‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ Review


Scene from To All Of The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Meredith Bushman, Arts and Entertainment Editor

It’s almost a guarantee that for the past few days your social media feed has been inundated by this month’s obsession: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Based off of Jenny Han’s best selling trilogy, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before made its Netflix debut on August 17th with a favorable reception, a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and a following of thousands of fans.

While To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before may just seem like the next addition to the ever growing list of cheesy teen romance movies that eventually become forgotten, its shockingly accurate portrayal of high school life as well as diversity sets it apart from other teen rom-coms, and promises to outlive its fifteen seconds of fame.

The movie’s main character, Lara Jean Covey, is a reserved high school junior who has strong bonds with her sisters, her dad, and a few close friends. Her life mostly revolves around fantasies made up in her head, including daydreams about relationships with five boys. To help her cope with her considerable, secretive crushes, Lara Jean writes love letters to all five boys, seals and addresses them, but stows them away in her closet, never to be sent. However, as Lara Jean’s junior year begins, the letters get sent to all five of the boys and she has to deal with the drama that ensues.

While the movie was not as faithful to the books as some fans had hoped, the film was still enjoyable and entertaining. Unlike most teen rom-coms, the movie stuck surprisingly close to the awkward plight of adolescence. Since a majority of the movie plot surrounds Lara Jean breaking out of her small social circle and experiencing high school for the first time, the characters and the storyline were easy for many teens to relate to.

In addition, the audience gets to follow Lara Jean through her first relationship and all the struggles that come along with it- from contracts to crazy exes, the progression of the relationship never fails to disappoint or disengage viewers.

The film has also received praise for its representation from its three Asian American characters, Lara Jane and her two sisters. It was empowering to have a movie that would have a built in audience from the books as well as a large teen following cast an Asian American as the female lead.  The author of the trilogy, Jenny Han, revealed in an interview that many production companies tried to whitewash the movie and Lara Jean. However, Han stood her ground and ended up working with the only production company that agreed that Lara Jean would be played by an Asian actress.

The cast and crew have faced backlash however, as some fans have complained about Lara Jean not having an Asian love interest. Lana Condor, who portrayed Lara Jean in the movie, spoke out about this controversy, saying that it’s racist to believe that someone can only be in a relationship with another person from their race.

While To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before might not be the next cinematic masterpiece, it’s a cute film to watch on a night in with your friends that promises to make you smile at least once.