TATBILB 3 was a great ending to the franchise and satisfied the love story of Lara Jean and Peter

Katrina Viloria, Perspectives Editor

I would not consider myself a fan of the romantic genre, that is until I found the love story entitled “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” Also, I am a huge fan of book to movie adaptations if they are portrayed well. The first movie, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” did a phenomenal job capturing the essence of a novel to motion picture as it followed the original storyline while also adding more. Although, the second movie, “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” did not do so great because the plot was super messy that was difficult to enjoy. With that being said, a lot of questioning was in the air about the third and final movie. I was anticipating the release of “To All the Boys: Always and Forever” and it fulfilled my expectations last Friday.

The first thing I made note of was the soundtrack. I love the Asian representation, and while I do not listen to K-Pop, it was great to see the transition into that, especially since the first couple minutes of the movie take place in Seoul, South Korea, so how could they not supplement Asian music with Asian culture?

TATBILB 3 Soundtrack by Kat Viloria

In terms of the acting, I loved it from start to finish. Lara Jean, portrayed by Lana Condor, had a huge character development throughout the entire franchise and that shows through the acting. In the scene where Lara Jean and Peter break up, you can see and feel almost every emotion Lara Jean is facing, and she does not even express it through words. You see shock, anxiousness, anger, and sadness in the span of 30 seconds, which was amazing. Now for her co-star Noah Centineo, I am not a fan of his character, Peter Kavinsky. Although, it is almost as if hating on Peter is one of its strengths. Peter does something good, then he does something bad, then he does something good, and the cycle continues. I think being able to play a character that is not everyone’s type is a great skill to have, and Centineo really did that. As a part of the audience, I felt for different characters and sympathized with them as if they were my own. Lara Jean and Peter’s love dynamic really hit it off and at times, I found myself invested and continuously relating it to my life. 

The first movie was hands-down the best, so I was genuinely excited about the number of homages made in the final movie. Scenes like Gen and Lara Jean in the hallway talking about shoes or the “LJ & PK” blue heart had me jumping out of my seat and screaming excitement. It gave me so much nostalgia from the first movie and reminded me of how far their love story had drawn out.

What I did not like from start to finish was the way the plot was carried throughout the movie. I had a hard time finding what really was the conflict of the movie. Would it be about how Lara Jean keeps this secret of not getting into Stanford from Peter? No. Would it be that she chooses Berkeley? No. Would it be that she chooses New York University over Peter? No. Despite the slightly confusing plot, in the end, I love and support Lara Jean’s decision. I strongly value independence, and I am not saying that she should break up with Peter, but throughout the entire movie, she was hesitant about every single decision she made because of Peter. Thankfully, in the end, she followed her own dreams and aspirations which, to be honest, is reality. I think this movie did a great job portraying realism: High schoolers, like myself, are struggling to make big decisions that really impact their future.

Throughout the movie, I completely related to Lara Jean and her struggles. One thing that really ran deep to me was when Lara Jean was FaceTiming Peter when she was in Seoul. She talks about her feeling of disconnect from her mother’s roots. She did not understand Korean very well and just seemed off while wishing she had her mother beside her. In my case, both of my parents are Filipino, and as a first-generation Asian American, it is hard for me to fully understand my roots. I can not really speak the language well and when I visit the Philippines, I feel completely out of place. 

Overall, it is the acting that made it one of its biggest strengths for me. Even though Peter was constantly victimizing himself all the time and Lara Jean only thought about Peter, many other aspects made it a good experience to go through. I give this movie an eight out of 10 because it upheld many standards I had, but it did not really relate to the book which I was hoping for. Although, they still produced a great final movie to end the franchise, and I will definitely be going back to watch the whole thing over again.