Review: ‘To All the Boys: Always and Forever,’ a suitable sendoff to the beloved couple
The “To All the Boys” series has always worn its big heart on its sleeve, and the third and final entry (sob), “To All the Boys: Always and Forever,” continues to stay true to itself. Fans longing for the ending to the story of Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo) will find this treat just as satisfying as its heroine’s famous cookies, with equally balanced sweetness.
As Lara Jean and Peter approach their high school graduation, their plans to go to Stanford together are in jeopardy — as is their happy-ever-after ending. After a senior trip to New York City, Lara Jean falls hard for the town and NYU, and she’ll have to decide between her future and her relationship.
As in Jenny Han’s YA trilogy, giving Lara Jean and Peter’s story three films to evolve ensures that the story didn’t end when the couple got together in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” as most teen rom-coms do. Instead, the series allows Lara Jean to grow, emphasizing how important that evolution is for her and her relationships.
This bouncy third entry runs a little long, but it’s hard to hate spending time with these characters. “To All the Boys” has always developed the friends and family around Lara Jean with surprising depth, devoting itself to relationships beyond its central romance, whether it’s Lara Jean’s connections to her sisters (Janel Parrish and series MVP Anna Cathcart), her father (John Corbett) or her acerbic BFF Christine (Madeleine Arthur). Returning director Michael Fimognari and screenwriter Katie Lovejoy have made a love letter to all of these characters — not just Lara Jean and Peter — and audiences will find it hard not to be smitten too.
‘To All the Boys: Always and Forever’
Running time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Playing: Available Friday on Netflix
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