To All the Boys: Always and Forever ★★★

Was Peter this weird in the first one? Noah Centineo's real personality is starting to shine through in his acting just a little too much methinks...

I absolutely unironically love the first To All the Boys movie, and this wasn't terrible, but... there's just no reason for this to be a series. This final installment is better than the second but still doesn't even come close to the first. There was a certain freshness and eagerness in the original that the sequels haven't been able to replicate. Something about this just felt really... rushed? At times, the actors' strange choices made it feel like they only had one shot at a take, and as soon as they got it, no matter what weird face Lana Condor made during it, they moved on. The college story isn't exactly a revolutionary one within the high school genre, but it's still one that presents a lot of opportunity for great character development, especially for characters that were already feeling pretty stagnant. That development started well, but then it kind of circled back around. I understand the need for a rom-com ending, but it would've made more sense for Lara Jean's arc and honestly just been a lot more satisfying if they hadn't taken the easy way out. This is harmless and entertaining, and there's not much about it that's actually actively bad, but knowing that the creators behind this could have done better than this inoffensive but forgettable finale makes it more disappointing than anything. Extra points for the BLACKPINK needle drop, though.