P.S. I have some spoilers!
Featured image photos courtesy of Netflix. Design by Elisabeth Oster.
Lara Jean Covey’s love story started almost two years ago, when her love letters were mysteriously mailed out to her love interests. We found out later that her younger sister, Kitty, was the culprit. However, had it not been for Kitty, Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky would’ve never fallen in love, and my relationship goals wouldn’t be so unrealistic.
After finishing the trilogy by Jenny Han, I impatiently awaited the arrival of the first movie. Once I fell in love with Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship, I anxiously awaited for another movie. Now, the time has come, the sequel has been released, and the plot only became more complicated and confusing.
The opening of L.J. dancing around her room dancing to “Then He Kissed Me,” by the Crystals was the Lara Jean Covey vibes I’ve been missing for the last year and a half. And as if Peter Kavinsky couldn’t set my expectations any higher, he picks Lara Jean up for their first date holding a bouquet of flowers at her doorstep, making sure to give Kitty one *swoon.* But Peter isn’t as perfect as he led me to originally believe.
Before the Covey family leaves to celebrate their Korean New Year in their adorable, traditional dresses, Lara Jean receives a letter from The John Ambrose McClaren. It also just so happens that he is a volunteer at Belleview Assisted Living Center with her. What are the odds?
Lara Jean sealed the deal with Peter at the end of the first movie, promising she wouldn’t break his heart and now she’s at a crossroads with her mixed emotions between Peter and John. I can’t say I blame her; Peter is the popular, and secretly sensitive jock while John is the smart, overly nice and less complicated guy. Decisions, decisions! Will it be Team Peter or Team John?
L.J. and Peter’s relationship is very high school: sporting events, parties, ex drama, and filled with pressure from past experiences. The relationship at times puts Lara Jean out of her comfort zone which isn’t a bad thing, but it made me question whether it was best for her.
With John, however, Lara Jean really got to relax and be her dorky, passionate self—which I loved. John presents a mature and healthy relationship for L.J., one that I think would work out great since they were close friends before. But I can’t help but wonder if it just isn’t clicking because John is too nice and lets people walk all over him.
P.K. on the other hand, has some serious jealousy issues and is kind of an asshole to John and Lara Jean when they are digging up the time capsule. This balances out the “too good to be true” vibe and makes it a little more realistic.
L.J. has her own issues too. She struggles with communication which, as everyone knows, is HUGE in any relationship. I get it, L.J. doesn’t have a lot of experience in that department, but she kind of just creates these fairy tales and problems in her head and takes them out on Peter. Whereas if she told him how she felt about Genevieve, his dating history, and John, the drama would have been very less, um, dramatic.
Perhaps what disappointed me the most is that the film showed very little of L.J.’s sisters compared to the first movie. There isn’t as much advice and sisterly love present which warmed my heart in the first movie. But, I think this was almost done on purpose to show that L.J. is growing up and with that comes more maturity and responsibility. She needs to learn how to deal with and solve her own problems.
Overall, I think the underdog of the movie is Genevieve. I originally thought Gen was a vapid b*tch. But now, rather than stirring the pot—something she does best—she is honest and genuine in assuring Lara Jean that Peter is absolutely crazy in love with her. She also opens up to L.J. about some family issues she’s been dealing with. This gives me a little hope that maybe they’ll be able to bury the hatchet in the future.
Peter and Lara Jean’s relationship dealt with its drama from Peter and Gen’s friendship and L.J’s mixed emotions about John, but, I realized that *spoiler* the breakup is exactly what L.J. needed, even if it also broke my heart in the process. She had space to figure out who and what she wanted in a relationship, realizing that she doesn’t need to be anyone else for somebody else. This is something I think every young girl should take away from this movie.
In the end, Peter shows up at the Belleview nursing home to mend the broken pieces and to tell Lara Jean that it’s okay if she breaks his heart and that he loves her. My heart practically jumped out of my chest at this part. This felt like the start of a realistic relationship and not so much a fantasized one. And like Lara Jean discovers, real relationships aren’t perfect.
After all, “to have it all, we have to risk it all.”