I was in a cynical spot when I started watching “To All the Boys: P.S. I Love You," the sequel to "To All the Boys I've Loved Before."
As the movie opened with Lara Jean Covey(Lana Condor) dancing to “Then He Kissed Me” by The Crystals, a rendition of the opening scene from the classic comedy “Adventures in Babysitting,” I was feeling skeptical.
That is, until sassy, little Kitty Covey (Anna Cathcart), the youngest child, suddenly appears and berates Lara Jean for fantasizing about living in an ’80s movie.
A 2020 rom-com making fun of such an iconic, cheesy crush scene? This might just be interesting.
And, ladies and gentlemen, it was. I will be the first to admit that I am a sappy human being who enjoys a good rom-com and, like other people, enjoy being lied to about romantic love.
But, for the first time I can think of, we have a rom-com that actually addresses the ugly parts.
If you can remember way back to the last decade when the original “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” was released, you might recall that Lara Jean is a huge romantic bookworm. It’s clear that she has romance on her mind quite a lot. I mean, the girl did write five love letters.
So, it is no surprise that Lara Jean views her new relationship with teenage heartthrob Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) as a fairy tale. In the beginning of the movie, you see part of their first official date when they release a lantern painted with their initials inside a heart into the night sky. Lara Jean says whatever you write on the lantern is a wish, but Peter says it is not a wish because it is already happening.
Lara Jean reveals she is wishing that their relationship won’t end, to which Peter responds, “You can’t think about us breaking up on our first date.”
The two then promise not to break each other’s hearts.
Here’s what the cynical part of me is thinking: “What BS! Don’t you lie? How do you know you won’t?”
Lara Jean comes to that realization when she receives a response to one of her five love letters. John Ambrose McClaren, played by the incredibly talented and handsome Jordan Fisher, writes her back, and volunteers at the same organization as her. This is when the Covinsky ship gets tested.
And, here’s the thing. I wasn’t doubting them anymore. I had already changed my mind about them. They are so cute, and I was rooting for them. Right as I start to love them, just like I did in the first movie, there’s a curveball.
Then, it gets real. It gets uncomfortable. Honestly, it’s something to celebrate. While the movie may be cheesy, it is still honest. Relationships aren’t perfect. No one ever said they were, but most rom-coms portray them as if they are.
I won’t spoil the rest for you. It’s a good movie, especially if you would enjoy a cheesy carnival date and something just a little less perfect for once heading into this Valentine’s Day. It won’t make you feel like a failure for having relationship problems or struggling to have one. For once, Singles Awareness Day won’t be so bad.
So, grab your S.O., your friends or yourself if you’re self-partnered like Emma Watson. Go enjoy some teenage angst and adorableness.
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The IU Auditorium, the Jacobs School of Music and MidWay Music Speaks were all awarded funds.
Performances will take place on Zoom.
The concert airs at 9:30 p.m. on July 25.