‘To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before’ is much more than just another teen movie

‘To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before’ is much more than just another teen movie

‘To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before’ is much more than just another teen movie
August 22
19:04 2018

It’s been a while since romantic comedies have dominated the film sphere, but Netflix appears to be slowly bringing them back with movies including the highly anticipated “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.”

Originally a novel in a three-part trilogy by Jenny Han, this teen romantic comedy centers around 16-year-old high school student Lara Jean Covey and her journey to find and accept love after her life is disrupted by a handful of love letters. Covey, a quiet and quirky teenager, immediately panics when her letters, which contain her deepest emotional desires, are sent out to her crushes, one being her sister’s boyfriend. To restore her life back to normal and eliminate the intense embarrassment she finds herself in, Covey teams up with an unexpected boy in her life who helps lead her down a path of self-discovery and awakening.

Like most rom-coms, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” has its sweet and slightly cringey, cliché moments, but what makes it stand out from its counterparts is its unique storytelling style and refreshing take on what a young high school girl’s life can be.

When a book is transported onto the screen, the story can often suffer for the sake of time and cinematic structure. But with this movie, very little seemed to suffer in translation. Watching the movie felt like watching a book come to life. Short scenes of the lead character daydreaming, or her quick narration throughout the film, allows the audience to feel as if they are in her head — thinking and feeling her thoughts and emotions as if we are on the same journey.

While casting the role of Covey, Han refused to allow production to cast an actress of any race other than Asian to play the lead role because Covey is, in fact, a young Asian girl in the books. Han’s fight proved successful, leading to the casting of Lana Condor as Covey and establishing her as one of the first Asian actresses to appear as a lead in a rom-com. Condor took on this historic part like a pro, bringing the character of Jean to life in such a simplistically beautiful way. From her fantastic facial expressions to her sassy dialogue, Condor served the character of Jean extremely well.

Opposite Condor was co-star Noah Centineo, who portrays one of Covey’s love interest, Peter Kavinsky, and Israel Broussard, who portrays another one of her love interests, Josh Sanderson. Both actors played their parts well, creating layered and dynamic characters while keeping the essence of a high school teenage boy.

Though this movie has been advertised as a teen rom-com, it continues to be praised for being much more due to its honest telling of love, whether it be romantic or platonic, in a way that does not have an age limit. No matter how old you are, almost everyone who has ever crushed on someone in their lives will be able to relate to Covey and her heart-wrenching situation in one way or another.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Featured Image: Courtesy Facebook

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Vanessa McTillmon

Vanessa McTillmon

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