By now, you’re probably obsessed as I am with To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, a film adaptation of Jenny Han’s popular young-adult novel on a girl named Lara Jean whose letters to all the boys she had crushes on got sent out by her sneaky little sister. I’ve read all three books before and if the movie has gotten you smitten, trust that the book would ultimately bring out the love-struck teenager in all of us.
Though there were slight changes in the film, I still think we can all agree that our expectations have been met. Here are 5 reasons why To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before has been the best thing that happened to Netflix thus far.
- An Asian lead character..
Female Asian characters in Asian-themed films centered on racism and war are now ancient history, thanks to this light-hearted, romantic comedy where we get to witness a normal Asian teenager go through high school and fall so hard in love the way we see white female leads do. I mean, it’s so rare to see a woman of color star in films with the same genre as this. The fact that’s hard to swallow is that Asian female characters are almost always playing the sidekick and the geek but with Lara Jean (Lana Condor), I guess she broke that glass ceiling right above her head. I’m glad the filmmakers stayed true to the book and did not, in any way, whitewash the characters in it. Atta girl!
- Well, Lara Jean of course…
In the most subtle moments in the film, we hear the gentle voice inside Lara Jean’s head. We simply see an introverted girl who is confused, imaginative, and young, and more than that, none of it felt forced nor exaggerated. Right before the film started where I had only carried the imagination with me from the book, I had already identified so much of my teenage self to Lara. Like her, I am introverted and would tend to keep to herself. I was so in love with the idea of love that when I am confronted by it, I end up feeling frightened. I wrote so much but as opposed to letters, I had journals filled with poetry.
Lara Jean just really gets me, you know? This role for Lana Condor was probably already written in the stars. I couldn’t imagine any other actress who would play as Lara Jean than her.
- Noah Centineo as Peter Kavinsky…
If you’re a Disney child like me then you’ve probably seen Noah in Austin & Ally and How To Build A Better Boy, but it’s his portrayal as Peter Kavinsky now that instantly skyrocketed his name to fame. True enough, he is this year’s rising star. He had the right touch of everything a loveable jock could be. He could be funny yet serious, sexy yet act like such a dork, manly yet a big softie. I admit, Noah truly did Peter justice. I mean, after seeing the film I was in love with him! Yup, I, a strong, independent, adult woman, still hopes for my own Peter Kavinsky to show up at my doorstep. But if the universe would extract him right out of the pages then I’d be glad to welcome him with open arms. I can’t believe that the movie made me wish for a parallel life where I was Lara Jean so I could be Peter’s human pillow.
Unlike many other teenage films filled with the chaos of cliques and bullies, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before had a certain softness to it. I couldn’t describe it concretely but the thing is, we see young people in a different light in this fictional world of love letters and Korean yogurt drinks. It didn’t make me roll my eyes at the cheesiness but it was pure escapism in the midst of this already very cynic world. Watching the film made me feel like I was a giddy sixteen year-old again. Watching it just felt good and nice and warm, don’t you think? If John Hughes had been alive right up to this day, I guess this is one of those films he’d make in a heartbeat.
Nothing is as heartwarming as the Covey family. Even when the Coveys had a single dad to raise all of them three girls, the film lets us in on a family that’s close-knit and still pays respect to the culture they were born into. And let’s not forget about sweet, sassy Kitty. It’s because of this feisty little kid that brought Lara Jean and Peter’s world together.
If you have not read nor seen To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, then you should start by now. A little protip? Guard your hearts coz you’ll fall in love right into it.