To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You hit Netflix on Feb. 12, just in time for a Valentine’s Day movie night. The film series originates from the bestselling novels written by Asian-American author Jenny Han.
The movie follows the loveable Lara Jean Covey, played by Lana Condor, and her relationship with Peter Kavinsky, played by Noah Centineo. Everything begins to fall apart when Lara Jean gets a letter back from John Ambrose, her old crush from Model UN. In To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Kitty, Lara Jean’s younger sister, sent out LJ’s five love letters to her past crushes. Lara Jean previously thought that John Ambrose’s letter became lost in the mail because she did not receive a fast reply. As the pair rekindle their old friendship, Lara Jean falls deeper into her insecurities and begins doubting how much she cares for Peter. However, with a couple of surprising plot twists, Lara Jean works on her insecurities and eventually ends up with the boy that she loves.
This hilarious romantic comedy follows a healthy teenage relationship, which is not often showcased in movies. Lara Jean and Peter treat each other as equals; with clear communication, they work as a team. The couple has difficult conversations about topics like consensual sex, showing the teenage audience they appeal to that it is crucial to be upfront and clear about your boundaries in a relationship, even when it is challenging to do so.
Another vital part of this film is its representation of groups and ideas that are important to have in our society. The movie advocates for women by displaying them in positions of power. Lara Jean’s control in her relationship and portrayal as more than a pretty face showcase the movie’s subtle feminism. It also promotes women supporting women, as Lara Jean reconnects with her ex-best friend, with whom she previously feuded. As a protagonist, Lara Jean sets a positive example as a mature and rational teenager who thinks before she acts.
This movie also provides prominent representation for Asian-Americans, something that is uncommon within mainstream media. With an Asian-American female protagonist, To All The Boys showcases how the Covey girls balance their cultural heritage and nationality, something that many people of color struggle within America. When Condor found out she was auditioning for an Asian-American love interest, she said, “I was completely, totally shocked. I never, ever get — at least for rom-coms — I’ve never gotten something that specifically says they want an Asian-American actress. Sometimes they’ll say ‘open to all ethnicities.’ But when they say open to all ethnicities, sometimes I feel that they are just covering their bases, so they don’t get in trouble with excluding anyone. So, I was beyond thrilled. And when I saw it specifically said Asian American, that’s when I was like, ‘I have to have this.’” To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You is a beautiful sequel that is as good as the original movie. The film promotes important societal values and ideas, making it worth the watch.
(Sources: Teen Vogue)
(Photo Credits: TNS)