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'To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You': Couples Therapist Backs Team Peter for the Wrong Reasons

By Mae Abdulbaki | Film | March 11, 2020 |

By Mae Abdulbaki | Film | March 11, 2020 |


When To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You first released the images of Jordan Fisher as John Ambrose, Lara Jean’s new love interest, my first thought was “damn, this is going to be an interesting love triangle.” For Lana Condor’s Lara Jean Covey, choosing to explore an old crush or stick with the rocky relationship she started with Noah Centineo’s Peter Kavinsky was the central conflict in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before sequel. However, it only took that one picture of Lara Jean and John Ambrose dancing in their fancy dress attire to realize that they had obvious chemistry. That didn’t let up when the movie premiered on Netflix in February and many argued that Lara Jean should have ended up with John Ambrose for several solid reasons. A couples therapist analyzed the love triangle in To All the Boys 2 and, frankly, came up short in understanding exactly why there was a faction of fans who were no longer Team Peter.

To summarize, P.S. I Still Love You picks up more or less where the first film left off. Lara Jean and Peter’s fake dating days were over and they were officially in a relationship. But, considering that Lara Jean’s sister mailed out all of the letters, there was bound to be that one that came back to haunt the protagonist. As Lara Jean struggles in her uncommunicative relationship with Peter, she winds up volunteering at the same retirement home as her old crush, John Ambrose. Lara Jean is still very into him and I don’t blame her. John Ambrose is attractive, smart, genuine, and sweet. He’s willing to start things up with Lara Jean if she wants to do the same, but that’s before he finds out that she’s in a relationship with Peter. Naturally, Lara Jean must choose between the two. THE CONFLICT.

I’ll admit, I am not a fan of love triangles. The trope creates unnecessary drama and is usually handled very poorly. That said, if there was anyone I wanted Lara Jean to end up with, it was John Ambrose. I’m sorry, but Peter just wasn’t it in the sequel and I say this as someone who liked him and his relationship with Lara Jean in the first film. In P.S. I Still Love You, they pretty much drive his character into the ground, bringing up old issues — like the rumor that Lara Jean and Peter had sex in the hot tub — by actually making them worse. It’s something I didn’t think was possible, but here we are.

Insider decided to speak with a couples therapist to analyze the love triangle at the center of the film and the verdict was, without a doubt, that Lara Jean made the right choice when picking Peter. The primary reason given was that he was “emotionally honest” and that translated to a healthy relationship. (It usually does.) Whereas, John Ambrose was emotionally “manipulative,” using their years-old connection to his advantage. The therapist continued, describing Lara Jean’s predicament with John Ambrose as one that largely stems from her insecurities in her relationship with Peter. That is true and the film told us as much. She was insecure because Peter had more relationship experience than she did and was worried he would run back to his ex-girlfriend, Genevieve (Emilija Baranac).


But here’s the thing: the couples therapist only cites the aquarium scene as the one where Peter shows emotional vulnerability and basically ignores all his other behavior throughout the movie. So what if he looked sad when he took back the necklace and so what if it looked like he didn’t want to take it back to begin with? The guy lied to Lara Jean about not knowing who posted the hot tub video. He knew Lara Jean was being harassed and teased over it and yet he remained quiet, complicit in the action he pretended to know nothing about.

But, it turns out he knew the whole damn time that it was Genevieve who posted it and he didn’t say anything. Threatening to beat people up for giving Lara Jean a hard time when he failed to be honest with her about Genevieve is a big fat nope in my book. Lara Jean was harassed over that video and Peter wouldn’t even come clean about it, content to let her believe he was innocent. Now that is what you call manipulative. But no, they should be together because he came to pick her up knowing she didn’t like driving in the snow.

What’s more, Lara Jean also had to learn that Peter was “crazy” about her from Genevieve of all people. It’s not like Peter was going out of his way to tell her himself. Instead, he was busy defending his ex, though he couldn’t extend the same courtesy to his current girlfriend and the oversight was glaring. He basically gaslighting her to a degree, knowing her issues with Genevieve and her insecurities and actually made them worse by being dishonest. The pair weren’t even having a healthy relationship anyway, what with all the lying and lack of communicating. Once Lara Jean and Peter’s issues came to a head after the tree house debacle, they shut down and stopped speaking to each other altogether. How can someone work through something when they aren’t even talking? Getting back together is not going to erase these issues they never bothered to address. So, why stick with Peter?

No offense to this man, but Lara Jean is still young and there’s no concrete reason she should put so much effort into a relationship that had clearly started off on the wrong foot. To think John Ambrose was the manipulative one? No, there will be no John Ambrose slander here. Was he an easy way out of Lara Jean’s predicament? Sure. Did he really like and seem to respect Lara Jean? I’d say so, definitely. At the end of the day, Lara Jean might have saved herself a big headache had she also been Team John Ambrose, even if it was only for a little while.

Header Image Source: Netflix