It’s easy to fall in love with “To All the Boys: Always and Forever”

The third installment of the “To All the Boys” films inspires with honesty and heart

Glynnis Bastas, Arts & Culture Writer

One of the newest romance movies Netflix has to offer is the third installment of “To All the Boys: Always and Forever.” The first movie, “To All The Boys I Loved Before,” is about high school student Lara Jean Covey and her  letters to the five boys that she loves. When her sister Kitty leaks all the letters, Lara’s life is flipped upside down, and she pretends to date Peter Kavinsky, one of the boys she wrote to, and they both unexpectedly fall in love. The second movie follows Peter and Lara Jean reuniting with their childhood best friend, John Ambrose. Lara is torn between John Ambrose and Peter; she is conflicted about whether or not Peter is the right guy for her. Lara ultimately chooses Peter, and they lived happily ever after…or so we thought.

In the third and final movie, Lara Jean, her sisters and her father go on vacation to South Korea. Her father is also getting remarried to his longtime girlfriend Trina. Lara is planning on getting into Stanford and going to college with Peter. A wrench is thrown into these plans when she gets turned down from Stanford and instead gets into Berkley. This is further complicated when, later on, Lara goes on a school field trip to New York and falls in love with the city, and is now tempted to attend NYU. Her indecision builds tension throughout the movie as she navigates through different scenarios for her future.

What I didn’t like about this movie was its similarities to Netflix’s original “The Kissing Booth”: the college plot line and the struggles of fake breakups seemed to overpower the theme of the movie. I also don’t like how the characters are the stereotypical top of their class jocks, and how the girl can’t get over the boy. 

There were, however, some positive aspects. Actress Anna Cathcart’s portrayal of Kitty, Lara Jean’s younger sister, was fun and refreshing. She finds love in South Korea, has a fiery personality and is kind of like Lara’s guardian angel. Kitty played a pivotal role in Lara Jean and Peter getting together. She always looks out for her sister, even if it means going against her wishes to help her make the right decision. Kitty is my favorite character, and I relate to her on many levels, including being very tomboyish, acting as the “mom” of my friend groups, looking out for her family and having a stubborn streak. 

Lara Jean’s dad’s wedding was also a moment that pulled on the heartstrings. He was so happy dating Trina, and I’m glad the writers decided to give him a chance at love.

The ending, without spoiling too much, definitely gives a sense of hope and shows viewers that the future holds so much more than this moment in time. NYU is my dream school, and being able to see the city and the campus through Lara Jean’s eyes truly made my heart happy, and it made me fall in love with the city even more. That is my favorite part of movies: when you realize how much you relate to the characters and their stories. It’s the part when you realize that everything is going to be okay. While I know that this is just a temporary euphoria, it made me feel unstoppable in the moment.

So the real question is, do I recommend this movie? Yes, I do; even though some of the parts may have been dragged out and the storyline was pretty cliche, I still believe that it was a heartfelt and romantic movie. Though I am not one to watch romance movies, and I was not planning on watching this movie, I am glad I did. The movie is a symbol of hope and a reminder of the importance of adapting to change. Lara Jean learned to make decisions for herself, and not to keep making decisions in her life based on what other people wanted her to do, as we all should.