BY KAREN SUROS
Anyone looking for their next favorite movie might just find it in Netflix’s new teen romantic comedy “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.” Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) is your average teenage girl: she lives with her loving family, has a few close friends at school and occasionally develops crushes. But she has a rather unique way of handling these intense crushes- she writes them love letters. However, these love letters are never meant to be sent out until, one day, they are. Now Lara Jean (Lana Condor) is left to clean up the mess they’ve made, and things take an interesting turn when Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) offers his help.
As Lara Jean, Lana Condor is witty, relatable and eloquent. Noah Centineo plays her love interest Peter Kavinsky beautifully, making him out to be outgoing and self-assured. Together, the couple is a force to be reckoned with and their chemistry is felt throughout the duration of the movie.
It’s important to acknowledge that the protagonist of the story was written to be an Asian-American girl and was actually cast as an Asian-American girl, something fairly rare in Hollywood.
Though it may be a romantic comedy, family is a big theme in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” The relationships between siblings Lara Jean, Margot (Janel Parrish) and Kitty (Anna Cathcart) are a heartwarming display of sisterhood at its best. Each individual’s personality was unique, as well. Kitty was the snappy and extroverted little sister, Lara Jean the more sentimental and introverted middle child, and Margot was the practical, wise older sister. Not to mention, they had a single, widowed father played by John Corbett, who relied on them just as much as they relied on him.
It’s typical for a romantic comedy to be cliched, unrealistic or cheesy. To be fair, some aspects of the movie may be seen in these ways. The film follows the classic tale of a confident, popular boy helping a shy girl out of her shell and they just happen to fall in love along the way.
However, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is refreshing in more ways than one.
The movie is a refreshing portrayal of teenage love, managing to work in themes of both family and friendship along the way.
It’s important to acknowledge that the protagonist of the story was written to be an Asian-American girl and was actually cast as an Asian-American girl, something fairly rare in Hollywood. Additionally, the scenery is lovely, as it was shot in the northwestern United States. Views of tall green trees, city skylines and snowy mountains are frequent.
The actual scenes between the actors, particularly the romantic ones between Peter and Lara Jean, are also shot well. The actual storyline may be a touch predictable, but the film stands out because of its original premise. The movie is based off of a book trilogy of the same name. This also means that fans may have two sequels to look forward to if everything goes according to plan.
The movie is a refreshing portrayal of teenage love, managing to work in themes of both family and friendship along the way. Actors play their respective characters wonderfully, so that audiences are sure to root for them. “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” has marked its place as a John Hughes-esque teen rom-com for today’s generation. Peter Kavinsky might just be the Jake Ryan of 2018.
- Well-written characters
- Heartwarming message
- Happy ending
- Slowly paced
Photo courtesy of What’s on Netflix