To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, is a Netflix original movie directed by Susan Johnson and written by Sofia Alvarez. It is based on the novel, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” which was written by Jenny Han. The novel itself spent 40 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and was published in over 30 languages.

The movie was released August 17, 2018 and it quickly garnered a lot of attention from the general public for mainly two reasons: number one being that it is a great teenage romance drama that had everyone invested after seeing the chemistry of the main two stars, and number two is that the movie has a lead Asian female actress. This sparked a lot of conversation and caught the interest of many as Asian representation is a trending topic in pop culture.

When the actual movie was released it was not my main priority to see it, but after seeing all the attention it got, I finally sat down and watched it for myself. After finishing the movie, I felt it lived up to my expectations and I genuinely enjoyed it overall.

To All the Boys I’ve loved Before, is about a teenage girl, Lara Jean, who wrote letters to her crushes, but never sends them and never intended for them to get out. Unfortunately for her, they do. She is faced with the consequences of the letters being given to her past crushes and, to make matters worse, the boys all seem to want to confront her about them. This is where the movie really takes off. She starts fake dating one of the boys, Peter Kavinsky, in order to avoid her sister’s ex boyfriend, to whom she had written a letter.

I found myself enjoying the dynamics of Lara Jean’s family. Her mother passed away, so she is living with her father and two sisters, Margot and Kitty. Margot moves away in the beginning of the movie for college, but the bond that her and Lara Jean have is still visible throughout the movie, especially when Margot comes back for Christmas break. Also, the playful banter between Lara Jean and Kitty contributed to the list of funny moments for me. Lara Jean and Kitty were both interesting and quirky characters that a lot of people may be able to relate to or appreciate.

***May contain spoilers***

Lara Jean does avoid confrontation with her sister’s ex boyfriend, Josh, for part of the movie, so the whole fake dating fiasco does work to her benefit for a short period of time. Peter’s reason for committing to the fake dating was that he wanted his ex girlfriend back, and he thought by making her jealous she would come running back to him. In one scene, Peter was talking with his ex girlfriend, and at this point the viewer could tell he was starting to genuinely like Lara Jean, but he still allowed his ex girlfriend, Gen, to take the scrunchy Lara had given him as a sweet gesture. This later affects the plot and is what causes Lara Jean to end it with Peter. The execution of Gen revealing that she had the scrunchy could have been done better and it felt a little rushed, especially for it being the tipping point where everything starts down-spiraling.

The scene where Lara Jean and Peter are at the Corner Cafe and they are talking and sharing details of their lives was done very nicely. While they are both talking and getting to know each other better, Peter reveals that his dad left his family, and they bond over the fact that they both only have one parent present. This cafe is significant because we see in a flashback scene that Lara Jean’s mother and father would come there often when they were younger. It was a sweet comparison that made their relationship seem real, despite its being fake.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed the movie, and I would recommend it to anyone who maybe isn’t sure if they want to see it.