To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021)

To All the Boys: Always and Forever
Director: Michael Fimognari
Writer: Katie Lovejoy
Based on: Jenny Han’s novel
Sequel to: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, John Corbett, Trezzo Mahoro, Madeleine Arthur, Ross Butler, Emilija Baranac, Sarayu Blue, Henry Thomas
Seen on: 21.2.2021

Plot:
Everything is good for Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo), but as they are nearing the end of their final year of high school things are bound to change – and the question is whether they can actually change for the better. Lara Jean has a clear plan: she will attend college together with Peter at Stanford, so she can still be with him without having to worry about the long distance thing. But when she isn’t actually accepted at Stanford, Lara Jean has to figure out how to deal with her plans not coming through – and what she actually wants for herself.

To All the Boys: Always and Forever is a lovely end to a lovely trilogy that I enjoyed a lot – especially thanks to Lana Condor’s ever-present charm. This installment, being more about Lara Jean on her own than about Lara Jean and Peter, plays to that strength and is generally just wonderful.

The film poster showing Lara Jean (Lana Condor) walking through a drawn New York street.
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SPF-18 (2017)

SPF-18
Director: Alex Israel
Writer: Michael Berk
Cast: Carson Meyer, Noah Centineo, Bianca A. Santos, Jackson White, Sean Russel Herman, Rosanna Arquette, Molly Ringwald, Goldie Hawn, Keanu Reeves, Pamela Anderson
Seen on: 8.11.2020

Plot:
Penny (Carson Meyer) has always loved Johnny (Noah Centineo), and finally they found their way to each other. Now they finished school and summer stretches before them. Johnny is housesitting Keanu Reeves’ beach house and invites Penny. Since Penny assumes, hopes and fears that this will mean that they will finally have sex, she asks her cousin Camilla (Bianca A. Santos) along as moral support. Things get complicated afterwards, though. Young musician Ash (Jackson White) who is camping at the beach, joins them and Penny and he have an instant connection. Johnny is generally distant, trying to figure out where to head next. As is Bianca, who is afraid that nobody takes her serious. As the summer draws on and they learn to surf together, decisions have to be made.

SPF-18 is a mess with some nice cameos. I got the distinct impression that this was made by somebody so privileged, they live in a world entirely unlike mine, and it shows in pretty much everything. It’s a film utterly removed from the reality of most people – and doesn’t even know it.

The film poster showing five people with surfboards on the beach, getting ready to hit the waves.

[SPOILERS]

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To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020)

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
Director: Michael Fimognari
Writer: Sofia Alvarez, J. Mills Goodloe,
Based on: Jenny Han’s novel
Sequel to: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Jordan Fisher, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, John Corbett, Trezzo Mahoro, Madeleine Arthur, Ross Butler, Emilija Baranac, Holland Taylor, Sarayu Blue
Seen on: 13.4.2020

Plot:
Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo) are finally dating for real and things are good. That’s when Lara Jean receives a reply to one of her love letters that were sent out, a reply from John Ambrose (Jordan Fisher). The letter stirs up Lara Jean’s old feelings. And when John Ambrose shows up by chance as a volunteer at the senior home Lara Jean volunteers at, while things with Peter start to get more complicated, Lara Jean finds herself in an awkward position.

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You hits all the right cuteness buttons that I’ve come to expect from both the books and the first film. If you’re looking from something nice and sweet and light, this is the way to go.

The film poster showing Lara Jean (Lana Condor) standing in front of a huge envelope with Peter (Noah Centineo) and John Ambrose (Jordan Fisher) sticking out of it.
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Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018)

Sierra Burgess Is a Loser
Director: Ian Samuels
Writer: Lindsey Beer
Cast: Shannon Purser, Kristine Froseth, RJ Cyler, Noah Centineo, Loretta Devine, Lea Thompson, Alan Ruck, Mary Pat Gleason
Seen on: 9.2.2020

Content Note: ableism, transmisia, sexualized violence

Plot:
Sierra (Shannon Purser) is far from a popular girl. Not like Veronica (Kristine Froseth) who hates Sierra and has boys flocking to her. Boys like Jamey (Noah Centineo) who gets up his courage to ask for her number. But Veronica isn’t interested in someone she sees as a loser – and instead gives Jamey Sierra’s phone number. Jamey and Sierra start texting and get along great, but Sierra doesn’t dare tell Jamey who she really is – and isn’t. But Veronica, too, has boy trouble: she really wants to impress the college guy she dates with her knowledge – and for that, she needs Sierra’s help.

When Sierra Burgess came out, I remember there being a lot of criticism of it, but that memory had – unfortunately – faded to a point where I thought, I’d give the film a chance. I shouldn’t have. The criticism was right, this film is a very hot mess.

The film poster showing the four main characters of the film.

[SPOILERS]

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Charlie’s Angels (2019)

Charlie’s Angels
Driector: Elizabeth Banks
Writer: Elizabeth Banks
Based on: the TV show
Sequel to (kinda): Charlie’s Angels, Charlie’s Angles: Full Throttle
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks, Patrick Stewart, Djimon Hounsou, Sam Claflin, Jonathan Tucker, Nat Faxon, Chris Pang, Luis Gerardo Méndez, Noah Centineo
Seen on: 15.1.2020

Plot:
Elena (Naomi Scott) is an engineer at a technology company and they are about to launch a product that will revolutionize the way the world works. Elena is worried that there is a terrible security flaw in the product, but nobody wants to hear about it. So she contacts the Angels, hoping to keep the worst from happening. Sabina (Kristen Stewart) and Jane (Ella Balinska) are assigned to her case by Bosley (Elizabeth Banks). What should be a routine mission becomes much bigger than they expected, though.

I honestly don’t understand why Charlie’s Angels tanked as much as it did*. I found it to be a refreshing, fun action comedy with great performances and a nice (basic) feminist message.

*I have an idea though and that idea can be summed up with “male critics”.

The film poster showing the main characters of the film, above all the angels.
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The Perfect Date (2019)

The Perfect Date
Director: Chris Nelson
Writer: Steve Bloom, Randall Green
Based on: Steve Bloom’s novel The Stand-In
Cast: Noah Centineo, Laura Marano, Odiseas Georgiadis, Camila Mendes, Matt Walsh, Joe Chrest, Carrie Lazar
Seen on: 13.4.2019
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Plot:
Brooks (Noah Centineo) is hoping to get into the university of his dreams – and that costs money. Fortunately for Brooks an opportunity arises for him in the form of Celia (Laura Marano) who is in need of a date and willing to pay cash. Brooks accepts and on his fake date with Celia, he meets Shelby (Camila Mendes) and falls for her head over heels. Brooks decides to make the fakedating a business, turning into a date for hire, becoming whatever the girls who hire him need him to be. At the same time, he and Celia hatch a plan to win Shelby over and get Celia the guy of her dreams as well by making both of them jealous. But of course, things get complicated.

The Perfect Date is exactly what you’d expect it to be, a super-fluffy, super-light, super-predictable RomCom. If you’re looking for a bit of comfortable romance, it will give you what you want.

The film poster showing Brooks (Noah Centineo) with various accessories behind him to choose from.
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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Director: Susan Johnson
Writer: Sofia Alvarez
Based on: Jenny Han’s novel
Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, John Corbett, Israel Broussard, Andrew Bachelor, Trezzo Mahoro, Madeleine Arthur, Emilija Baranac, Kelcey Mawema
Seen on: 4.1.2019
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Plot:
Lara Jean (Lana Condor) lives with her two sisters Margot (Janel Parrish) and Kitty (Anna Cathcart) and their father (John Corbett). Margot is about to leave for college in Scotland and therefore she breaks up with her boyfriend of many years, Josh (Israel Broussard), their next-door-neighbor. After Margot leaves, this brings up old feelings in Lara Jean who used to have a crush on him. She writes her feelings down in the continuation of a letter she wrote to him many years ago – as she has written a letter to all the boys she fell in love with at some point, without ever sending them. But then Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), the most popular guy in school, approaches her asking about the letter she wrote to him and Lara Jean realizes all of her letters were mailed out. When Josh asks her about this, Lara Jean tells him a panic that she is dating Peter, completing the confusion.

After finishing the book in like two days, I was so taken by it, that I watched the adaptation basically immediately. And fortunately the film version did not disappoint at all: it’s pure, lovely sugar.

The film poster showing Lara Jean (Lana Condor) with a letter in her hand.
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