Romantic comedies have been everybody’s favourite for a long time. Simple, easy and real life like movies that can add a pinch of fantasy to it is all that that a romantic comedy needs. Netflix release To All the boys: P.S. I still love you directed by Michael Fimognari, the sequel to To all the boys I have loved before is of a high school teen romance and comedy genre. A film adaption of Jenny Han trilogy novel is what made Netflix have second most-streamed rom-com last year. Well, it is rightly so with the audience swooning over the Peter (Noah Centineo) and Laura Jean’s ordeal. This instalment journeys to the now official relationship of them.
The first instalment sees Lara Jean Covey” not so confident love interests. Chaos breaks when Kitty (Anna Cathcart) her younger sibling mails out 5 love letters that Lara Jean had written but never sent. Peter Kavinsky (one of the recipients of the letter) and Lara Jean start off with a mutually beneficial fake boyfriend-girlfriend thing. The relationship that started was an act to make Peter’s ex-girlfriend Gen (Lara’s ex-best friend) jealous and prove Josh- Maggot’s boyfriend/ neighbour/ recipient of Lara’s letter that Lara is finally over him. What they didn’t know was that the hearts has its own mind and it can’t stop loving, which obviously grooved a real romance between the two.
The second part apparently picks up from where its predecessor ends. A real date for Peter and Lara Jean, discovering ‘the normal’s’ people usually have in a relationship. The awaited entry of John Ambrose McClaren gives total wind to the perfect romantic tale. John’s character played by Jordon Fisher, is hard not to like. He is everything sweet and subtle. With a response to Lara’s letter and meeting her at the Belleview Retirement home as volunteers, he sets foot into Lara perfect life. What cooks now is a typical love triangle, but what comes as a shock is the uncertainty of Lara feelings for Peter. Although Peter is not given much screen space, but his love is simple. He loves Lara Jean ad he knows it. Whereas, Lara is shown in a continuous monologue, and her insecurities of being in her first relationship is what the film is all about.
The chemistry that the writers imagined between John and Lara was effectively brought on screen by the actors. The connection did seem likely and fresh. John’s silly flirting did sweep Lara heart in the movie, leaving her in the mayhem. In the second half of the movie, the breakup seems to be on the floor with a daft Lara jealous over Gen and her confused feelings for John. What brings the audience a sigh of relief is the ending, a typical rom-com style, where Lara kisses John at the ball and realises that it is Peter her heart will always want. With a setting of night lights, snow and a fast-beating heart, Lara and Peter finally confess their love and seal it with a kiss.
Director Fimognari in her debut, keeps alive most of the characters from the initial film with a few additions of John, Stormy and Trevor (Ross Butler). The director manages to convince the audience of Stormy’s (Holland Taylor) quirky behaviour and her importance in the film. What’s not surprising is Kitty, who conveniently portrays the role of being wise among the two and is really Lara’s saviour. In its adaption to the novel, this movie is a visual treat. From the couple’s date, the lanterns or the scene where Lara walks down the steps in her alluring blue dress leaves the audience with a mushy feeling. The director’s choice of pastel-coloured setting and including a bit of Korean culture thoroughly impacts the audience with its nuances. Thankfully, this high school is not shown as something with extreme drama, kids completely on their phone and obviously the cool lingo, which usually is the picture imagination of a high school these days.
A light-hearted cliché romance leaving butterflies in your stomach and music to your ears, this movie is all set to woo you more to the Peter Kavinksy’s fan club. The sure thing what the movie promises is Noah’s acting which is to the fullest, it will definitely remind you of the reasons, you are his fan. Lana too gives justice to her character with impeccable comic timing and having a perfect life but with a few imperfections.
Well they say, first love is always your true love which is why the first instalment might still be your favourite; nonetheless, this movie will surely make its room in your best romantic comedy lists.