Do you ever watch a rom-com and think, “Wow, these teenage protagonists are annoying” only to take it back because you probably went through the same thing? That was me while watching “PS I Still Love You.”
In the “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” sequel, we see how Lara Jean Song Covey (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) are spending time as a new couple. Trouble arises when one of Lara Jean’s childhood crushes, John Ambrose McClaren (Jordan Fisher), reappears in her life after receiving one of her love letters.
Turns out, John Ambrose also had a crush on Lara Jean when they were kids, making things a bit complicated. The frustrating part is that Lara Jean doesn’t mention that Peter’s her boyfriend and she starts reconsidering her relationship after meeting another nice guy. You know, just a typical love triangle to spice the story up.
Some #TeamJohnAmbrose fans may be thinking that Lara Jean’s better off with him because he’s nicer and overall better than Peter. We understand the kilig they felt while watching John Ambrose and Lara Jean become close. But remember that rom-coms can skew our idea of love and relationships, and “PS I Still Love You” did have an emotional cheating theme.
Emotional cheating and lack of communication
What is emotional cheating? It’s usually described as breaking your significant other’s trust because you developed feelings for another person. Although Lara Jean never explicitly said that she liked John Ambrose over Peter, she still considered if it would be better if she dated the former instead in one of her internal monologues. Plus there’s the fact that she didn’t tell John Ambrose about her relationship and kept Peter out of the loop.
This may stem from Lara Jean’s insecurity with Peter’s ex Gen (Emilija Baranac) and the fact that she’s dating one of the popular guys in school, which are valid feelings to have at any age. But does it give her an excuse to emotionally cheat on her partner after finding out a guy from her past liked her back? Nope.
At the same time, Peter was also at fault for not letting Lara Jean know about his continuing friendship with Gen. This may not count as emotional cheating, but the lack of communication was still a problem.
It’s also clear that the fans (and maybe Lara Jean) fell for the nice guy trope, where a guy does the bare minimum to get a girl to fall in love with him—regardless if the person they’re pursuing is taken or not. Granted, John Ambrose didn’t know about Lara Jean’s relationship at first, but fans are saying that he deserved better because he’s nicer than Peter.
First of all, being a decent human being doesn’t guarantee you a relationship. Second, Lara Jean isn’t a prize to be won for whoever the best guy is—both Peter and John Ambrose seem like great people so there’s really no competition, IMO. At the end of the day, it’s Lara Jean’s choice: She stayed with Peter, who forgave her for being dishonest for most of the movie.
What I will say about “PS I Still Love You” is it created a realistic conflict that could happen in any teenage relationship. Like I said at the start of this article, the problems may be annoying but I could somehow empathize with the characters, especially Lara Jean. But it doesn’t mean I condone her behavior—even Lana Condor wanted to smack her character. (More on this in our story coming out tomorrow.)
All that’s left is to wait and see how Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship will play out in the third and final movie “Always and Forever, Lara Jean.” For now, watch “PS I Still Love You” if you’re looking for a rom-com to gush over. It is Valentine’s Day tomorrow after all.
Photos courtesy of Netflix
Lara Jean is still our style icon in ‘PS I Still Love You’
Attention, K-pop fans: There’s a Blackpink song in ‘PS I Still Love You’
People are swooning over Peter Kavinsky in ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’
Emotional cheating is real and hurts like a b*tch