were individual moments that I did find cute. The performances of both Centineo and Condor each led me to believe that they were in fact a real couple in love.
I wouldn’t bring this film up in conversation, but fans of the books and viewers of the last two films will undoubtedly find Always and Forever a charming ending to the beloved series.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: Always and Forever is now available on Netflix and was rated 13+.