To All The Boys. P.S. I Still Love You Review: A Sigh Of Confusion

Netflix Movies
To all the boys: P.S: I still love you

“To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” is the kind of movie you would have on Netflix. This is not to say that Netflix is incapable of making great movies, far from it – “The Irishman” and “The Two Popes” are fine movies (although I am not crazy about the latter, I still think it is a great piece of moving picture art). Netflix makes good movies but because it is Netflix, because you watch it in the comfort of your home, there are certain liberties that Netflix can afford to take that theatrical releases would be super reluctant to take. If a movie is in the cinemas, it is competing with dozens of other films. Viewers have to have certain assurances before they commit to watching any movie in the cinema – is it good? Is it good for me? Would I regret the decision to watch this? Etc. Even if a film is good, it may not be good enough to make you want to go and watch it. This is not so with Netflix. If it is not good enough, you will always abandon it and watch the next movie – or so you think. Average movies have a better chance of becoming a hit on Netflix than in the cinema. An average movie with a curious title or with the Justin Bieber of teen romances Noah Centineo in it will get a lot of inquisitive clicks which will be seen as good reception by the algorithm which would be seen as a good movie by the next person to log in to Netflix (it must be good is so many people have already watched it, they say, in just a couple of hours). The ripple effect continues and the average film continually gets hits after hits, in the millions.

Netflix does not have star rating on its content just the thumbs-up/down rating which Forbes described as “quite literally the most useless rating system I have ever seen across any form of media.” With this system, there is no way a bad movie will get majority down-votes. People don’t make such an effort. They will rather move to the next. It takes a special dislike to get downvotes from many people. And the likes is not for rating per se, it is for the algorithm, to inform your friends that this is the kind of movie you like and let them give it a try. Why should Netflix have stars and have millions of movies lost in their poverty? It is not good for business. So we are stuck with a system that inquisitiveness can make a blockbuster off a cold ash movie. If you make me the CEO of Netflix tomorrow, I won’t replace the stars. But this does not mean I am stupid. Every romantic movie must be shown before a jury of ten sadists. If a simple majority of them do not like the movie it won’t air. If it is fifty-fifty, we will declare a mistrial and get a fresh group of sadists. I suspect that you would say that movies are not for sadists, that the average man is not a sadist. Well, you may not know it but there is a sadist in every man many have become experts in suppressing their sadistic personality. Well, I may not ask that these movies that fail the sadists test will be deleted. Maybe we will create a B-section and dump these movies there so that anyone watching them will know that they are bad movies. And anyone who watches up to 100 such movies will be deported to Mars.

See also: Why movies like The Notebook are worth rewatching

Directed by Michael Fimognari, “To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” is one movie that will not pass the sadist test and this does not tell the whole story. It is not whether a sadist will like it or not, it is just that the movie does not give you reasons to dislike it. It is a kind of movie that says to you, “I am not a good movie but I dare you to point out what I suck at.” You suck at not been good, you yell but your voice is drowned by sighs of exasperation, sighs of confusion from the up-thumb-voting-even-when-it-is-not-good-because-down-voting-is-not-who-I-am gang. The movie has a woman in the lead. Not just any woman, a woman of color in the person of Lana Condor portrayed by Lara Jean. This is not very common and it is good. Although this is the second time Lara Jean is the lead in a romantic movie. She was in the first part “All The Boys I Loved Before” and I hear this one is inferior to that one. What would a good reviewer do? A good reviewer would go back and watch the first film in the series first or watch this new one then return to watch the earlier one. But if I watched the first one, I will no longer be able to watch the second one. If I watched the second one, it will be impossible to go back and watch the first one. It is my Catch-22. Moreso, I am not a good reviewer. None is good except the Lord.

If you watched “To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” and didn’t like it, you will understand my rambling. If you watched this movie and felt it is a good movie, this review is your punishment.

Image source: The New York Times

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