The first To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was a nice little surprise when it came out last year. It wasn’t really what we expected when we all logged into our Netflix account to watch this romantic comedy. Instead of getting a movie that we would all forget and make fun of overtime, we got a film that actually was good. Yes, it did play into most of the young adult tropes that we are all very used to but the elevated cinematography for this type of film and a charming cast brought something refreshing and, quite frankly, unexpected. With all that and the success of the film, it wasn’t a surprise at all when a sequel was announced. Not only was one sequel was announced but the announcement came with the news that the third book of the series would also find it’s way to being adapted and on Netflix in the near future. But like any sequels, being able to recreate what had made it special could be hard, so the arrival of To All The Boys: PS I Still Love You was something that, while I was looking forward to it, I was also a bit scared. I had enjoyed the first film and really hope that I would find myself enjoying this one too.
It’s a relief that I can say that To All The Boys: PS I Still Love You (a mouthful of a title if you ask me) is good, maybe not as good as it’s predecessor but still a worthy successor. Continuing in the vein of the first one, PS I Still Love You doesn’t reinvent the genre of romantic comedy but instead plays to its strength. The cast continues to be charming and the welcoming addition of Jordan Fisher and Holland Taylor adds to its charm. This film rides a lot on its cast. Lana Condor continues to be charming and funny as Lara Jean and Noah Centineo continue to own our hearts as Peter Kavinsky. Every character feels more real this time around and by exploring their friendship and love through time and letting us learn more about them, we are able to like them more. It expands on the first film and it’s a good thing.
What PS I Still Love You does so well is that while most of the conflict of the film revolves around a love triangle, it’s really about Lara Jean finding the place to love herself and be okay with herself before she can be with someone else. This idea is represented well by exploring the fallout between Lara Jean and Gen. Because of the arrival of John Ambrose, the film is able to go into the past of the group, it’s something you don’t really know a lot about in the first film and by going into it, we are able to learn more, not only about everyone but also why things changed. It’s a good representation of growing up and the friends you make and lose along the way.
One thing that stood apart in the first film was its cinematography. Usually, films for young adults are very boring looking, never taking chances. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before didn’t do that, instead, it took chances and became a better film for it. This sequel continues with that. There were a few moments where I couldn’t help but love the decision of those in charge. There were a few moments where my film heart was so pleased with what this film was trying to accomplish. It isn’t perfect but it also keeps what the first film did going instead of simply copying it. It tries new things and some works, others don’t but you can’t help but admire them for at least trying to be a little bit different then what we are used to with this kind of film.
To All The Boys: PS I Still Love You won’t change the game, it even stays within it. But the fact remains that it is still as charming as ever. You can’t help but love what they are doing with this series and how it doesn’t simply try to be what you are used to. It’s a film that continues in the vein of its predecessor but also tries to do a little bit more. While I still maintain my opinion that the first one was a little bit better, I can’t help but be charmed by this one. PS I Still Love You won’t revolutionize the genre but it doesn’t need to because it shows that sometimes you can work within the confine of it and still be excellent.