First, author Jenny Han gave us the best-selling ‘To All the Boys’ book trilogy (the third trilogy of her career): ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ (2014), ‘PS. I Still Love You’ (2015) and ‘Always and Forever, Lara Jean’ (2017).
Then in 2018, Netflix picked up the first book as a movie adaptation that won over hearts across the globe and became a huge success.
Now our lovebirds Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) are back for a sequel, but there’s a wrench in their path: an old crush of LJ’s comes back into the picture.
So, where did we leave off, and what’s waiting for us with ‘To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You’? Here’s everything you need to know...
Where we left off…
In the first film two years ago, we follow high school junior Lara Jean as she writes impassioned love letters to her romantic interests and stashes them away in her closet, unsent.
But, when her little sister Kitty breaks into her stash and mails the letters out, LJ has to confront all the boys she’s loved before – most importantly, Peter Kavinsky.
The two strike a deal. LJ needs to throw off Josh, her latest crush and her sister’s boyfriend, and Peter wants to make his ex-girlfriend Gen jealous.
So, they pretend to date. But of course, the web of lies they weave gets messy until they’re forced to face the feelings they’re developing for each other.
The movie ends with a sweet kiss between our young lovebirds, but a mid-credits scene throws everything back up in the air – just how we like it.
John Ambrose McClaren, one of the recipients of LJ’s love letters, shows up at her door with flowers in hand. Que the drama.
Why does John Ambrose look so different now?
The first thing you might notice in the new movie is that John Ambrose looks very different. That’s because the actor who played him in the mid-credits scene was recast in the sequel!
Jordan Burchett is the John Ambrose that we meet at the end of ‘To All the Boys I Loved Before’, but Jordan Fisher is who we meet in the sequel.
How did the original John Ambrose actor feel about being replaced?
Burchett – and his fans – were not too happy with the decision.
The actor posted a now-deleted video about the ordeal on his YouTube, but took it down and replaced it with a more positive post thanking his followers on Instagram. He later called the situation a “little lame.”
But, all is well that ends well, and Burchett seems to be ready to put the whole thing behind him.
In the books, John Ambrose is described as a young Robert Redford – blonde hair and all.
In the movie, we meet him as the handsome, fresh-faced brunette Fisher, who describes his ancestry as being mixed African-American, Nigerian, Cambodian, English, Polynesian (Tahitian), Italian, Greek, and Scandinavian.
How did Lana Condor manage to have crazy chemistry with someone other than Noah Centineo?
We all know that Condor and Centineo had magical chemistry together.
But here, Condor had the unenviable task (or totally enviable task?) of stirring up amazing chemistry with yet another actor.
Most of the actors who auditioned before Fisher were trying too much to be like Centineo’s Peter Kavinsky, who is a sporty, flirtatious and extroverted character. But, John Ambrose is much more subtle than that.
Fisher, who won the role, was the final actor to come in for a chemistry read. And you know what they say about saving the best for last…
“We thought, John Ambrose is a great character in the books. If they read the books, [the actors] will get it. They’ll get that he’s … more sensitive, like Lara Jean. He’s softer, like Lara Jean, and he’s really smart, like Lara Jean. A lot of guys came in with more of the Peter Kavinsky energy,” Condor told Teen Vogue.
“That was so weird for me because I realised they were all trying to be like Noah. They were trying to be super macho and really charming but in a way where I’m like, ‘What’s happening?’”
As soon as she met Fishcher, she knew she had found the one.
“I knew in my heart. The first word out of his mouth, I was like, there it is. I had that same feeling I had with Noah when we chemistry read together. When Jordan left the audition room I was like, ‘You guys.’”
Fisher, who previously featured in Disney productions, is known as being part of ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway. He’s currently playing the titular character in Dear Evan Hansen.
Who is John Ambrose, anyway?
John Ambrose is LJ’s childhood friend. The two had attended a Model UN conference together. In the books, McClaren had a stutter and was shy when he was young.
But upon returning into LJ’s life, he’s grown into a more mature young man. He’s still quiet, introspective and loves to read.
In a way, he’s the antidote to Kavinsky’s outgoing and confident personality.
What’s about to happen to our hearts, exactly?
Well, at the risk of being too obvious about it: Lara Jean and Peter hit a bit of a rough patch when John Ambrose enters the picture.
Although, we’re pretty much guaranteed a happy ending (I mean, the cast have made no secret of the fact that Peter and LJ find their way back to each other…), but there will definitely be some turbulence on the way.
So, how will fans react to all this? “I think they’ll be crushed. You never want to see a couple break up,” Centineo told Entertainment Tonight online.
“But ultimately, they get back together, so it’s a little bit of hope. You can have problems and challenges and issues in a relationship and work through them and even come out stronger after those issues and I think that’s so exciting. I think fans are going to love that. I’m excited for them to see that.”
We’re excited too, Noah. We’re excited too.
Lana Condor and Noah Centineo: Overnight teen heartthrobs
When ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ came out on Netflix in 2018, no one could have predicted that its main stars – the relatively unknown Lana Condor and Noah Centineo – would experience a meteoric rise in popularity overnight.
But Condor and Centineo’s charming performances, bringing Jenny Han’s beloved novel to life, won them huge fanbases online.
Ever since, both Condor and Centineo have been candid about their fame as well as their struggles.
Asked by W Magazine how she unplugs, Condor said she favours the gym and yoga.
“What if the internet breaks tomorrow? Then you’d realise that you’re a human being and you’re not validated by what other people think of you, it’s how you think of yourself,” she said.
As for Centineo, he opened up to Harper Bazaar about using a variety of drugs between the ages of 17 and 21, now referring to himself as three years sober.
“I talk to myself a lot if I’m mad at something that I did. I’ll scream at myself, really,” he said. “I hold myself very accountable, but I can talk myself off of ledges too. And that’s a strong thing.”
Don’t miss it!
‘To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You’ streams on Netflix from February 12. Watch the trailer below: