Trying to fall in love with film again.

'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' is the Netflix teen movie we NEED

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018) - IMDbStory

The story revolves around Lara Jean Covey, a 16-year-old girl who writes letters to a boy she has an intense crush on. One of those being her sister boyfriend Josh. One day one of the boys she has written a letter to, Peter Kavinsky lets her know that he received the letter that he wrote to her. Lara then realises that all 5 letter have been sent including the letter she wrote to Josh.

The story is distinct, even though some of the plot threads are cliche, there's enough difference in the overarching story for the movie to stand out and be memorable and fun.

Acting

This goes without saying but I'm extremely happy that Lara Jean as a character exists. Jenny Han the authour could easily have made Lara Jean a Caucasian girl, but the character is Korean-American which brings in some much-needed diversity to the genre. Usually, when a movie has a POC as the main character their ethnicity defines them, they aren't written as a character, they are written as if to fill a quota. That isn't the case here, Lara Jean is written as a well-rounded character with a personality as well as character flaws.

Lana Condor's acting doesn't feel like acting, I first saw her as Jubilee in X-Men Apocalypse (and now I'm upset that we didn't see more of her in that movie, thanks Bryan Signer). Lara Jean feels like a person rather than a character, her reactions are organic and at times hilarious, similar to that of an actual person.

Noah Centineo is now the internet's boyfriend and there is a valid reason for it, his character even though is characterised as a dick, is actually pretty sweet and his relationship with Lara Jean is a nice subversion of the usual rom-com tropes. Noah has chemistry with Lana, their conversations never feel forced or awkward, they both have brilliant delivery and are both very talented.

The suppourting cast in this movie is also brilliant, especially Kitty Lara Jean's sister, she's the character that says the right thing at the right moment. You could say that she is the comedic relief, the same could also be said for Lara Jean's dad who is the epitome of teen rom-com dad, but I'm not mad at it.

Writing/Direction 

As I mentioned earlier there are some plot threads that are on the more cliche side and I don't fault the movie, that's a pre-requisite of the genre and the movie has enough cute moments that I didn't mind too much.

Most of the characters except Lara Jean and Peter are one dimensional, especially the antagonist of the movie Genevieve, she's your typical mean girl who hates the protagonist for something that in retrospect isn't worth antagonising towards someone for years over.

Overall Susan Johnson's direction brings the whole film together, the film has character and you can tell from the way it was edited. The film employs a lot of quick cuts, and that makes the film as a whole more entertaining. The film also looks beautiful, there's a brilliant use of colour and framing which makes the film more aesthetically pleasing as well as entertaining.

Overall Thoughts

I found out about this film when the trailer came out on Twitter and I found the premise interesting. When the movie was released, I heard a lot of good things so I decided to watch it, and I'm glad that I did. Even though you pretty much know how the story is going to end, the movie has enough cute moments to make you want to see how the film ends.
No seriously, this movie is really really cute, I'm not a fan of teen rom-coms, but there is something about this movie that made me smile the whole time I was watching it and I would recommend it.
I would definitely watch a sequel.

I also found out through Twitter as I was writing this review that only one production company wanted to keep Lara Jean's ethnicity true to the book, the fact that whitewashing her was an option says a lot about the deep-rooted issues in the movie industry. Keeping Lara Jean's ethnicity was the right decision (even though it should have been the only decision) and the film is all the better for it.

P.s - This is my first time reviewing a Netflix movie. If you have any Netflix movies you want me to review, let me know in the comments section.

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