Recently, Netflix released the sequel to the movie, “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” on their streaming platform. The second one was as cheesy as the first, but there was a deeper understanding of teen struggle that I would like to applaud the writers for.
First of all, Lara-Jean Covey, you are ONE lucky lady.
Beyond the screen, I’ve been seriously rooting for Lana Condor since I saw the preview for the first movie. There is a massive gap in inclusion of all races in popular media and this lady should have showed up on the screen a long time ago.
The sequel is called "To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You”. I’m going to try to avoid giving any spoilers while praising the pieces of this movie that accurately portrayed a possible high schooler with feelings. So when I refer to "her boyfriend", I'll leave which boy that is to your imagination!
I feel like we could totally tell that the main character in this piece was an over thinker, but it didn’t feel very accurate until this movie. Lara Jean goes into depth about the conclusions she’s jumping to and the future she sees with her boyfriend. These are huge cognitive distortions that I am POSITIVE are not new to you.
Questioning motives, thoughts, feelings, intentions of others are just a few of the struggles that Lara-Jean is having and I can remember going through each one of those. If no one has told you this before, let me be the first. High school is hard. It’s so hard!
The environment is challenging to manage and flawed, beyond just systematically. Communication skills lack as teenagers grow up in high school and filling in the blanks yourself can be a dangerous game. I would like to thank the writers/directors of this film for at least making the overthinking of a high school character pretty accurate!
The environment of high school is also hard because you can’t run and hide even if you want to! You are stuck with these people for several hours in your day. So, when do you have time to unload your emotions after your boyfriend/girlfriend upsets you? Do you tell your friends and risk them telling others? Or not understanding? Or giving their unwanted opinion? No - you wait for an explanation from your partner and "move forward".
Lara-Jean does this multiple times and was left feeling unsettled. It's not that simple to just reach out to fiends - I have so been there! Whirlwind relationships is what I would call this, and the are so common in high school. One minute you’re good, the next you’re not, and the overthinking about what to do is constant. I appreciated the accurate portrayal of high school relationships and the movie’s ability to cause me to reflect on mine.
A plot twist that my cheesy movie radar was not ready for was the use of the Korean word "Jung" that Lara-Jean's grandmother taught her. She reaches out Gen after a rough patch with her boyfriend and explains to her, "I always thought he was thinking about you... I was convinced that he was never really gonna get over you."
After these two work out their own issues, Lara-Jean realizes that, not only does she have Jung with Gen but, her boyfriend does too. This is a relationship that she values and she needs to respect that of her boyfriend. How's that for growth?
So Lara-Jean explains Jung as such:
I would like some Jung. Better yet - I would like to tell the people in my life that I have Jung with that I have Jung with them. This is such a simple way of understanding the way that relationships sometimes diminish in high school. Really - was not ready for this one.
Still a cheesy movie, but I really was impressed by the accurate representation of honest high school struggles.
What did you think of TATB 2? Let me know if you agree or disagree!