To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You is directed by Michael Fimognari and it is the second chapter in the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy which itself is based on a book trilogy. Now that Lara Jean and Peter are officially a couple, things should be going swell, right? Well not exactly as John Ambrose who had received one of the more intense letters, enters the picture unaware of Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship. The movie stars Lana Condor, Noah Centineo and Jordan Fisher.
Ah, It’s that time of year again, a time where big bouquets of roses are sold every five minutes and heart-shaped chocolates are enjoyed with a nice glass of wine, that is what happens during Valentine’s Day right? I wouldn’t know. My idea of spending this holiday is laying in bed watching Netflix and being consistently reminded just how single I am. “It’s fine though because I’m choosing this” I keep saying to myself so I can maybe believe it. It’s fine, really. “Jokes” aside, Netflix released the sequel to the hit To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, a movie which I was pleasantly surprised by so I was interested to see where they would take the story and having seen it now I can say that it did its job which was to entertain me for an hour and a half. Was it really necessary? Not really.
As someone who loves romance movies and has seen tons of them, P.S. I Still Love You‘s love triangle was a disappointing cliche which was resolved in the most unsatisfying way possible. There are two main problems. One of them being a different director, I immediately noticed that the movie felt off, it didn’t feel right, there was a sense of warmth and realism which was lacking and as a result, I didn’t really care for Lara Jean and Peter. The movie forces them on you in the first couple of minutes which were horribly executed. Tons of drone shots showing a car driving, music choices which don’t fit the scenes at all and an awkward line delivery from the main two leads which bleeds into the rest of the movie. It’s very weird, I know they’re great in these roles but sometimes they’ll say a line in with a deadpan delivery or they’ll over-act, it really took away from the movie for me. The second problem is John Ambrose’s character, while Fisher brings tons of charisma and is very charming, his character was just bland. He has no flaws whatsoever, there’s nothing that makes him interesting other than the fact that he is a perfect man, or rather the perfect choice for Lara Jean.
Since the movie rarely achieves the same tone and feel of the first movie, it makes this sequel not really necessary. I highly doubt that I will ever watch this movie again unless there’s someone with me who hasn’t seen it and they want to see it badly. All of this being said, is it as bad as say, The Kissing Booth or Tall Girl? No, in fact, they make this look like a masterpiece. It’s a fun Valentine’s Day movie to watch, it’s entertaining on the first watch, I don’t know whether it will retain that on repeat viewings though since you would know what’s going to happen. The cast is mostly fine, the problem is the director. I feel like under a different director this cast would shine but unfortunately, their performances are soulless at times and rarely do they get a chance to either show some genuine emotion which doesn’t feel forced. The only real standouts are Madelaine Arthur and Ross Butler who make a funny couple. Condor and Centineo have some great moments but my favourite moments have to revolve around Condor and Fisher, especially a scene where a rather emotional conversation is happening while Fisher plays the piano dramatically, it works really well.
To answer my question, can a rom-com sequel work? Yes, it can and while P.S. I Still Love You definitely had the potential but unfortunately it fell short with an unsuitable director, a love triangle which ends unfairly and our lead characters which while they have some great moments overall don’t justify the need for a sequel. Considering the third and final movie will be directed by Fimognari again, I think it’s safe to say that that’s a letter I’m not excited to open.