Movie review: ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’

New Netflix Rom-com gives heartwarming, easy viewing

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Netflix debuted its newest teenage rom-com, ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,’ on August 17, and became an immediate hit. The movie, based on the novel of the same name written by Jenny Han, follows the story of a teenage girl after her secret love letters accidentally get mailed to her crushes. The chaos that follows results in a movie with loveable characters and a story that will surely become a teenage classic. It earns a 4/5.

The main character of the film, Lara Jean, is a sixteen-year-old girl who has spent most of high school relegated to the sidelines. She’s the quintessential middle child, happy to just coast by and let her older sister, Margot, steal the spotlight. However, after her letters get sent out, Lara Jean is forced to take on more of an active role in her own life. She’s an overall relatable and funny character, and it’s rewarding to watch her confidence grow as the film progresses. Her relationship with the other main character, Peter, is played with just enough cheese to stay adorable and leave you rooting for the couple in the end. The performance from both lead actors is played with ease, giving the viewer a sense that they’re watching what actual high school drama looks like.

The plot of the story, while engaging to watch, is a bit cliché. But it’s cliché done well, as the characters are allowed to have grounded personalities as opposed to the air-headed depictions of teenagers seen in a lot of other films today. This isn’t the type of film that’s likely to generate critical acclaim, but it is one that’s perfect to watch during a late-night sleepover or hang out with friends.

One important aspect of the movie is the Asian representation it puts on the screen. Han fought to prevent whitewashing in the movie, and while Lara Jean’s half-Korean ethnicity doesn’t play a major role in the story, it is nice to see an Asian girl on screen who’s a multi-faceted character that subverts stereotypes.

‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ is one of the best Netflix films out there today. It provides comedy, romance, and even the occasional tear for the more soft-hearted viewer. While this isn’t a movie that attempts to tackle the tough issues of today, it is a film that provides a more accurate representation of how high school can sometimes feel. It’s a great movie to watch when you’re in the mood to just sit back, relax,  and watch a simple love story play out.