To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a unique spin on a typical rom-com


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I would bet money that a movie with a title like that would be the cliche story of the century, yet somehow, it defies all odds and expectations and proves otherwise. In fact, I would go as far to say that it’s a coming of age story and one of the best rom-coms (at least that Netflix has produced) thus far in 2018.

The movie was based on the book To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, which was nominated as Publishers Weekly Bestseller and New York Times Bestseller in its own right. Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) attend the same high school. After a middle school spin the bottle game, she quickly developed feelings for the already “taken” Peter. Instead of chasing after her forbidden feelings, Lara Jean wrote a love letter to Peter– along with four others that are stories in and of themselves– but quickly buried it, along with her feelings, in a place no one could find them. Or so she thought.

All of the movie’s quirks and setbacks that the characters face add to the seamless construction of a truly beautiful film. Despite some minor moments when the movie strayed from reality, the script and conversations held by the characters seemed fairly believable, which is hard to do when we’re talking about rom-coms. I like to judge movies by how realistic they are, from the script to the actual plot, and this movie passes most standards. Of course, we don’t all get the fairytale happily-ever-after we want, but for the most part, we tend to react to situations similarly, which the movie does a perfect job of capturing. With real-life struggles like losing a mother and having a divorced father, it certainly doesn’t stray too far from real conflict and was not filled with the typical gushy-ness of normal rom-coms.

Even with all its “cliche” moments, they were still beautiful in their own way– not to mention how truly stunning the actual production of the film was. Each shot carried vibrant colors and a stellar perspective into the world of Lara Jean. With an alluring soundtrack playing in the background of some of the most important conversations held by the characters, the “perfect” essence was captured much like a sunset on the water.

When thinking about special scenes, it’s hard to describe the chemistry that characters have both on and off the screen without giving away too much. Let’s simply say there are plenty of “swoon-worthy” moments on behalf of both Peter and Lara Jean, along with comical scenes on behalf of all characters in their own way.

From beginning to end, it’s hard not to fall in love with the characters and who they become. From the very start, it’s clear that Lara Jean and Peter have unresolved issues on hand, and the way they both grow and work together to solve them is a staple for all relationships. My determining factor for whether any book or movie is considered “great” is simply based on character development and who characters turn out to be. With all aspects considered, this movie didn’t appear to be lacking in terms of character development, which adds to the journey the movie takes viewers on.

Since seeing it for the first time, I have watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before twice, and one of my friends even proudly admitted to seeing it five times. It’s one of those movies that can be watched over and over again, and viewers still find it just as enjoyable as the first watch. I’ve noticed small little things I didn’t catch the first time, and it truly unfolds like a novel in the sense that there is always something more. It reminds me slightly of Life of Pi, in the sense that there is always something beyond what we can see, hidden meaning lurking behind every conversation that Lara Jean and Peter have.

Even with a storyline as old as time, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before still manages to be something entirely new at the same time. Truth be told, we all love movies that make us feel good, that we can place ourselves into, and that give us characters we can see ourselves in, and this movie accomplishes exactly that.