Small Details You Missed In To All The Boys: Always And Forever
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The love story of Lara Jean Song Covey (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) may be far from over, as they each head off to college and hope to make their long-distance relationship last. But To All the Boys: Always and Forever marks the final chapter of the film series.
Yes, that does mean that the trilogy that made our hearts swell to three times their normal size has officially come to an end. The good news, however, is that there’s still plenty more to enjoy from this epic romance, including digging into some adorable details in the film you might not have noticed the first time around. From adorable Easter eggs from the very first film to an amazing cameo that brings it all full circle, here’s a look at the small details you might have missed in To All the Boys: Always and Forever.
The romantic relics
A lot has changed since To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before first brought Lara Jean and Peter together, but fans will notice some familiar items sprinkled throughout To All The Boys: Always and Forever. For one thing, Lara Jean has resumed wearing her necklace from Peter again, which means he must have returned it to her some time after the two got back together at the end of To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. And speaking of necklaces, Kitty is also still rocking that “feminist” necklace that took the internet by storm (even though it technically belongs to actress Anna Cathcart now).
Meanwhile, the “LJ & PK” heart logo that Lara Jean put on their promise lantern in the second film makes a triumphant return in several scenes of the third film, including a moment when Peter paints it on their home wall in Lara Jean’s dream of their perfect future together and on the lock Lara Jean got for him at Seoul Tower.
Perhaps most adorably, Lara Jean is still using the same lock screen image of her and Peter cuddling that we saw in the previous films. There’s more to the story of that photo than meets the eye, too. Director Susan Johnson revealed that the pic was actually a candid shot taken by a crew member while Lana Condor and Noah Centineo lounged in the green room between takes, and Johnson loved it so much that she incorporated it into the movie. Lara Jean and Peter might have had trouble finding a song, but they have plenty of their own traditions to speak of.
A love of literature
Lara Jean’s love of books has always been a defining characteristic, and in To All The Boys: Always And Forever, her latest literary interest bears a particular amount of significance to the story. While she’s visiting Korea with her sisters over spring break, she reads Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which thematically fits with what’s going on in her own life, as it centers on the close-knit relationship of sisters and the development of a sweeping romance. Lara Jean later encounters the book again at some important moments in the story, like when she sees a woman on the subway in New York reading the novel, and when her imagined version of Peter pays her a visit in her room during a moment of self-reflection.
Pride and Prejudice isn’t the only book that makes a big splash in the film, though. As Lara Jean imagines what her life might be like if she and Peter both go to Stanford to enjoy their ideal happily ever after, she pictures herself at a major book signing for her own novel called Whoa Whoa Whoa. That title is likely meant to be a tribute to Peter, since he’s used that phrase to get her attention throughout their relationship — including when she almost backed over him with her car and when she first planted a preemptive smooch on him on the track field.
A fitting farewell
Always and Forever finds Lara Jean’s dad Dan (John Corbett) taking his happy relationship with Trina Rothschild (Sarayu Blue) to the next level. But before that, Dan and his daughters enjoy a tender moment together honoring Lara Jean’s mom during the family’s trip to Korea. The four visit the Seoul Tower’s padlocks of love site with an old photo of Eve in hopes of finding the lock she left during a previous visit with Dan. Lara Jean ultimately finds her mother’s yellow lock and learns that her mother’s wish was for her and Dan to stay together for the rest of her life, which did indeed come true. Lara Jean then adds her own yellow lock with the initials for her dad, Margot (Janel Parrish), herself, and Kitty with the inscription, “for the rest of our lives.”
The moment is meaningful because it gives Dan and the girls a chance to say goodbye to their mother as they welcome a new woman into their home. And that’s not the only time Lara Jean parts with a piece of her mother’s memory, either. She also gives Peter the fabric box she got from her mother and used to hide the love letters that started this whole story. Lara Jean has long struggled with missing her mom, but in To All The Boys: Always and Forever, these gestures go to show that she’s finally made peace with the loss of her mother.
The rom-com rewind
You might have been as stunned as Lara Jean by Peter’s romantic surprise at the end of Always and Forever, but if you listen carefully, Peter actually hints at what’s going to happen very early on in the movie. When Lara Jean first returns from her trip to Korea, she and Peter sit down to watch another classic romantic-comedy together — this time, Say Anything. Not only does it inspire Peter’s little boombox serenade outside of Lara Jean’s window, but he also foreshadows his big move at the reception hall.
During their conversation, Lara Jean asks Peter what he has learned from all the rom-coms she’s forced him to watch, and he answers, “always make grand gestures [and] it’s OK to interrupt a wedding.” While Peter doesn’t exactly interrupt Dan and Trina’s wedding to deliver his new love contract to Lara Jean, he does use their wedding venue as the backdrop for his grand gesture, so it’s pretty close!
A cinematic callback
Another set of major movie references in To All the Boys: Always and Forever comes along at a blink-and-you’d-miss-it moment as Lara Jean contemplates how to surprise Peter during their next big date. While brainstorming ideas for how to treat him to a themed outing that matches Peter’s favorite films, Lara Jean jots down a few cinematic titles that he loves, including classics like Goodfellas, Dumb and Dumber, and Bad Boys.
Look closely enough at her list, though, and you’ll see some titles that are particularly important to the cast of Always and Forever. Most notably, she includes the film X-Men: Apocalypse, which featured Lana Condor in her feature film debut as the mutant Jubilee. The list also includes Charlie’s Angels, and Noah Centineo had a role in the 2019 reboot of that film as the tech-savvy Langston. You can also see Shazam! on the list, and that superhero smash features actor Ross Butler, who plays Trevor in the To All the Boys films. And yet another entry on the list, Doctor Sleep, includes former ’80s child star Henry Thomas, who plays Peter’s estranged father in To All The Boys: Always and Forever. So, basically, even though Lara Jean’s list looks like a simple run-through of some popular flicks, it’s actually a nice little nod to some of the cast’s other recent cinematic accomplishments.
Some significant shoes
Lara Jean’s sense of fashion has always been on-point, and that becomes particularly clear in Always and Forever when she correctly predicts that New York commuters wear sneakers to and from the office before changing into prettier pumps. After sporting her own tennis shoes around the city, she’s delighted to see the woman who reads Pride and Prejudice on the subway wearing some comfy kicks — just like she imagined.
But there’s an equally important shoe-related moment to be found in Always and Forever, and it’s a bit more subtle than that. After the senior trip, where Lara Jean and Gen (Emilija Baranac) have bonded during their night out in New York City, the two girls meet up again in the school hallway to talk about NYU, and Gen pays a quick compliment to Lara Jean’s shoes. Ordinarily, that might just be a nice thing for someone to say off-hand, but for Gen, it’s a very big deal. As fans might recall, their feud first became apparent in the first film at this exact same spot near the lockers, when Gen dissed Lara Jean’s boots by saluting and saying, “thank you for your service.” This time, there’s no passive-aggressiveness to be found in Gen’s tone as she talks about Lara Jean’s kicks, which confirms that they really have moved on from being foes to friends.
The cutest cameo
Last but not least, fans of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before books can find author Jenny Han prominently featured in the final act of Always and Forever. As Peter’s letter to Lara Jean describes the first time they ever met, the scene flashes back to middle school when little Lara Jean (played by Momona Tamada) wins an award for attendance and needs help getting her hair unstuck from her chair by a younger Peter before collecting her prize. Bestowing her award is Principal Cho, who is played by the one and only Jenny Han.
Han previously appeared in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before as a chaperone at Lara Jean’s freshman homecoming dance when she danced with Lucas Krapf (Trezzo Mahoro) and in To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You as a faculty member giving comfort to a sobbing student on Valentine’s Day. So it’s only fitting that she returns for the final adaptation of her cherished books. And this time, fans can now officially know her character’s name, too!
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