Teen Rom-Com Finale
I’ve been waiting patiently for the third movie to wrap up the To All the Boys film trio. It was so easy to fall in love with Lara Jean Song-Covey, played by Lana Condor, and Peter Kavinsky, portrayed by Noah Centineo. In the first two offerings, both actors won me over with their charming performances as teenagers who fall for each other while faking a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and as they surmounted romantic problems in To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.
In this third film, To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara must decide what college she will choose, one close to Peter or another that happens to be across the continent in New York. For full disclosure, I faced the same type of dilemma back in days of yore. So this situation rang a bell for me. My choice? The distant college. But I didn’t last long. I dropped out and flew home by Christmas because I missed my boyfriend so much. What will Lara Jean do?
Besides deciding about a college choice, Lara Jean worries that she and Peter don’t have a special song. Plus, she doesn’t think they “met cute.” After all, those two things are important for a romantic couple. But she shouldn’t be worried. Peter helps her solve these problems. And there’s no doubt about the strong chemistry between this delightful young lady and her perfect boyfriend.
Lara Jean is also involved in a trip to Korea in remembrance of her mother, who passed away years ago, plus planning a wedding for her widowed father (the great John Corbett). And Peter has issues with his own dad (Henry Thomas), who deserted him when he was a young child. Also, Lara’s sisters (Janel Parrish and Anna Cathcart) as well as her friend Chris (Madeleine Arthur) help keep things lively. And, of course, there’s the prom!
Michael Fimognari, cinematographer for the first Lara Jean movie, served as director for the second and third To All the Boys films (based on Jenny Han’s popular novel). He seems to like colors that pop out as well as a faster pace than Susan Johnson, the first director. I admit to preferring the slower presentation because it allows us more time to appreciate the diverse characters in the first of these three films.
Time to rhyme.
Lara and Peter in love now.
They’re a real couple, not a faux.
But college choice they soon must face.
Can their feelings stand miles of space?
We like to see them together
and hope their problems they weather.
Two actors have these roles down pat.
They still charm us. How great is that!
The last of this rom-com franchise
will please teen fans, but no surprise.
The first two films should not be missed.
But this third one? Not on that list.
Frantic pacing and too much noise
tarnish the gold in this last “Boys.”
Yet tender love scenes make us smile
and entertain us for a while.
(Released by Netflx and rated “TV-14” by MPAA.)