Lara Jean has it all. The perfect boyfriend, Peter Kavinsky. Two great best friends. A loving family. A soon-to-be stepmom. And multiple, pending applications to her desired colleges. Stanford University, Peter’s school, being number one.
See, at Stanford she knows exactly how her future will play out. She’ll crush her academics, spend time with Peter and then eventually get married, buy a house and have kids. The next 10 years are perfectly planned.
But when Lara Jean is denied entrance to Stanford, her entire plan goes down the drain. Unless, of course, there’s room for a new plan after her acceptance letter to New York University. A schoolshe falls in love with that’s literally across the country from the guy she loves. Lara Jean has a decision to make, one that will put her dreams—and her dream boyfriend—to the test.
Lara Jean learns to speak her mind and to make healthy, hard choices for herself and her future. Likewise, Peter learns to do the same for himself. Both learn to love one another in the process.
Peter is wounded when his estranged father tries to reach out to him and ask for forgiveness. Peter tells Lara Jean that he hates his dad for leaving his family, but he also misses him at the same time. Peter doesn’t know what to do with his conflicting emotions. Lara Jean encourages Peter to reach out to his father. Although this is a difficult decision for Peter, he decides to do the hard work of talking with his dad.
Peter and Lara Jean both learn, after conversations with their respective parents, that love fights for what it wants, and it isn’t easily deterred. Lara Jean’s father tells her that if she only chooses what is comfortable, she will never grow.
Lara Jean’s best friend, Chris, doesn’t always make wise choices; but she is a kind, supportive friend. Lara Jean and her family lovingly make sacrifices for one another and ask for forgiveness when necessary.
Lara Jean and her family accept their stepmom, Trina, into their family and rejoice when they see their dad happy after so many years of loneliness. Dr. Condor and Trina commit to love one another and to grow together as they fulfil their wedding vows.
Although Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship is romanticized, there is a strong theme throughout the movie that focuses sacrificing for and honoring those you love while standing by their side for a lifetime—an admirable and increasingly rare character quality in today’s films.
A fortune teller sets up shop in a park in New York City.
Lara Jean tells her best friend, Chris, that Peter has never seen her naked and that they’ve never had sex. Chris tries to push Lara Jean to take boudoir pictures for Peter and to have sex with him, but Lara politely redirects the conversation. Later, Lara Jean and Peter make out on her bed and they both talk about having sex, but Peter stops it.
Peter and Lara Jean eventually have sex in her bedroom at the end. We see the two make out and the next scene Peter is shirtless, and Lara Jean is covered in a sheet. The message here, delivered quite strongly, is that sex is something you save for the person you really love—though not necessarily something you wait until marriage to engage in. Lara Jean daydreams about moving in with Peter in college, then later getting married and having children.
Lara Jean and Peter kiss and make out a few times. Peter jokingly tells Lara Jean that she wanted to “jump his bones” a few years back, and they talk about French kissing.
Lara Jean makes a suggestive comment about her dad and new stepmom’s headboard. Lara Jean’s youngest sister, Kitty, meets a boy in Korea who become her first, long-distance boyfriend. Lara Jean’s stepmom, Trina, tells Lara Jean to go “enjoy” her hot boyfriend, then clarifies what she meant.
Lara Jean’s gay best friend, Lucas, goes to prom with a guy, and the two are briefly seen together. Couples slow dance at prom. Girls wear cleavage-baring tops and crop tops.
God’s name is misused five times, and Jesus’ name is misused once. Other profanity includes two uses of “s—” and once of “d–n.”
A few college students have drinks at a casual party (although it’s unclear as to what’s in their cups). Peter and Lara Jean sneak out and explore New York City once they confirm the chaperones are “getting wasted.”
Lara Jean and Peter break curfew and sleep together, knowing the house rules and that Lara Jean’s father would be disappointed if he found out.
Peter tells Lara Jean that there is nothing worse than not feeling chosen, referring to his dad who left his family when he was a young boy.
A few members of the Condor family make jokes about flatulence, dysentery, mononucleosis and a prolonged uterus.
Lara Jean watches videos on Instagram about people getting into college, after she was denied, and it makes her sadder than before. Chris rudely tells her cousin that she peaked in high school.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: Always and Forever, is the third installment in the wildly popular Netflix trilogy that began back in 2018.
This TV-14 flick is directed right at high schoolers who are wading through their own complicated emotions, love lives and experiences. And unlike some of the other popular high school-based movies, this one focuses on the importance of a loving, respectful family unit, strong friendships and kindness.
Those are good messages. But there are some elements you’ll want to be aware of. Sure, there’s no MA-rated sexual imagery here, but Lara Jean and Peter do have sex at the end, something that reverses Lara Jean’s strong stance as a virgin in the other two films. And there’s a brief shot of a gay couple at prom together as well. Not to mention the added language and worldviews that are expressed.
The result? This threequel is cleaner than many movies and shows of its kind but still messy despite its positive messages.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).