Netflix’s latest romcom offering, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, took the world by storm with its chill vibe, adorable lead stars, and swoon-worthy love story.
Based on Jenny Han’s young-adult bestseller, To All the Boys I've Loved Before is about Lara Jean (Song) Covey (played by Lana Condor), your typical teenager who loves romance stories. In an attempt to purge her emotions, Lara Jean writes and addresses (but never sends) letters to her crushes, telling them about her feelings and why she likes them.
When the letters are mysteriously sent, Lara Jean finds herself on the edge of her friendship with her older sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh, and a potentially dangerous fake relationship with her sixth-grade crush, Peter Kavinsky (played by Noah Centineo). After spending time with Peter K, Lara Jean starts to realize that romance doesn’t have to be confined between the pages of a book.
Immediately after its release, the whole movie exploded on the Internet, and before we knew it, everyone is fangirling (or fanboying) over the pair.
The movie received plenty of praise as well, especially for its characterizations. Lara Jean is no manic pixie dream girl. She knows what she wants, has good relationships with her family, and has great friends. Lara Jean does not spend the entire movie pining after Peter K or any of her other crushes. On the other hand, Peter K may be a jock, but he wasn’t made out to be perfect. He’s confident, but isn’t afraid to be dorky. He doesn’t go after Lara Jean because he thinks of her as a prize or an “exception to the rule.” He’s vulnerable and does not shy away from talking about his feelings. He knows what he wants, but at the same time, he knows how to respect other people’s boundaries.
While the rest of the cast leaves much to be desired, the chemistry of Condor and Centineo were enough to bring the film success. The success behind To All the Boys lies behind its unconventional use of the romcom formula. The classic romcom formula usually features forced and campy comedy, often coming from situations that the leads get into. In this film, it’s the background characters who provide the humor. It’s also nice to see a romantic comedy film that has genuine relationships beyond that of the main characters.
All in all, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is a feel-good movie that we’d love to watch over and over. We can hardly wait for the sequel.