Peter Kavinsky: The Boy Who Went From Cute to Cringe

Photo courtesy of TheList.com

By Sara Florez || Contributing Writer 

If you were to ask anyone if they knew the movie To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, chances are you will get a yes. When this movie first aired on Netflix, it was all the rage on social media, and everyone was obsessed. But, a lot of people also remember the cringe factor this movie brought. At least to me, Lara Jean and Peter never seemed all that romantically compatible which made the experience of viewing it uncomfy. This, plus Lara Jean tackling him to the ground during gym class to kiss him, really made me say “wow”. But these factors only apply to the first film. Let’s talk about the third. 

Since 2018, when the first TATBILB came out, the directors have somehow managed to release not only a sequel, but a threequel. Now, if you thought the first movie was cringeworthy, I highly suggest that you do not watch the latest installment: To All The Boys: Forever And Always. I did have to pause the film to walk around my room and physically cringe a few times–so seriously proceed with caution. 

To sum up the film quickly, Lara Jean and Peter both want to attend Stanford University together. I guess they both had 4.0 GPAs, because otherwise, frankly, these two do not feel like Stanford material. Peter gets accepted and Lara Jean doesn’t. This two-hour film relies on this one main plot for its entirety and in the end Lara Jean attends NYU and her and Peter decide to continue as a couple–just long distance. I know this does not seem like an embarrassing plot, but it just is. The acting, the fashion choices, and so much more make it embarrassing. 

Now, I’m not saying this entire movie was bad. There were just many parts that I would rather not want to watch again. Low and behold, most of these scenes involved the “oh-so-charming” Peter Kavinsky. The first cringey scene we encountered is when Lara Jean and Peter are doing face masks right after Lara Jean returns home from her family vacation in Seoul. Everything is all cute and lovey-dovey until Peter starts to “tickle” Lara Jean. (I use the term tickle very loosely because when you’re watching the scene, he tickles her a bit more aggressively than you would expect). Watching him tickle her and then her looking almost as if she were in pain definitely ruined the whole cute scene for me. 

Then, a few seconds later, we saw Peter being quite cringey yet again, wincing as he removed his face mask. I feel like it is common knowledge that taking off a sheet mask doesn’t hurt. It seems as if Mr. Kavinsky didn’t really get the memo on this.

This next scene was one that REALLY got to me—and not in a good way. Peter and Lara Jean are on a bowling date, which is very cute and sappy. As I watched Peter mentally prepare himself to bowl, it made me glad I’ve never seen someone do this in real life. Let’s first start with him literally kissing the bowling ball before letting it go. I’m saying, literally putting his lips to a dirty bowling ball. I don’t know if this is me just being a complete germaphobe because of COVID, but I would never put my lips near something that touches hundreds of people’s hands, the ground, and who knows what else. Then, when he earns a strike, he does a little celebratory dance that was not in the slightest bit cute. This move got more of a “why are you doing that?” type of reaction out of me.

All three of these movies in the series definitely have their own rankings of how cringeworthy they are, but at the end of the day, I think that To All The Boys: Forever And Always has to take the crown. 

Overall cringe rating: A solid 7/10.

First-year Sara Florez is a contributing writer. Her email is sflorez@fandm.edu

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