Before we even get into all the drama consuming Lara Jean Covey’s love life, let’s look back on what led us to “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.”
In “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” Lara Jean wrote five love letters with zero intentions of sending them. She wrote her feelings onto the papers and sealed them away. Her sister, Kitty, was tired of Lara Jean being lonely, and sent them off to their intended recipients. She explained that she “thought five chances were better odds.” This is where everything went downhill.
Lara Jean began fake-dating one of the recipients, Peter Kavinsky, hoping his ex-girlfriend, Gen, would get jealous and regret dumping him for a college guy. It worked. She was jealous and despised Lara Jean even more for dating the guy that she left.
After being in a fake relationship that seemed real to everyone else, Lara Jean and Peter slowly fell in love with each other. It was evident Lara Jean started to have feelings for Peter during an argument in a diner, and Peter hinted at liking Lara Jean during a heated night in a hot tub. They finally confessed their true feelings for one another at the end of the movie, and decided to have a real relationship. No contract. Things were looking up for Lara Jean, and all her boy problems seemed to fade away.
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” left us with a cliffhanger. In the final scene, Kitty answered the door and there stood John Ambrose McClaren, from Model UN, with flowers and the letter Lara Jean wrote for him but not — for — him.
The sequel, “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” opens with Lara Jean dancing, mimicking the opening scene of “Adventures in Babysitting.” Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky are finally dating for real this time. They go to a fancy Italian restaurant, and afterwards they send a lantern into the sky with the promise to never break one another’s heart. Promising, right? No.
After spending the day with her mom’s side of the family, the Coveys return home and Lara Jean is met with a letter from John Ambrose McClaren. The conflicted Lara Jean doesn’t know what to say in reply to his letter, but she makes the decision to tell Peter. After all, he’s her boyfriend.
While looking at some volunteer options, Lara Jean gets her heart set on Belleview, the same retirement home her sister Margot volunteered at. Peter and his teammates already planned on volunteering at the market, so they go their separate ways.
On her first day at Belleview, Lara Jean discovers that there is another student volunteering with her: none other than John Ambrose. She didn’t need to reply to the letter after all. She couldn’t avoid him, because they had to plan an entire event for the residents of Belleview.
Throughout the movie, Lara Jean can’t help but wonder if Peter shared the same firsts she’s having with him, with Gen. This issue, amongst the other issues soon to arise, are the reasons why a wedge begins to separate Peter and Lara Jean, and push her closer to John Ambrose.
When they were younger, Lara Jean, Peter, John Ambrose and Gen buried a time capsule near their childhood treehouse. While cleaning a room at Belleview, Lara Jean tells John Ambrose that the treehouse is being torn down and, in its honor, John Ambrose suggests digging up the time capsule with the same people who buried it. Lara Jean tells Peter the plan, but also decides that Gen isn’t invited.
Somehow, Gen shows up anyway and the entire situation, which was already awkward, becomes unbearably awkward. John Ambrose didn’t know that Lara Jean and Peter are a couple. The items in the capsule are tied to a much simpler time. For example, Lara Jean put in a friendship bracelet that is later revealed to match Gen’s. John Ambrose added a Seahawks hat, and Gen blurts out that Lara Jean got a Seahawks shirt to impress John Ambrose. Peter’s baseball was from hitting a home run and again, Gen decides to mention that after hitting that home run, he ran up to Gen and kissed her in front of his mom.
Lara Jean arrives at the send-off for Peter’s lacrosse team in Adler High gear with “PK” painted on one cheek and “15” on the other. To her shock, Peter arrives late because he was with Gen. Peter explains to Lara Jean that yes, he was talking to Gen, but only because her parents are getting divorced. But if the whole thing was innocent, why didn’t he tell Lara Jean from the get-go? Of course Lara Jean is going to feel some type of way about her boyfriend hanging out with his ex. Who wouldn’t?
During a ski trip in the first movie, back when Lara Jean and Peter were fake-dating, they shared an intimate night in a hot tub. It was recorded by Gen and posted on Instagram. In “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” we learn that Peter lied and told Lara Jean that Gen didn’t post the video. During this confrontation, he told Gen that if she didn’t delete the video they would be over. For good. Mind you, that same night, Peter hinted at Lara Jean that he liked her. Weird right?
Not only did Peter know about the video, Lara Jean put two and two together to find out that the only way Gen knew Peter was going to be in the hot tub was because he was waiting for her. He wasn’t waiting for Lara Jean — he was waiting for Gen.
This wasn’t the saddest part: During their trip to the aquarium, Lara Jean asks Peter if he wants the necklace that he gave her on Valentine’s Day, and he actually takes it back.
Lara Jean talks to Gen after the break-up and tells her that one of the reasons for the break-up was because she couldn’t get over Peter’s experiences with Gen. Gen tells Lara Jean that Peter is crazy in love with her and he says it all the time. She also reassures her, saying she talked to Peter not to spite Lara Jean, but because she really needed someone who could relate to having divorced parents.
The Star Ball rolls around at the Belleview and Lara Jean looks amazing, even though her heart is still hurting. After sharing an innocent snowy kiss with John Ambrose, she pulls away and John Ambrose knows that it’s Peter who Lara Jean truly belongs with.
When Lara Jean comes to the same realization, she runs out the door only to find Peter waiting to take her home, because he knows she’s scared of driving in the snow. Even after they broke up, Peter still cares for Lara Jean, and they rekindle their relationship.
“To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” ends with Lara Jean and Peter watching the treehouse get torn down, which could represent new beginnings for their relationship, and even her friendship with Gen.
Now, after reading all of this, you wouldn’t think this is an inexperienced first-time girlfriend. Lara Jean went from a single junior in high school who was holding onto letters of unsaid words, to a fake girlfriend to a real girlfriend trying to find out who she really loves. Ultimately, she didn’t choose the boy she loved in middle school. She chose Peter Kavinsky to experience all her firsts with.