If you’d asked me what kind of movie would make this weird moment we live in, this semi-quarantine state where you’re not really supposed to be out, and you feel like you’ve run out of things to do, watch and even think about inside your house, I probably wouldn’t have said it was To All the Boys: Always and Forever. But I would have been wrong.
To All the Boys: Always and Forever. is exactly the type we of movie all needed right now: Romantic, fun, heartfelt, emotional in all the right ways, and most importantly …hopeful.
Yes, hopeful. Not in a way that has to do with the pandemic, of course, but in a way that reminds us of what life was before the pandemic, and what it will hopefully be again. We get to see these characters live and explore and travel in ways we dream of doing again, and though we cannot be there with them, the idea that at some point we will be once more, is a balm on a weary soul.
And yet, it’s most important bit of hopefulness isn’t about the possibility of one day getting our lives back, no, the most important bit of hopefulness has to do with the idea of connection. The idea that going away – to college, in this case – doesn’t mean the end.
Not being able to touch others, to see them every day, to hug them, to be by their side …isn’t the end.
You can choose differently.
Choose to keep loving people, even when it’s harder. Choose to stay connected, even if it’s not in the same way you were before. Choose to not give up, but instead, keep trying.
That’s what Peter and Lara Jean do, but that’s also what Lara Jean chooses with her sisters, and her father. That is the choice we’ve all had to make during this pandemic, and though the movie’s theme wasn’t supposed to hit in this exact way, the pandemic has made this message even stronger.
Love isn’t about proximity. We all understand that now.
And we also understand that movies like this one, movies about growing up, about finding your own voice, separate from the people around you, about making your own decisions, are important, but the most important part is remembering that you never have to give up you, your voice, your passions, for anyone .
If someone asks you to, then they’re not worthy of you.
Growing up is hard, y’all. It is. We never truly stop doing it, either. We think we got everything figured out at 18, and then at 22, 25, 30, 25, 40 and so on, and yet …we never really do. There are always new things to figure out, new things to learn. Lara Jean might not have all the answers, she can’t, but she’s a good reminder that we don’t have to either.
We just have to keep trying.
And during this year of our continued pandemic, let this movie make you smile, let it take you on a ride filled with sisterhood, family, fluffy goodness, and love that triumphs against all odds.
Watch it once. Watch it again. Visit Korea with the Covey sisters, find that special spot that means a lot to you. Call your Chris and though you can’t really hug her close right now, remember that friendship is the one thing that will carry you through life. And yes, write love letters to that special person (or love emails, you do you). This movie is a good reminder that, even in weird times, there’s always a way to stay connected.
Always and Forever.