I’m back with a film review! How long has it been? It’s been quite a while and it’s simply because I haven’t been able to watch any movies. However Netflix is back in my life (I owe my friend a holiday) and I got to watch: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
I saw the trailer for this by accident on YouTube a while back and I was immediately intrigued. I like teenage romance movies that are a little quirky and so I definitely wanted to check it out. As I read the comments I also liked the fact that the lead actress is Asian American. As people have been saying representation matters and I could definitely see that in the comments. So many people were so happy to be represented and not just as a supporting character but a lead!
It seems the film industry is finally listening and seeing that we can do anything and movies with an ethnically diverse cast can do well financially. I mean look at Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians! We’re coming up y’all, killing it one movie at a time.
On with the review!
At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. It was kind of cliché in its dealing with high school and romance. Then I thought, “Wait, maybe this is really high school in America. Maybe no matter what generation you’re born in it will always suck.” Raise your hand if you thought high school was awesome and you weren’t popular! Also who made the rule you have to go out on a Saturday night? Us homebody’s like staying home and watching a cosy movie okay! I liked that Lara Jean was a bit of a homebody. I would join her for that Golden Girls marathon or to watch Sixteen Candles (maybe throw in Some Kind of Wonderful).
The plot got interesting when they wrote the contract. Now when her little sister sent out the letters I thanked God I’m an only child but I also wondered, “Where is the story going to go from here?” As it happened earlier than I expected. But then Peter came to her like, “Pretend to go out with me to make Gen jealous” and I was like, *pulls out popcorn from thin air* “This is about to get interesting.”
It was a fresh way of looking at teenage relationships. The rules she set out and the way they handled the fake relationship, it surprised me. They went the opposite direction of what I was expecting and I liked it. They didn’t make out a lot to prove their love. They just hung out, talked deeply and took pictures and uploaded on Insta (as we live in a digital age). Their relationship wasn’t physical; they connected on a mental and emotional level first before they connected on a physical level. Even then they only made out. It was refreshing.
So from the contract phase I was waiting to see if she would fall in love with him or not or if she’d actually end up with Josh. I also liked how they handled the other letters but I have one question: How did she have their correct and up to date addresses? No one moved in all that time? Not even Mr Camp?
I liked how they tackled why she hadn’t dated. It wasn’t the typical, “No one likes me,” which I appreciated and was actually a different valid reason. I’m sure there are teenagers out there (adults too) who can relate. So in a way the movie was about her tackling her fear of commitment and her learning to let people in. Up until the end she really struggled with it but she succeeded and I liked that. No, I loved it.
Although Peter liking her caught me by surprise. I really didn’t catch on until that diner scene where she reminded him it was a fake relationship and he looked like a cold bucket of water had been dumped on his head. So really he couldn’t blame Lara Jean for not knowing because he hid it well. Or maybe I’m just as bad as she was *le gasp*.
I also liked the other relationships forged in the movie; the sister relationship and the father/daughter relationship. He gave a good sex talk, maybe it’s because he was a gynaecologist but seriously, you have spit the facts. Their relationship felt real and with the sisters when Margot came back and they had that talk that had me wishing for a sister (for like a millisecond).
Overall it was a cute movie that exceeded my expectations. It was grounded and the characters were well rounded, except Gen, Gen needed to fix her life. Also why were Gen and Chris on such bad terms? I think we need a second movie to find out.
I give it a four out of five.
What did you think?