"To All The Boys I've Loved Before": The Netflix Movie You Will Instantly Obsess Over
Netflix has done it again! The latest Netflix original movie, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, based on the 2014 novel of the same name, is a heart-wrenching, hilarious, coming-of-age story about Lara Jean Song Covey (played by Lara Condor) and, well, all of the boys she’s ever loved before. Aside from relatable characters, and a complex plot, the movie also offers much needed diversity into the romantic-comedy realm. In both the rom-com world, and the coming-of-age world, ethnic and racial diversity aren’t common by any means. People of color don’t often get the luxury of seeing our life and love stories on the Big Screen without an accompanying tale of trauma, so To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before offers a very refreshing shift from an ongoing narrative.
The main character, Lara Jean, is biracial, with a Korean mother and White father, and visibly looks Korean. By no surprise, Jenny Han, writer of the novel, had to fight for that. In a recent essay written by Han, she explains that only one—yes, one—production company agreed not to whitewash the character. Visibility for people of color, as well as work for actors of color is not easy to come by in a world that praises being colorblind, and the effects this can have on the psyche can be damaging to say the least. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, in its eminent success, proves that staying true to the identity of characters and diversifying Hollywood is not only successful financially, but also socially. We’ve been seeing more examples of that lately with movies like Black Panther, Moonlight, and most recently, Crazy Rich Asians.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before isn’t just a beacon of representation, it’s also a comedic and stunning tale of a girl and a boy…and another boy…and another boy (but he’s gay, so Lara kind of misses the mark with that one). Without revealing too many spoilers, this movie speaks on the struggles of teenage-hood, romance, self-growth, and the combination of the three. The love notes that Lara wrote for her deep-seated, captivating crushes are all sent out unbeknownst to her, including one to her sister’s ex (yes, this movie gets super juicy). The rest of the movie is a balancing act with Lara lying to everybody from her friends, family, and crushes, and even to herself for some time.
While there’s only but so many surprises you can put in a rom-com/coming-of-age hybrid, the plot is still captivating and inviting. The cast is also incredibly infectious, and their performances are all amazingly charming, with special attention to Noah Centineo who plays one of Lara’s crushes, Peter Kavinsky, and Lara Condor. The chemistry between these two, in particular, is mind-blowing, although every person on-screen delivers a beautiful and genuine performance. Paired with some really hilarious one-liners, the execution was truly an enjoyable rollercoaster ride of emotions.
In a world where representation has been lacking, seeing this movie made me excited for what’s to come in this genre: films with diversity surrounding the LGBTQ community, dark-skinned women and men, and people that aren’t all a size two, just for starters. In a world as diverse as ours, films should be reflecting that, and they should be reflecting it in a way that’s genuine, heartfelt, and truthful. With so many brilliant creators and actors of colors, we should continue to support their creations. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a relatable and emotional testament to the trials and tribulations of high school, love, and family drama. If you haven’t gotten around to watching it, do it. Trust me! You’re going to want a sequel and a series after the first 20 minutes.
Cover via: Bustle