‘To All The Boys: PS I Still Love You’ (2020) Review

In P.S. I Still Love You, the sequel to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo) are now an official item. Sparks certainly continue to fly, but Lara Jean finds she has trouble being the kind of girlfriend she thinks Peter wants. He’s still immensely popular, especially with the girls, and on top of that, Lara Jean can’t seem to get over thinking about how Peter shared all of his “firsts” with his ex-girlfriend Gen, who is also a former friend of Lara Jean’s. When she gets a response to the last recipient of her infamous love letters, Lara Jean reconnects with John Ambrose McLaren (Jordan Fisher), and the two grow close as they both volunteer at a local retirement village. Lara Jean begins to question if it’s possible to be in love with two people at once, and is Peter really the guy for her? Or is she better suited with John?

I’m not generally a fan of love triangles in YA fiction and movies. It feels like they’re almost a requirement in the genre, and at some point, it just feels like a lazy plot point. However, I didn’t really mind it in P.S. I Still Love You, the novel or the book, at least not in terms of Peter, Lara Jean, and John. The whole side drama with Gen was overdone and annoying in the book, but they really cut it back in the movie, which I appreciated. At least John Ambrose brought something to the table, some sense of real conflict, even if you knew deep down Lara Jean loved Peter, John Ambrose was definitely someone she could have ended up with. In terms of hobbies and the like, they are better suited for each other than Peter and Lara Jean, but we all know love doesn’t exactly care about silly things like compatibility. Although to be perfectly honest, while I enjoyed Fisher in the role, I found the character of John Ambrose to be a bit… dull? It was almost like he was the male equivalent of Lara Jean, except lacking the same kind of charm.

While P.S. I Still Love You was missing some of the charm and magic from the first movie, I still really loved seeing Peter and Lara Jean on screen again. Centineo was adorable, as was expected, and it’s really a shame he hadn’t been able to find a decent rom-com to star in since TATBILB. Yes, he has been in quite a few, but none of them come close to being as good as TATBILB, and those roles definitely lacked the likability and charisma of Peter Kavinsky. His chemistry with Lana Condor remained on point, and Condor did a great job at keeping Lara Jean sweet and likable, even as she questioned her feelings for both boys who were clearly crazy about her. She was relatable as a teenage girl trying to navigate her feelings, but she was also flawed and made mistakes, which is probably one of the reasons I’ve always enjoyed Lara Jean as a character.

The supporting players were great, although I missed seeing more of Lara Jean’s sisters. Kitty (Anna Cathcart) was a highlight in the first movie, and she has a few great lines in the sequel, but her presence definitely took a backseat to John Ambrose, and even Gen (Emilija Baranac). We got a bit more John Corbett (yay!) as Mr. Covey navigated his interest in their neighbor played by Sarayu Rao. I definitely enjoyed Noah Centineo small role as Stormy, a resident of the Belleview retirement village with whom Lara Jean becomes close. But I think Taylor is a joy in just about anything.

I know some of the side plots were a set up for the third and final movie in the trilogy, Always and Forever, Lara Jean, so I’m willing to overlook the fact that they felt a bit underdeveloped.

If you enjoyed To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, I think you’ll like P.S. I Still Love You. It doesn’t hold the same amount of swoon-worthy romance as the first film, and at times I felt like it was doing a bit of a disservice to Peter and Lara Jean’s relationship, but honestly, it shows what happens after the happily ever after, and sometimes love is not always a smooth road, even after you’ve found it.

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."