To All The Boys 2 Review: We still love Lara Jean & Peter Kavinsky but where's the magic and chemistry?

Is the "ever after" always happy? Not if you are trying to have an old school love story in the millennial age. And To All The Boys I've Loved Before P.S. I Still Love You depicts it with a layer of sugar coat.
To All The Boys 2 Review: We still love Lara Jean & Peter Kavinsky but where's the magic and chemistry?To All The Boys 2 Review: We still love Lara Jean & Peter Kavinsky but where's the magic and chemistry?
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Movie Name: To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You Cast: Noah Centineo, Lana Condor, Jordan Fisher and Holland Taylor 
To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You Director: Michael Fimognari  
To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You Stars: 3/5

"It's a funny thing, this relationship stuff. One moment things are upside down, but then, like magic, there is glitter everywhere. Once it settles, you are right back at the fairytale again," Lara Jean says within the first few minutes of To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You and it feels like she is giving away the whole story. To All The Boys 2 is the sequel to To All The Boys I've Loved Before. As the trailer has already revealed, one of LJ's letters is delivered to John Ambrose McClaren.

This leads to John Ambrose entering Lara Jean's life even as paddles through her role as Peter Kavinsky's girlfriend. She finds herself in a spot with Peter as she grows close to John. Do the couple manage to hold on to each other with John around? I'll let you watch the movie to find out. Is it worth sitting through the sequel? Read the almost spoiler-free review to find out.

To All The Boys 2 strays away from the glossy, hunky-dory To All The Boys I've Loved Before. The Lana Condor and Noah Centineo-starrer starts off with cheesy elements--Lara Jean's first date, Peter and LJ's first Valentine's Day as a couple--and even has a couple of callbacks to the Susan Johnson-directed first part. But Michael Fimognari, who helms the sequel, doesn't dwell on it for too long. It addresses LJ's confusion over the second boy within the first few minutes, making the shift in direction evident.

Unlike most teen-dramas, this one steers clear of turning downright malicious. Gen and LJ share bad blood but since it has already been established, the sequel doesn't get tempted into over-dramatising it. Even when LJ and Peter are involved in a fight, the insecurities and jealousy are subtly projected. However, the treatment sometimes backfires and those scenes lack conviction.

Condor and Centineo, who reprise their roles as LJ and Peter Kavinsky, try to bring something new to the table as the film explores their confused and detached sides. If you're having second thoughts about your relationship, wait till you see what LJ is dealing with.

But, disappointingly, LJ does not seem to be in sync with Peter in a couple of scenes. For that matter, Condor and Jordan Fisher's chemistry also seems pretty lackluster. Compared to the first part, where LJ and Kavinsky gave us a serious case of butterflies with the simplest of scenes, the sequel doesn't dilly-dally setting up the romance between its two couples. Saves time but cuts down on the relatability quotient too.

Holland Taylor as Stormy, however, makes up for everyone's dim performance and is a feast for the eyes. Despite her limited screen space, it is difficult to shift your attention to little Lara Jean when she's stealing the show.

Despite the flaws, there are moments that take you back to the time you fell in love with the franchise. Fond memories of Kavinsky trying to win LJ in the first part come rushing when, in the sequel, you see LJ ditching a party to find Kavinsky waiting at her doorstep.

The music of the film is also bang on. Be it Purple Hat by Sofi Tukker or an Acapella group singing Billie Eilish's Ocean Eyes, To All The Boys 2's soundtrack shows good taste.

Bottom line: To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You aka To All The Boys 2 is a good blend of love, drama, music and a little bit of heartbreak that serves up as a good watch on Valentine's Day for everyone who's in love (even if it's with the idea of love). It reminded me of the time when I began dating a boy with an unforgettable history and who's now part of my unforgettable history. But that's a story for another day. For now, cuddle up with your boyfriend/ dog/ blankie and let the nostalgia of love lost wash over you.

P.S.: Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky, we still love you.

To All The Boys P.S. I Still Love You will release on Netflix this Wednesday, February 12. 

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