I was actually really nervous to watch this movie as I’d really enjoyed the first one and I was worried the sequel would not live up to it or worse ruin it.
I was especially nervous when I saw the trailer. Ever since Twilight there is nothing I hate more than love triangles. That whole saying from Pirates of the Caribbean is so true: if you loved the first one you wouldn’t have fallen for the second one. Or simply if you loved the first you wouldn’t cheat.
Still I really wanted to see it and lockdown happened and so I gave in and watched it whilst I was doing my hair. It didn’t meet my expectations in a good way.
One of the big criticisms of romantic comedies that Rebel Wilson tackled in her movie, Isn’t it Romantic, was that rom coms always give you that happily ever after moment of reconciliation but they never show you the after stages. We only ever see the beginnings but never the bumpy middles or the tremulous ends. The only movie I can think of where they show what happens after is Killers with Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher. (Killers is such a good movie one of my favourite rom com action movies).
So back to All the Boys, in this sequel we get to see how they deal with the after of finally getting together for real. Lara Jean is still awkward and she’s never been in a relationship before. We find her obsessing over how to be a good girlfriend™.
I wanted to shake her to relax but then I thought back to when I got my first boyfriend and legit it was like, “Now what? What does one do?” Luckily I wasn’t in my teens so I didn’t have to deal with most of the insecurities that come with being a teenager. Lara Jean does not have that luxury. Honestly it’s a good thing I never got to date as a teenager; I would have been a mess!
Then there’s the whole John Ambrose thing. Which I don’t get, does he live in the town next door. I thought he moved away. How is he suddenly casually back? Did I miss where they explained that?
Anyway I thought I would be annoyed by it but the way they tackled it made total sense. Just because you’re in love with someone doesn’t mean your eyes stop working or that you’ll never feel attraction again. You will so you must choose your partner every day.
In relation to the Jack Sparrow quote falling in love or cheating is different from finding someone else attractive. You can find someone attractive and that’s it.
Also Lara Jean’s and Peter’s communication skills are still just as bad as the previous movie. They don’t say how they feel or when they’re upset. I remember thinking they were a little passive aggressive. Even with how Peter dealt with John he was so passive aggressive.
So two passive aggressive people together and they’re upset… oi! Honestly I felt sorry for John because he pursued her thinking girl was single. Although he needs to learn how to read the room, especially at the tree house scene.
So throughout the movie Lara Jean had to remember why she was with Peter, to stop trying to be the perfect girlfriend™ and to get over the ghost of girlfriends past. They both had to learn to communicate and to say what they felt.
They also had to learn that relationships are up and down, you are very much going to hurt each other at some point. The important thing is what you do after and how you learn from your mistakes. I’m so glad there’s a movie that shows teens realistic romance.
And John learned it was too late to come and kindle a romance from middle school!!
I mean come on, who gets a letter from a middle school crush and decides, “Yes, I’m going to hit her up”. I mean it was ages ago and he moved away. I get being flattered but did he really just drop everything for Lara Jean? He didn’t have a girlfriend? He’s been single this whole time? I have questions, so many questions! I might just have to read the book at this point.
Oh and the other thing that I liked was the redemption of Gen. Although, to be honest, I was expecting more from that storyline. However at the end of the day it is nice that she got fleshed out and became more than just the female-antagonist-who-used-to-be-the-protagonists-best-friend-but-got-super-popular-and-ditched-her. As female friendships are multi-dimensional and evolve so it was nice that they finally got some peace.
Also this whole movie reminded me that they’re young. They’re still discovering who they are and what they want. Being in a relationship is no easy thing as an adult so of course it’s harder when you’re a teenager.
I felt that the movie took a realistic look into teen relationships, insecurities and friendships. They also gave them realistic resolutions.
Onto some light hearted topics, I liked the Dad romance storyline with Trina. That was so cute. He’s a widower after all so it was nice to see him even consider dating again.
Who is Trevor? Is it just me or he came out of nowhere. Did I forget him? And his relationship with Chris? I would actually like more on them, they’re interesting.
Another character I’d like to see get a good storyline is Lucas James. My man out here with zero romantic options and stuck watching his friends get some. I mean Lara Jean is right, he’ll probably have more options after school when he moves away to a bigger town but still, it’d be nice if he got something too. Also the actor, Trezzo Mahoro, is Rwandese!! I get so happy seeing my people out there representing.
So yeah those are my thoughts on the movie. It ended up being more introspective than I thought it would be. This film series is one of the better Netflix creations and I’d like to see more good stories like this.
I give it a four out of five.
What did you think?