• Sara

NYU or Berkeley? Lara Jean, Choose!

*This is a movie review, so it does contain significant spoilers! It may not make sense if you haven't watched all three movies. I'd suggest watching at least To All the Boys: Always and Forever before reading ahead.

Lara Jean and Peter at a bowling alley. Image Credit: Netflix / CC-BY


Senior Year Questions

Always & Forever, the final piece of the To all the Boys movie trilogy. The movie focuses on Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky in their senior year of high school, where she “considers her college plans -- with and without Peter.”


Pre-movie Predictions

Once the announcement that the third movie was going to be released, fans began brainstorming on possible turns the film could take. The trailer revealed that Peter was awarded a scholarship to Stanford University, and Lara Jean anticipated her acceptance to Stanford. However, the trailer ended with Lara Jean saying, "I didn't get in.." which hinted that she would not be attending Stanford with Peter. Another thing to note is that Peter said, "You know what 3000 miles would do to us." which suggested that they would be going to schools that are not near each other.


This sprouted a couple ideas:

  1. Lara Jean somehow manages to attend Stanford in the end.

  2. Peter switches to Lara Jean's university.

  3. Lara Jean ends up attending a university close(r) to Stanford.

  4. Peter attends a university close(r) to Lara Jean's.

  5. They stay together but end up going to separate schools.

  6. They break up and go their separate ways.


Interestingly, the movie was able to cover a couple of these predictions at the same time..kinda. Some of these were good, and some were not; but of course, that was expected.


The Good

The movie was good, but what exactly made it that way?


Well, for starters, the entire aesthetic from the wardrobe to the sets just clicked. Everything looked like it was in place, and it just made you happy to look at it. Personally, I really love it when movies have this aspect. It only adds to the full experience and makes it look more appealing.


Another thing I really loved was how the movie ended. Lara Jean looked at what she wanted first. Attending NYU instead of Berkley, despite the 'consequences' that could come with it. The entire concept the movie was using was Lara Jean and Peter worrying that they'll end up breaking up because they would be going to separate universities. This must-have put some sort of pressure on Lara Jean's character since she's known to be an overthinker from previous scenes and movies. Still, she had her mind set on living out her future and what's best for her.


An extra aspect to consider is the music. Both the background music and the pieces focused on were incredibly well put. In hindsight, the movie featured songs such as "Beginning Middle End" by Leah Noble, "I Like Me Better" by Lauv and "Pretty Savage" by BLACKPINK. All these songs fit the respective scenes they were played in, and the execution was flawless.


Special Mentions:


  • The Korea trip.

  • Mentions of Lara Jean’s mother.

  • Kitty and Dae were having their own little rom-com.

  • Gen and Lara Jean are friends again (continuation of TATB 2).

  • Gen and Crissy and friendly with one another.

  • Trina was portrayed as a mother figure for the Covey sisters.


Overall, the movie has its fair share of good viewpoints!


The Bad

To start off, the movie was too predictable. Just by one of the earliest scenes (the pancake scene), you'd be able to tell that Lara Jean and Peter will definitely break up. The only aspect of the movie that actually surprised me was the New York cafe scene. I thought they would break up then and there, but they didn't..however, they did later on.


I honestly don't understand the point of Lara Jean and Peter breaking up twice and still getting back together. This entire narrative was basically reused from the second movie. Plus, the whole scene looked excessively fake. One second they're okay, and the next, they're broken up; it just doesn't work. In fact, the break up could have been wholly avoided since it would've shown that they were 'stronger' than before; instead, it was used again as a predictable plot twist.


Moving on, the NYU party scene (not as a whole, but with the one-on-one setting with Heather (NYU senior)) was so unnecessary. It actually felt like a really 'fake' encounter. The only thing they discussed was how Heather fell in love with New York; hence, she had to leave her lover behind. It looked like a fabricated scene to sprout this idea into Lara Jean and the viewer's head.


Other than that, the movie was quite enjoyable!


Worth a Watch

To All the Boys: Always and Forever tells a beautifully executed story and gives Lara Jean and Peter a satisfying ending. The movie had its ups and downs, but I'd still say it was a fabulous movie!


Final Rating: 8.5/10


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