To All the Boys: Always and Forever

Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
To All the Boys: Always and Forever Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
College, relationships, sex, swearing in romcom threequel.
  • NR
  • 2021
  • 109 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

People need to grow within relationships. Loving others means forgiving them when they make mistakes -- or letting them go to discover what makes them happy on their own.

Positive Role Models & Representations

High school seniors are focused on getting into a good college or taking a meaningful gap year. Lara Jean and Peter treat each other with genuine care and hope their relationship will last through college, though it may mean a long-distance separation. Families love and support each other. Teenagers grapple with parents remarrying or coming back into their lives after long absences. Parents and siblings grapple with teens leaving home for college. Some diversity, including among main characters.

Violence
Sex

Kitty meets a boy in Korea, starts texting with him. Lara Jean and Peter kiss, snuggle, say "I love you." References to "Frenching," "jumping bones," being "hot." Peter says "never having to say goodnight" to Lara Jean is what he's looking forward to in college. Chris suggests to Lara Jean that prom night would make a romantic moment to lose her virginity. She also suggests that Lara Jean do a "boudoir shoot" as a gift for Peter. The couple sneak into Lara Jean's bedroom and make out lying down; she initiates sex, but he says no. Another night they appear to have sex: Scene goes from heavy kissing in her bedroom to them waking up under the blankets, apparently naked.

Language

"S--t," "bulls--t," "crap," "fart," "buzzkill," "oh my God."

Consumerism

The teens are constantly on their iPhones and other Apple products. They mention Spotify, Google, and Harry Potter. Lots of movies cited in the film, including most memorably Say Anything, Romeo & Juliet, and The Big Lebowski. High schoolers take a senior trip to New York City, where they pass Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, and more landmarks.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

College students appear to be drinking alcohol at a party that high school teens attend.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that To All the Boys: Always and Forever -- the third entry in the popular teen romance franchise -- sees main character Lara Jean (Lana Condor) facing grown-up issues like going away to college and losing her virginity. She and her boyfriend, Peter (Noah Centineo), are also both struggling with their parents' life transitions. Lara Jean's widowed dad is getting remarried, and Peter's absentee father wants to be back in his life. Girls talk about boys, and teens make references to "Frenching," "jumping bones," being "hot," "boudoir shoots," and "never having to say goodnight" once they're in college. A character suggests to Lara Jean that prom night would be a romantic time to lose her virginity. It doesn't happen that night, but it does another: Lara Jean and Peter make out in her bedroom and then wake up under the covers, apparently naked. High school seniors are focused on getting into good colleges or taking a meaningful gap year; money doesn't seem to be an issue for any of them. Teens evade chaperones and attend a college party in New York where students appear to drink alcohol. Language includes "s--t," "crap," "oh my God," and more. The movie offers positive messages about growth within relationships and forgiving and supporting the people you love.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySnapple912 February 12, 2021
This movie contains more sexual references and images than the first 2 films. Caution watching with younger viewers.
Parent of a 13 and 13-year-old Written byJohnson5Fam February 22, 2021

Great movie

I think this movie was great, I haven’t read the books yet so I’m not sure how accurate it is
Teen, 14 years old Written byCool Kidz. February 13, 2021

So sweet! Stan Kitty and Dae!

It talks about love in the beginning, middle, and end. Teaching teens a good lesson. I'd say 12+. It's much more PG than the first one, and better tha... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byFunnyGoblin888 February 12, 2021

First one was great! Second one was terrible! This one is meh...

The movie has some good messages and a decent plot, but I think it is very predictable and a cheesy ending. I was hyped for this movie and watched it the day it... Continue reading

What's the story?

Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo) are still going strong as a couple in TO ALL THE BOYS: ALWAYS AND FOREVER. They're seniors in high school now and applying to colleges. Their plan is to go together to Stanford, where Peter has made the lacrosse team, but a senior trip to New York City opens Lara Jean's eyes to the possibility of studying at NYU instead. The pair will need to decide if their relationship is strong enough to withstand such a distance. Will Lara Jean follow her dreams, her boyfriend, or both? Will the two break up or finally consummate their relationship? Meanwhile, they're both also grappling with family changes: Lara Jean's dad is getting remarried, and Peter's dad wants to be back in his son's life.

Is it any good?

This latest entry in the teen romance franchise is likely to please fans. To All the Boys: Always and Forever continues with the same light tone, charming characters, and pleasant settings. The film takes on some worthy and timely topics for teens on the precipice of adulthood, and there are positive lessons about family, relationships, and individual growth. A couple of cutesy techniques are fun, like a video imagining of Lara Jean's dreams for the future getting rewound when things don't work out as planned, or the film's hand-drawn transitions. Same for certain lines and scenes, like lessons Peter says he's learned from watching romcoms, his reenactment of the classic Say Anything scene with a mini Bluetooth speaker replacing John Cusack's '80s boom box, or the little sister rolling her eyes at people actually still leaving messages.

As the teens grapple with grown-up issues like applying to college, having sex, and losing or gaining parental figures, they exhibit an emotional fortitude that's enviable even for those well over 17. When they're being a little naughty, like evading chaperones on a senior trip or sneaking into a childhood bedroom to make out, they still come across as eminently trustworthy and upstanding. When Peter gets down on one knee to propose going to prom together, he looks like a grown man proposing marriage. The pair are as settled in their snuggling as an old married couple. They argue, break up, make up, and more, but for a film about teens facing grown-up decisions, there's a certain amount of real-to-life angst and passion missing here. Whether that feels refreshing or superficial may depend on who's watching.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how To All the Boys: Always and Forever differs from or follows on the previous two films in the franchise. Do the characters' stories make sense based on the past films? Is their future what you expected?

  • Have you heard of the colleges that the seniors in the film have applied to? Do you have any connection to these schools? College can be expensive. Why do you suppose that isn't discussed in this film?

  • At first, Peter is upset with Lara Jean for choosing the college she does. Why does he come around? Did you think his initial reaction was justified?

  • What role do Lara Jean's and Peter's fathers play in the movie?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romcoms

Themes & Topics

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