To All the Boys: Always and Forever Review

A review of the third and final installment in Netflix’s To All the Boys series


Photo courtesy of Ganice on Wikimedia Commons

The long awaited third installment of Netflix’s extremely popular teen romantic comedy series, To All the Boys, is finally out. The finale, titled To All the Boys: Always and Forever, premiered on the streaming platform in mid-February. The movie is a sequel to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, based on the book series by Jenny Han. While the first movie gained a cult following rather quickly following its release, its predecessor was a big miss in comparison. For that reason, the announcement of the third and final movie exactly a year after the second was even more highly anticipated.

To All the Boys: Always and Forever follows Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) and her boyfriend, Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), through their senior year of high school. Lara Jean is hoping to attend Stanford University where Peter has already been recruited to play Lacrosse. The couple’s seemingly perfect plan to attend college, however, is completely smashed when Lara Jean learns that she has been rejected by Stanford. The film focuses on Lara Jeans struggle to decide where to attend college, knowing that it will no longer be with Peter. She finds herself excited to enroll at UC Berkeley due to its proximity to Stanford and is reassured by Peter that she can transfer after her freshman year. Just as Lara Jean comes to terms with this, a school trip to New York and an acceptance to New York University makes things much more complicated.

As with the first two movies, the third movie in the To All the Boys franchise highlighted the adorable relationship between Lara Jean and Peter. Condor and Centineo have great on-screen chemistry, especially after three movies, which is arguably what has truly made the series such a hit. The movie definitely did a great job of showcasing the struggle of high school seniors when it comes to college decisions and how difficult it can be to not only be rejected but to ultimately decide where to go. 

Though the finale did a good job at finishing out the series in a way that was both realistic for the characters and satisfying for the viewers, the movie still lacked a connection to the first two movies. Though several references were made to the first two movies, the entire premise of the series seems to have been forgotten. There was really no connection to Lara Jean’s secret love letters, which was the driving plot of the To All the Boys franchise in the first place. While the development of Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship was nice to see, especially after the uneventful plot of the second movie, it didn’t necessarily have the same feel as the rest of the series. Rather, it felt like it could have been its own, standalone movie about a high school couple about to go to college. 

As with many sequels, it is often difficult to live up to the originals, especially when it is as popular as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Fans of the series will definitely enjoy seeing Lara Jean and Peter one last time along with the rest of the cast who have remained rather consistent over the course of the three movies. It would have been nice, however, for Lara Jean’s letter to play a more significant role in this movie. Even just a nod to previous characters like Josh or John Ambrose who were both absent from the third film could have brought the whole thing together to wrap up the franchise.