To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was yet another surprising well received film released by Netflix this year. The film centers around the life of Lara Jean, a normal girl in high school that has yet to really open up to more people. Lara Jean has had five crushes throughout her whole life, those include Kenny from camp, Peter from seventh grade, Lucas from homecoming, John Ambrose from model UN, and her neighbor/sister’s boyfriend Josh. Instead of telling any of these boys that she had ever liked them, she concealed her feelings and wrote them in five intensely written love letters.
Much to Lara Jean’s dismay, her younger sister Kitty, comes across these letters and mails them to each crush. The first crush to approach Lara Jean about the letters is Peter Kavinsky, and as he is trying to politely turn her down, Lara Jean kisses Peter as soon as she sees another former crush, Josh, aka her older sister’s now ex-boyfriend approaching with his letter. This is the start of a bond between both Lara Jean and Peter as Peter suggests to her that they fake date in order for Peter to win back his ex-girlfriend Gen. The only catch is, no one can know that there are fake dating.
Throughout the film we see Lara Jean begin to open up to Peter and even to the people she is closest to. And easily, we see Peter slowly and slowly realize that he is falling for Lara Jean, despite the fact he only suggested they fake date to make his ex-girlfriend Gen jealous. Peter Kavinsky played by Noah Centineo (The Fosters) and Lara Jean played by Lana Condor (X-Men: Apocalypse), are the characters that the audience falls in love with, as we see their bond and care for one another. It’s really something because Peter respects Lara Jean and always takes her feelings into account even before he began growing feelings for her. Even Lara Jean’s sister Kitty begins to grow accustomed to having Peter around and Lara Jean’s dad approves of Peter.
Kitty is the cutest character in this film and how close she is to Lara Jean and her other sister Margot is really heartfelt. The love between the three sisters is strong because we see how Lara Jean concealed her feelings for Josh because her older sister Margot eventually began dating him.
The beauty of this film and the romance they create between Lara Jean and Peter, is that it started as what they once thought was not real, was in fact, REAL, the whole time. You slowly realize that the feelings between Lara Jean and Peter were always there and authentic.
This film was your typical romantic comedy, but at the same time, it was 100% unique because it gave us a love story that didn’t need physical actions to make these two people love each other more. We knew the moment these two decided to fake date that it’d be an adventure to watch. One of my favorite moments in this film was when Lara Jean had just gotten into an argument about Gen with Peter and as she talks to Josh and Kitty for advice, Kitty reveals all the love notes that Peter wrote to her. Lara Jean now realizes that she is the one to finally get not one, but many love letters. This was very sweet because Lara Jean was the typical teenage girl who thought maybe she wouldn’t get a love letter or know what love was, but thanks to the push from her sister Kitty, she got to experience it.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is powerful in showing a coming of age teen that love can be so much more to ourselves if we let it be in our lives.
Overall, this film was really great. My only critique is I really wanted to see more of Lara Jean trying to find herself. She really did better for herself after just “going for it”. Lara Jean lives in the hearts of every teenage girl growing up, trying to understand the ways of loving our friends, family and those who they long for.
We can all relate to Lara Jean in the sense of figuring out what we want in our lives and whether or not we are going to reach out and go for it. This movie was so simple and yet so deep in showing struggles that many of us partake in. May it open the eyes of others to express their feelings to each person they care for.
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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is now playing on Netflix
When her secret love letters somehow get mailed to each of her five crushes, Lara Jean finds her quiet high school existence turned upside down.