• George

To All The Boys I Loved: PS I Still Love You Review

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

"There really was nothing going on in this film in any original way.

It felt generic and honestly, a little boring and bland."

This film was incredibly and overwhelmingly unexceptional. It was so completely mediocre that it was hard for me to review it, painful almost to try and find inspiration in such an uninspiring film. To All The Boys I Loved Before P.S I Still Love You is a new Netflix original and sequel following Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo). There really was nothing going on in this film in any original way. It felt generic and honestly, a little boring and bland. It doesn't even use the overdone tropes in an interesting way!! So little goes on that it was genuinely hard to find anything to write upon. The characters are horrifically unlikable, and Lara Jean should not have ended up with either contender for her heart. The emergence of John Ambrose (Jordan Fisher), her first love, back into her life twists her relationship with Peter and drives the plot of the film. If you want to watch an original, funny Valentine's Day film watch the original film and not this drivel.

This film admittedly does have some real laugh-out-loud moments like its predecessor, little sister Kitty (Anna Cathcart) has some hilarious one liners and I wish she could have been in every scene. Her character is one of the best and it is a real shame that her role in this film was reduced when compared to the last. The same can be said for Chris (Madeline Arthur), Lara's best friend, who only really featured in one scene. Their relationship provided balance and helped off-set Lara's screen time with her male cohorts. It was refreshing and I missed it, the lack of female to female dialogue is very noticeable with this sequel and stops Lara's character being explored to its full extent. Michael Fimognari (Director) adopts the same stylistic elements seen in the original such as, the beautiful symmetrical shots and fantastic soundtrack. The set design is likewise, clean and stylised with modern pieces of art on the wall and vibrant primary colours in every shot. The film is a pleasure to look at, but sadly the relationship between characters is really lacking. The way that the character's past is told is original but compared to the first film, it all seems less clean and falls flat.

Lana Condor is average as Lara Jean, and this pretty much sums up the overall acting prowess of the entire cast. The supporting actors and actresses are much better: Kitty offers many great comedic beats and Ross Butler (13 Reasons Why, Riverdale) has impeccable comedic timing. These two do a great deal of work to lift the film and infuse it with humour still elevating what is quite a depressing sequel to the original fun and sweet first film. Stormy (Holland Taylor) likewise, does a fabulous job as the pseudo-mother for Lara-Jean while she is working at the care home and the scenes she is in range from funny to touching. The supporting cast are fantastic, but the original and central actors are lacking, and the plot lines do too much to damage their characters. Peter is reduced to the stereotype of a jock, a player and even a cheat at points in this film; something that helps elevate the potential of John Ambrose who also likes Lara Jean. Her character plays with the two boys for the sake of establishing the overdone and boring love triangle trope. The relationships that were moving and fun are broken down and destroyed for the sake of this plot line and this leave no likeable figures to root for. They do awful things to each other and the director reflects this negativity backward, altering the audience’s perception of events in the first film for the worse. There is a rupturing of the good and funny leaving a disappointing resentment for the main characters and an inability to feel joy at the resolution of the film.

This film is exactly what you would expect, it is trashy but fun. A Netflix original geared completely toward Valentine's Day with mediocre acting and a generic storyline that is underwhelming and a disappointing follow up to the original and refreshing first film. Though moments had me laughing out loud, the plot just did not sit well with me. The original is much better. I would have left it as a stand-alone but if you need something to watch this 14th, I guess this sequel is not the worst film that you could watch.


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