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Cliched But A Perfect Valentine’s Day Watch

To All the Boys Always and Forever

Cast: Noah Centineo, Lana Condor

Director: Michael Fimognari

Three years ago, when Lara Jean’s (Lana Condor) sister Kitty sent out her secret love letters to her crushes, we all secretly wished to have a sibling like her. She did create a mess for Lara but it made her land up with the super charming Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo). Lara and Peter have been ‘couple goals’ since then and they continue to be in the final film of the trilogy—To All the Boys: Always and Forever. And watching Lara and Peter cuddling on a warm couch is what you exactly need in the month of love.

The third film begins with Lara having the time of her life with her sisters vacationing in different continents. She is also preparing for her last year in high-school and is busy building a fantasy world picturing what life with her family, friends and Peter will look like after graduation. But Lara’s imaginary world collapses when she learns to have been accepted to a college far away from Peter’s college. They’d soon be out of each other’s sight, which is horrible to even think about.

At the same time, Lara cannot help but be fantasised by the possibility of living in New York City. Here, we get our tipping point for part 3—Long Distance Relationships (LDR).

To All the Boys franchise has been repackaging the same old rom-com clichés in all the films and the final part is no different. The first film, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, lured the audience with the charm of first relationships and dreams of a happily-ever-after, whereas PS I Still Love You established Gen Z as confused about the concept of love as any other generation. It was about the tough parts of being in a real relationship and how to communicate through messy complications and deceits.

The final film Always and Forever serves the Internet generation. Like a conventional high school rom-com, it has a damsel in distress, a charmingly protective boyfriend, fears of separation and a flashy prom. Yet it manages to be refreshing and enjoyable. The sole credit for it goes to Lana Condor and Noah Centineo. They are so relatable that you cannot help but wonder how you’d react in their situation. Turns out, most of their chaotic and unplanned decisions are very doable when you’re a teenager.

At the heart of it — what holds the franchise together — is that the characters want the things we want: To love, be loved, and chase our dreams. Always and Forever aims to be playful but with greater consequences.

This time Lara comes around as the decisive force. She listens to herself, learns to trust her choices, and communicates those choices to Peter. A mature change we expect from somebody who stepping into the professional world.

With a blast of indie-pop score and a clever attempt at cinematography, To All the Boys franchise turns out to a fair adaptation of Jenny Han’s three-part novel. After the success of the first part, the second film did take a dip but the final outing covers for it.

Not to be too taken seriously, it’s a fun watch. The trilogy can be this generation’s Friends with Benefits or A Lot Like Love.

Rating: 3.5/5

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