Why We Love “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

To all the movies I’ve loved before watch out, there’s a new blockbuster in town. The Netflix Original “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is a teen romance movie adapted from a book of the same title by Jenny Han. Netflix released the film on Aug. 17. Directed by Susan Johnson, this film tugs at viewers’ heartstrings in all the right ways from the relatable characters to the amazing on-screen chemistry.

The movie is about a girl named Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor), who writes letters to her crushes instead of actually telling them how she feels. Relatable. But her world comes to a standstill when one day her letterswhich she addressed for some reasonget sent out to her past crushes.  She starts fake dating Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), one of the recipients of her letters, so that Josh Sanderson (Israel Broussard), another recipient of her letters who is also her older sister’s ex-boyfriend, doesn’t think she likes him. Talk about a complicated love triangle. With this being a rom-com and all, you can probably guess what happens next.

Like most cliche chick flicks, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” has the mean girl set on ruining the lead’s relationship, the supportive best friend, the lovers’ quarrel and lots of sweet, adorable moments in between. But what really differentiates the movie from all the others is the relatability, on and off screen chemistry between the cast, and the quirky yet mature personalities of all the characters. Lara Jean is a straightforward, hopeless romantic and is very relatable. From her incredibly messy room that she only decides to clean when her life becomes a mess to her fear of driving, the audience just can’t help but love Lara Jean’s quirky antics. Peter Kavinsky, the heartthrob and popular boy of school, is a little arrogant but full of charisma. Throughout the movie, when he interacts with Lara Jean, her family and even his ex-girlfriend, he never fails to maintain his kind and respectful persona.

Aside from the friends and love interests, the Covey family’s chemistry feels extremely real. Margot (Janel Parrish), Katherine a.k.a. Kitty (Anna Cathcart) and Lara Jean are supporting of one another and personify a loving sisterhood. While everything is not always perfect and they do get in disagreements, at the end of the day they are always there for one another and the audience can feel their unconditional love for each other through the screen. Not to mention, their gynecologist dad, who actually wants Lara Jean to go to parties and have fun, and is very supportive of his daughters’ decisions. The family dynamic as a whole is a very strong and loving one. Overall, the entire cast’s acting was top-notch and their off-screen friendship really shone through into the final cut.

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” has an amazing plot and cast, not to mention beautifully shot cinematography and stunning sets. The costumes matching each character’s personality and was also a nice touch. Along with the recently released movie “Crazy Rich Asians,” the movie spotlights Asian-American representation in the media. The characters stray from the stereotypical image given to Asians and even make a few remarks about the offensive way they are often portrayed. As an Indian Canadian living in America, I’ve had to deal with a fair share of stereotypes, whether they were about my Indian background or Canadian nationality. What I appreciated most in this film was that it shows people that not all Asians are smart, and not all of them have no love or social life. By rejecting such stereotypes and portraying Lara Jean as just a typical, teenage girl, the movie gives Asian-Americans a fresh and more accurate image that is not commonly seen in western media.

All in all, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” was a huge success and I highly recommend you go watch it (multiple times).