Major SPOILERS ahead for To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
In To All the Boys 2: P.S. I Still Love You, Lara Jean must choose between Peter Kavinsky and John Ambrose McClaren and she makes the RIGHT choice. P.S. I Still Love You is the sequel to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, which introduced Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) as a high schooler whose secret love letters were sent out by her younger sister. In order to hide the fact that she’d once had feelings for her older sister’s boyfriend, Lara Jean started fake-dating another letter recipient, Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo). Over the course of their fake relationship, though, both developed real feelings and the movie ended with them deciding to pursue a real relationship.
When P.S. I Still Love You picks up, Lara Jean and Peter are officially dating, but their new relationship faces challenges both from within and without. Lara Jean feels insecure because Peter already having had a lot of his own relationship firsts with his ex, Lara Jean’s former best friend Gen (Emilija Baranac). To make matters more complicated, Lara Jean receives a responding letter from another boy one of her letters had been sent to: John Ambrose McClaren (Jordan Fisher). The two get close again while volunteering at the senior living center Belleview, just as the problems between Lara Jean and Peter come to a head. P.S. I Still Love You presents another choice for Lara Jean to make between two boys and, again, she chooses Peter. But is it the right choice?
At the end of To All the Boys 2 when Lara Jean chooses Peter instead of John Ambrose, it is absolutely the right choice for her. Ultimately, what it really comes down to is Lara Jean’s love for Peter is stronger than her feelings for John Ambrose. This is made clear when Lara Jean tells Stormy that even though she kissed John Ambrose, she wished he was someone else – Peter. So she chooses to follow her heart with the boy she had stronger feelings for, rather than pursue a new relationship with someone she doesn’t feel as strongly about. That’s a difficult and mature decision to make, especially because, as Lara Jean points out, she risks winding up with no one if Peter doesn’t want her anymore, but it’s what’s right for Lara Jean.
Still, fans are debating whether Lara Jean’s choice in P.S. I Still Love You was the right one, with many arguing against Peter and for John Ambrose. To be sure, Peter isn’t the perfect boyfriend in P.S. I Still Love You. He shows up late to a date with Lara Jean, and doesn’t completely cut ties with Gen, maintaining a kind of friendship with his ex-girlfriend. He also gets jealous of Lara Jean’s relationship with John Ambrose, making the pizza party uncomfortable by calling the boy out for flirting with his girlfriend. However, these are all either entirely understandable human mistakes or justifiable emotional reactions. Peter was put in a difficult situation that made him late for his date and he promised he’d learn from the mistake and do better for Lara Jean.
In the case of Gen and John Ambrose, many of those difficulties arise from Lara Jean’s own actions and insecurities. She didn’t tell John Ambrose about her relationship with Peter, which made Peter feel insecure and lash out. Lara Jean later acknowledges she handled the situation poorly and apologized to both Peter and John Ambrose. As for Gen, which became the real reason for Peter and Lara Jean’s breakup, LJ had a lot of unresolved feelings from her own relationship with Gen that manifested as insecurities in her relationship with Peter. Because friendships can be as deep and meaningful as romantic relationships, it’s not unusual for friendship breakups to be just as – if not more – devastating than a breakup from a significant other. Since Lara Jean and Gen were able to get some kind of closure for their former friendship, Lara Jean is able to move forward in her life and pursue more healthy relationships.
So Peter isn’t a bad choice for Lara Jean by a long shot and, from a filmmaking standpoint, P.S. I Still Love You makes sure to show he isn’t a bad boyfriend, he’s just human – making real mistakes and having real emotional reactions to situations. Still, some may argue that John Ambrose is a better choice for Lara Jean because they have more in common and he makes fewer mistakes than Peter. Certainly, Lara Jean and John Ambrose do have a lot in common – they even joke that they’re both “lame in a cool way” – and, on paper, they may be a better match. But love doesn’t always make sense, we don’t necessarily fall in love with the people it might be most logical to love. Love is messy and imperfect. And John Ambrose is too perfect to be real, at least in P.S. I Still Love You. Rather, he’s an unrealistic fantasy, a fairytale prince come to life, but that’s not reality and it wouldn’t last. Besides, Lara Jean can’t change how she feels. She loves Peter and if she were to choose John Ambrose, it wouldn’t be fair to her or to him.
Ultimately, Lara Jean’s choice between Peter and John Ambrose in P.S. I Still Love You isn’t really about the boys themselves, it’s about choosing to live in reality or live in a fantasy forever. To All the Boys and its sequel are about Lara Jean’s coming of age as much as the series is about her romantic drama. She started out as a girl constantly living in the fantasy world of her romance novels and never having a real relationship of her own. But by the end of P.S. I Still Love You, she makes the choice of continuing her real relationship with Peter instead of trying to chase that perfect fairytale ending with John Ambrose because she’s learned that perfection doesn’t exist. Life and love are messy and imperfect and Lara Jean chooses that reality instead of the false perfection in fairytales and fantasy. While viewers may not want to acknowledge it, especially since rom-coms like To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You are how we escape our own messy and imperfect lives, Lara Jean choosing Peter is the right choice for her.
Next: What To Expect From To All The Boys 3