It’s always difficult when you develop a sequel to one of the greatest movies on Netflix. As a writer, director, and overall filmmaker, I’m sure they were anxious to release it to the public. Most sequels aren’t comparable to the original, and they were most likely aware of that.
However, Netflix distributors advertised this film so well and held viewers on the edge of their seats for so long, that people were talking about it as if it were The Titanic. I also have to give credit to Noah Centineo (Peter Kavinsky), Jordan Fisher (John Ambrose McClaren), and Lana Condor (Lara Jean Covey) for teasing their fans with sneak peeks, behind the scenes pictures, and cozy content, up until the release date.
Before we dive into the film itself, I’d like to give a huge congratulations to Awesomeness Films for their high status in the film industry. Though they may not be as well known as Warner Brothers or Lionsgate, Awesomeness Films has proven to showcase original content. I remember reading Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver and falling in love with the book. When I saw that it was being turned into a movie, however, I was a bit skeptical.
I will admit that I was wrong about having doubts, because once Awesomeness Films released Before I Fall in theaters, it was so well executed, and I can honestly say the same about P.S I Still Love You.
Is it the same as the original? Absolutely not. Is it better than To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before? Absolutely not. I say this, because even though it’s a part of the same series, it begins with a new chapter in Lara Jean’s life, and it’s such a unique storyline.
Michael Fimognari, Director of Photography and Director of the film, is a brilliant filmmaker. The cinematography was well done, and I especially thought that the paper lantern scene was executed beautifully. Every angle had a purpose, and every beat provided a moment for the audience to react.
Moving onto the writing, since I’m a writer myself, I normally find myself critiquing dialogue, when reviewing any short/long form piece of content. However, I have absolutely no complaints towards screenwriters, J. Mills Goodloe, and Sofia Alvarez. Their writing was so precise, and it felt so poetic, yet naturalistic. The dialogue sent me through a whirlwind of emotions, and there were so many times where I caught myself yelling at the screen, pleading for Lara Jean to make a different decision. The writing hooked me in within the first few minutes, and the fact that it was able to do that proves just how incredibly talented these writers are.
Lana Condor and Noah Centineo were incredible in this film, because although they were portraying the same roles, they depicted them with a completely different personality. Lana had to play a more assertive role in this film, while Noah had to play a more reserved, innocent character.
Another character that did a marvelous job was Jordan Fisher. While Lana and Noah were already comfortable portraying their characters on the set of the same franchise, Jordan was thrown into a new set, new role, and new overall film family. He played the intelligent, newly confident, letter recipient, John Ambrose McClaren.
The only complaint that I have, in regards to the film, is that Kitty Covey is such an underrated character. The writers did a phenomenal job of bringing Kitty to life. She has a bubbly, yet sassy personality, and she has a mind of her own. The most important aspect about Kitty, however, is the fact that she’s the main catalyst in both the first film, as well as in To All The Boys: P.S I Still Love You. The writers gave Kitty a purpose, and yet, the only ones that the viewers seemed to focus on, were Lara Jean and Peter/John Ambrose. Ummm, hello. If it weren’t for Kitty Covey, Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky wouldn’t have ended up together in the first place.
Aside from that, a film is meant to extract you from your everyday life, and pull you away from the stresses that surround you. While men like John Ambrose and Peter Kavinsky are rare gems to find, I’m sure I speak for most female viewers, when I say that for the hour and a half that the film played on our screens, we all envisioned ourselves as Lara Jean Covey.
Overall, I’d rate this film as big of a success as the original To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. It was emotional, interesting, and contained clever cinematic techniques, as well as thoughtful dialogue, and spot on acting.
If you haven’t gotten the chance to watch it already, be sure to stream To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You on Netflix!