"To All The Boys: Always and Forever" Review--Netflix Finishes Out Teen Romance Trilogy
By Hayley Rea--Eagle Assistant Editor
Netflix signified the end of an era for teen romance fans this month as they released the third and final movie in the To All The Boys series on February 12.
To All The Boys: Always and Forever carries on the love story of high school students Lara Jean Song Covey and Peter Kavinsky. In the final movie, the two are preparing to graduate and move on to college.
The film starts out with Lara Jean and her family taking a vacation to Seoul, South Korea. The trip serves as a connection for Lara Jean to her maternal heritage, allowing her to feel close to her mother since her passing.
After the excitement of the day’s events, Lara Jean FaceTimes her boyfriend, Peter. The conversation bounces around, from vacations to school, finally landing them on the topic of college.
Peter and Lara Jean plan to attend Stanford University together in the fall. Depending on Lara Jean’s acceptance, that is.
After hanging up, Lara Jean finds herself checking her status on Stanford’s website. The anticipation of it all consumes her thoughts, causing her to fall into a daydream of the perfect life with Peter after high school.
However, that dream came crashing down sooner than Lara Jean would’ve liked.
Returning home from South Korea, she soon finds out that her acceptance to Stanford was denied, causing all her previous daydreams to unravel. But instead of telling Peter the sad news, she mistakenly sends him a text meant for her sister, continuing the false fantasy.
The hope of being together at Stanford continues for Peter until their senior trip to New York City. While on a date in a cafe, Lara Jean decides to break the news.
Despite Lara Jean’s previous worries, Peter isn’t angry, and instead helps her come up with a new college plan to transfer to Stanford.
With the new plan in place, the two continue enjoying their trip, exploring the city and experiencing new things.
However, among those new experiences is a view of New York University, which turns plans upside down yet again for Lara Jean.
Upon their return home, Lara Jean warily discusses her newfound interest in NYU with Peter, causing more confusion and uncertainty.
Peter and Lara Jean decide to enjoy what time they have left in high school with prom and their other senior activities, but college plans still loom over their heads.
Following a fight that causes a near breakup for the two teenagers, Peter realizes the unimportance of set college plans and sets up a romantic reunion for the two of them. This allows them to finally talk about everything they’ve been feeling about college and come to terms with their separate paths.
Despite their hardships, the two vow to stay together through long distance, ending the movie on a sweet note.
As movie series finales go, Always and Forever is definitely one for the books. It wrapped up the entirety of the series beautifully, creating the perfect ending for Peter and Lara Jean.
However, when it comes to the comparison of book to movie, the Always and Forever movie version is slightly lacking.
One of the main differences between the book and movie adaptations is the college interests. In the book, Lara Jean had planned on attending the University of Virginia, which I felt made the book plot more personal and closer to our own hometown.
By switching the college interests, I felt it took away from the small town view that book author, Jenny Han, had in mind.
As with any romance movie, you’re going to see ups and downs in a relationship. But with Lara Jean and Peter, there has been a lot of controversy about whether or not their seemingly never ending roller coaster of emotions constituted a healthy relationship.
Personally, I feel the eventual communication between the two signified their growth as a couple. Although they had some reservations and difficulties in healthy communication, they worked together to build their trust with one another.
Overall, the movie did a wonderful job of completing the trilogy despite the differences presented. I enjoyed watching Always and Forever and laughing and crying along with every twist and turn.