‘P.S. I Still Love You’ is the sequel that hits softly


Noah Centineo and Lana Condor star in “To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.” Photo by Bettina Strauss/Netflix

“To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” the sequel to Netflix’s “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” (2018), deepens Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky’s (Noah Centineo) relationship, but doesn’t add much else. 

This time around, Director Michael Fimognari takes the story of the previous film, and keeps a formulaic approach, while not bringing the full liveliness that its predecessor came with.

While the film is an adaptation of the novel series by Jenny Han, “To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” feels disconnected from the first film. This could be in part, due to the change in director, from Susan Johnson to Fimognari. Throughout the film, it felt as if it was trying too hard to capture the same essence of the first film, but there’s something that lacks in freshness.

The film does have it’s redeeming qualities. Similar to “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” there is a nice consistency in color scheme in the sequel, which is one aspect of the formula of the series that I enjoyed. Each set is also carefully put together with vibrant primary colors that make their way throughout the movie.

If you’re unfamiliar with the first film, “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” brings the characters back to square one in their relationship, when an old crush, John Ambrose McClaren (Jordan Fisher) writes a letter back to Lara responding to a series of love letters that were sent out unintentionally. This plot almost mirrors that of the first film, giving the viewer a sense of deja vu, however, again, the film is an adaptation of a novel so I don’t think this is at fault of the director.

Something about the performances exude a tired feel, and some of the more emotional sequences didn’t hit as hard as I thought they should. I think Centineo as Kavinsky brings a slightly dry performance, with his character not adding much personality. His lines feel more read than actually delivered and it comes off as feeling like a lack of interest in Condor’s character. This isn’t something foreign for Centineo’s track record however. In starring roles in other Netflix originals, “Swiped” (2018) and “The Perfect Date” (2019) he seems to portray the same “cool guy” with not much else to contribute to either role.

On a positive note, Fisher and Condor are both cute and share some sweet moments together, which provided some times when I believed they had more chemistry together than Condor and Centineo.

I think where this film works is in the small nuanced moments where we learn more about the characters and find out how strong their relationships are with each other. I’d say if you’ve seen the first film to give it a watch, but if you’ve seen neither, the previous film delivers everything this one does, but in a way that feels more alive and genuine.

Rating: 2 stars

Danielle Kessler can be reached at [email protected] or @reserv0irpups on Twitter.