FILM REVIEW | To All the Boys: Always and Forever

High school rom-coms - you either love them or you hate them.

A staple of YA fiction and film, the high school romance has been a successful genre for decades now.

And each generation has their favourite rom-com couples: from Samantha and Jake in Sixteen Candles and Laney and Zack in She's All That, to Kat and Patrick in 10 Things I Hate About You and Olive and Todd in Easy A.

Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky are the iconic couple for a new generation, starting with 2018's To All the Boys I've Loved Before.

Their high school journey comes to a close in the final edition of the TATB trilogy released on Netflix this month, To All the Boys: Always and Forever.

Just like the third novel from author Jenny Han, the film follows Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo) in their final year of high school.

They've got much to look forward to and plan: senior year field trips, senior prom, college applications and Lara Jean's father's wedding.

Back again: Noah Centineo and Lana Condor reprise their roles as Peter Kavinsky and Lara Jean Song Covey in To All the Boys: Always and Forever, rated PG, streaming on Netflix now. Picture: Netflix

Back again: Noah Centineo and Lana Condor reprise their roles as Peter Kavinsky and Lara Jean Song Covey in To All the Boys: Always and Forever, rated PG, streaming on Netflix now. Picture: Netflix

This latest entry in the series doesn't have the fresh spark of the first film, or the classic will-they-won't-they of the second, but it still has it's charm for dedicated fans.

Always and Forever could have benefitted from further exploration of Peter's relationship with his absentee father, played by Netflix regular Henry Thomas (The Haunting of Hill House).

Peter's fears of abandonment go a long way to explaining his behaviour and insecurities in the book (titled Always and Forever, Lara Jean), but that doesn't come across as well in the film.

What is a massive success though, is the Covey family unit. This is a family that's very much in each other's pockets, and show all the joy, tears and frustration that comes along with that.

The costuming and production design are once again fantastic, truly evoking Lara Jean's rose-coloured, romantic view of the world.

Casual fans might struggle with the length of the film - two hours is more than necessary for what is, essentially, very little plot - and miss the fantastic Jordan Fisher (who played John Ambrose McLaren in the second movie) but die-hards will undoubtedly love the final TATB flick.

Keep an eye out for a cameo from the author during a particularly sweet flashback.

Rating: 6.5/10

This story To All the Boys: Always and Forever review | Teen romance series ends first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.