Netflix’s romcom trilogy comes to an end as its heroine and narrator Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) awaits university acceptance letters, and she cannot wait to spend undergrad with dedicated boyfriend Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo). He has already been accepted into Stanford, so all seem set for a romantic prom and four years of study, but it’s not quite so simple. An unexpected rejection and fatefully-timed school trip throw Lara Jean’s plans up in the air. Will the high school lovebirds make it, or will this be the end of their journey?

As in most romcoms, the outcome is the least exciting yet most rewarding part, and the middle is filled by rote genre misunderstandings complicating the possibly forking path. Perhaps due to the centrality of Lara Jean’s perspective, the onus of the relationship’s longevity falls more on her shoulders than Peter’s, contriving the film’s most frustrating stumbling block. However, the film and its leading duo are aware of genre conventions and pitfalls while also playing all actions with heart-stopping sincerity. This commitment to form (even in its most on-the-nose references to and echoes of romance classics) combined with genuine feeling makes the stakes feel as they would in high school – high and overwhelming.

Both Condor and Centineo have grown since the trilogy’s first entry, with Condor especially inhabiting Lara Jean’s realisations and self-doubts with understated ease. The honesty underlying each reflection and interaction, aided by faithful characterisations developed over three equally earnest films, lends all relationships – friend, family, and romantic – a bittersweet urgency.

Like the rest of the trilogy, To All the Boys: Always and Forever knows that the biggest, scariest, and most rewarding parts of love are its smallest, most intimate declarations with no expectations of return. These moments are as sweet as Lara Jean’s cake batter cookies.



CAST: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Anna Cathcart, Janel Parrish

DIRECTOR: Michael Fimognari

WRITERS: Jenny Han (novel), Katie Lovejoy (screenplay)

SYNOPSIS: Lara Jean and Peter are planning to spend university together, but when an unexpected rejection and a school trip open new options, they must make choices about their relationship