Spoilers are ahead for Netflix’s All The Boys: Always and Forever.
This past week, All The Boys fans said goodbye to Lana Condor's Lara Jean after a sweet trilogy that followed the teen’s growth into first love and forging her path after high school. The ending to LJ’s story and her continued relationship with Noah Centineo’s Peter Kavinsky went the way of the hopeless romantic, having the couple pledging to send each other love letters as they packed their bags to colleges across the country from each other.
Although the pair had planned to attend the same college, Lara Jean did not get into Stanford like Kavinsky. This led to LJ initially choosing a neighboring Northern California school to her boyfriend, before ultimately deciding to go to NYU for herself after falling in love with what the campus had to offer. All The Boys star Lana Condor shared her thoughts on the franchise’s finale to EW:
I'm very happy [with her ending]. I had a conversation with [director] Michael [Fimognari] about the last shot of the movie. That was so important to him that it was really tight on just Lara Jean in this new world because he wanted to make sure that the ending was like, 'She's a woman now and she can go out and do anything that she wants and achieve anything that she wants.'
Although it's easy (and fun) for us to get wrapped in the love story between Noah Centineo and Lana Condor’s characters, the last shot in the movie does make it all about Lara Jean and her personal journey. And that’s what it’s been about the whole time, hasn’t it? All The Boys: Always and Forever does place the focus on LJ’s college plan with Peter but, in the end, she chooses herself and paves her own future. And, she maintained her relationship with him. It goes to show that focusing on your own growth can turn into happily ever after. Condor also said this about Lara Jean:
This girl used to be so scared to talk about her feelings to anyone and now seeing her at the end in this big city and no one else is there, it was so important to Michael and to me. I'm very grateful that they gave her her due as a young woman. That's something I was advocating for, I was like, 'Listen, love is awesome but I really need this movie to be about Lara Jean becoming the woman that I know she can be. I want her to show growth and I want her to just fully occupy her space and be ready for this world.' And everyone was on board and they wanted that as well so I am happy with how it ended.
There it is right there. That’s why the All The Boys: Always and Forever ending lands. It places Lara Jean’s development as a character over its romance, whilst leaving room for the two to coexist. The conclusion was already written in Jenny Han’s books and, now, audiences of the Netflix movies got to see it play out too! It’s not easy to ground a story about high school love over three movies, but the series’ focus on its central lead helped those final moments hit the right emotional notes.
The All The Boys movies completely changed the lives of Lana Condor and Noah Centineo, who are now major names in Hollywood following their breakout success. Centineo reached hearthrob status not long after All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’s release, recently recalling a time when he was followed home after some fans tracked his flight.
The 24-year-old actor is soon heading to the DCEU as Atom Smasher in Black Adam, and Condor is already heading to a Netflix limited series called Boo, Bitch, about a high-schooler who becomes a ghost. Check out our full breakdown of the All The Boys ending here on CinemaBlend.