6/10 Lara Jean and co. are all back for the halfway point of what I was going to call the “To All the Boys trilogy” but after Subway returns for more screen time than Lara Jean’s older sister, I have decided to dub this the “Subway trilogy”. While this is not nearly as strong as the debut film, this movie is fine and if you enjoyed the first film, I am sure you will enjoy this too. A lot of what worked the first go around continues to work here. The cast being my primary example. Lana Condor (Lara Jean) and Noah Centineo (Peter) are back, along with the cast who played Lara Jean’s family, although her sisters are sadly sidelined and the strong bonds of sisterhood displayed in the first film are nowhere to be found here. I applauded Anna Cathcart as Kitty, the youngest sister in the Covey family, but she is barely around. I’m also not sure what happened to Lara Jean’s best friend and next door neighbor Josh. Although it is fine that he doesn’t hold an important place in the story, seeing as how he lives next door, hangs out with the Covey family and attends the same school as Lara Jean and Kitty, you’d think he would get a cameo like the eldest sister, Margot did. I did like that Mr. Covey was given something to do, even if it is exactly what you would expect for his character arc. Which brings me to what doesn’t work as well this time around…the plot. The first film was fun and refreshing and while this movie is still fine, the refreshing story was replaced by standard teenage relationship woes and the fun was replaced by drama and fighting. The opening of the movie begins with Peter and Lara Jean’s first date and I loved seeing them as a happy couple. I just wish we would have gotten to spend more time with them as a couple before complications ensued and their honeymoon period quickly ended. The soundtrack this time around is also not nearly as strong as the first film. The music in the first film was more background to what was going on in these characters’ lives. Here it is more distracting, takes us out of the movie and even has Lara Jean breaking the fourth wall (something that has never happened at any point in this franchise, making it all the more an odd directorial choice) to lip sync lyrics of a song as she floats down her high school hallways. I’m not sure why they changed directors from the first film to this one, but it seems like they downgraded due to some of the choices made. Despite the story and soundtrack falling short and some cliché character arcs, this is still enjoyable to watch due to the great chemistry of the cast and the fantastic pacing. The conversations and arguments that these high schoolers have are based in reality and not some ridiculous farce of how high school actually is. I loved how both Lara Jean and Peter were to blame for their relationship problems, as opposed to the fault being one sided. Despite many of the students looking like models, these past two films have provided a rather accurate portrayal of high school, which is a rarity in Hollywood these days. While it didn’t blow me away like the first film, the loveable characters will bring you back and I look forward to seeing how this trilogy concludes so I can then repeatedly harass Netflix to green light a spin-off series for Kitty as she heads to high school.

#ToAllTheSubwaySandwhichesIveEatenBefore / #EdgarAllenPoem / #ForPetersSake / #NotJustAnotherKittyFace / #SuperModelUN / #MyBigFatKoreanFakesgiving

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