The second instalment of To All The Boys called To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You just hit Netflix and took the internet by storm, especially John Ambrose. The film is a typical teen romance, but there is a breakthrough moment in this movie that sets it apart from the rest.
While most feel-good teen movies focus on getting the lead couple together, and end with their perfect kiss under the moonlight, this film explored the grey area that is evident when you love in the real world. The fact that even if you are in a relationship, it is completely normal to find other people attractive.
For Lara Jean to be attracted to John Ambrose while she was still in a relationship with Peter was a classic example of dating as a millennial. And though most might argue that her kissing John Ambrose was wrong, she was technically broken up with Peter by that point.
Psychologist and dating coach Samantha Rodman told HuffPost that having a crush while in a relationship has nothing to do with how healthy your relationship is, if you are happy or not.
Crushes make people feel attractive and alive, and people often get them even when they are very committed to their partners, but the relationship is no longer in that swooning honeymoon phase.
Feeling attracted, developing a crush, and finding other people good-looking is something beyond our control. So unless you act on it, these emotions aren’t actually harming your relationship. The same way Josh Ambrose wasn’t the reason behind Lara Jean and Peter falling apart, it was the miscommunication.
It’s a choice to flirt, to daydream and fantasize about this person or to choose to have more contact with them. In other words, an initial attraction may be unavoidable, but nurturing that attraction through thought and action is on you.
-Ryan Howes, co-creator of the Mental Health Boot Camp
There are parts in the movie that point to Lara Jean getting influenced by her feelings. For example, when she didn’t tell John Ambrose that she was dating Peter. Or when she had that imaginary conversation with Peter and John Ambrose in her bedroom, wondering if she had in the past, liked one more than the other.
The relationship has become routine or boring, for example, but their interactions with their crush are fun and exciting. Or their partner doesn’t share an interest in movies, but the crush loves movies and wants to talk about them all the time.
She felt attracted to John Ambrose because he liked reading the way she did, was someone who shared her interests whereas Peter didn’t. Remember the party? And while her boyfriend made her wait for hours because of practice, John Ambrose was always ready to be with her.
This teen film, which could have gone the rosy-route and made Lara Jean the bad guy, decided to explore these emotions in a subtle and honest manner. It normalised the concept for our generation and added another dimension to mainstream love.