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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

Should I Watch “To All the Boys 2: P.S. I Still Love You?”

What to expect from the sequel of popular Netflix romance, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.”

Fans of cheesy romance movies fell in love with goofy heartthrob Peter Kavinsky and overthinker Lara Jean in the Netflix exclusive “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” The recently released sequel, “To All the Boys 2: P.S. I Still Love You,” will leave you feeling the same way. 

If you have yet to watch the first movie, this is your chance to avoid spoilers (have you been living under a rock?) and get on it. 

The movie begins with a quick recap of the first installment so I won’t go too much into the plot here, but here’s what you need to know:

Homebody Lara Jean Covey (LJ) unexpectedly emerges in the high school social scene when her younger sister Kitty mails five love letters LJ wrote in elementary school. One of the recipients, Peter Kavinsky (the stereotypical popular-king-of-high-school-jock), pretends to date LJ so he can make his ex-girlfriend jealous. In return, she gets to avoid the drama of dealing with her sister’s ex-boyfriend (another love letter recipient) thinking she likes him. What starts off as a hoax turns into something real when the two realize that opposites really do attract. *Eye-roll.*

The ending of the first movie left viewers waiting to see how shy LJ and class-king Peter Kavinsky would navigate their new, real relationship. The answer is pretty well, for the first ten minutes. Things get complicated when sweet John Ambrose McClaren responds to yet another one of LJ’s prepubescent love letters. 

To be honest, the second movie is more cringey and lovey-dovey than the first—but once you realize that’s part of the charm, you’ll make it to the end. That being said, I think fans will love this movie for the same reasons as the original. Netflix does a great job of capturing the emotions of LJ’s character from Jenny Han’s book series. Many can relate to how it feels to compare themselves to others in high school, as we see with LJ and Gen. We also get to experience the excitement mixed with self-doubt that can come with any new relationship.

When viewers get to know John Ambrose McClaren, we’re gonna get to see some “Team Peter” vs. “Team John Ambrose” action. Some insist that LJ and McClaren should be together based on their similar interests and personalities, while others maintain that Peter and LJ have a perfect balance. I’ll leave that for you to decide. 

Like most romance movies, the plot doesn’t leave us stunned. However, the director Michael Fimognari makes this high school love story unique in today’s modern romance genre. The story is reminiscent of beloved 80s romance movies and gives us a nostalgic craving for the works of John Hughes. Fimognari even references “Sixteen Candles” in the first movie and Columbus’s “Adventures in Babysitting” this time around. 

The cinematography itself is bubbly and well-done, capturing the bright, colorful aesthetic of the crafty LJ’s personality. The movie spans from Korean New Year to the end of February, making it especially appropriate for this time of year. Something that should be appreciated about the series is the diverse cast and attention to detail it dedicates to capturing the Korean-American Covey family. 

You should definitely watch the sequel if you even remotely liked the first movie, because that means you already know if you fall into the category of fans of this type of cheesy, romantic cinema. It doesn’t have a riveting plot, but it manages to be sweet, relatable and unrealistic, just as all good rom-coms should. However, I must warn you, don’t be surprised if you find yourself dreaming of your own mushy relationship after watching.

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About the Contributor
Sahanya Bhaktaram, Former Life Copy Editor
Sahanya Bhaktaram ('23) is studying Communication Studies with minors in Business and the History of Art. She can be reached at [email protected].
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