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“To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” creates unrealistic high school expectations

On Feb. 12, “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” the sequel to “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” came out on Netflix. Contrary to popular opinion and widespread love for the movie series, I personally disliked both movies. I know rom-coms and sappy movies about high-school-forever-love stories are meant to be unrealistic, but in this sequel, the love story was just absurd.

Lara Jean, a quiet high school girl, writes intense love letters to each of her past crushes. Somehow, her little sister Kitty manages to send out all of these love letters in an attempt to help her find true love. In most cases, one might believe this would be the end of Lara Jean’s life, but in this movie, somehow, one of the boys to whom she sends the letter out, Peter Kavinsky, falls in love with her. 

Don’t get me wrong—watching these movies with friends and laughing at the absurdity of it is always fun, but I think rom-coms such as these make expectations of high school too high. It places standards on what the high school experience should be and look like. Growing up, I always expected to find true love in high school and viewed love as a simple, straight answer. I blame this false assumption on movies like “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.” 

That being said, I would like to give credit to the movie for its integration of different cultural perspectives and characters, as it features Lara Jean as a Korean-American girl living through an Americanized high school experience. She celebrates traditional Korean holidays such as Dol and talks to her Korean grandparents in English, which is a situation many Korean-American children find themselves in during their daily lives. Not many movies can take credit for such a diverse perspective, and I enjoyed seeing Korean traditions and cultures on the screen.