To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before // movie review

lara jean, kitty and peter
Source: Insider

This movie is, hands down, one of my favourite movies of the year.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is a book-to-movie adaptation of the book of same name by Jenny Han. I read the book a few years back and really liked it. There were a few minute things that I didn’t like but overall it was good. I adored it.

So when I heard that it’s being made into a movie? I squealed! When I saw the cast, I squealed. When I saw the trailers, I was singing praises and couldn’t wait to watch it.

The movie released on Friday, 17th August ’18, and I needed to watch it ASAP. I do not have a Netflix account so I pleaded a friend to let me use his for watching the movie. I’m so sad that I don’t have my own because I couldn’t rewatch it. I really feel like rewatching it now.

Also, everyone’s been watching the movie and I LOVE that. When I go on twitter or Instagram I see others saying that they’re watching or have watched the movie. It feels like a huge movie-watching party and I’m so glad that this movie is getting the love it deserves. I’m also glad I asked my friend for his Netflix account ASAP because if I hadn’t watched it and saw all the love, I would have felt super left out lol.

What is the movie about?

Lara Jean writes love letters to her crushes when she has crushes so intense that she doesn’t know what to do. She has five in total, the latest being her next door neighbour, best friend and her sister’s boyfriend Josh. She doesn’t actually send these letters, though. After writing, she keeps them in a hatbox that her mother gave her.

But one day, her letters get sent out. And her life flips.

To keep Josh from deducing that she’s still in love with him, she strikes a deal with Peter Kavinskey (who also received a letter from her) to pretend to date. He can make his ex-girlfriend Gen, also Lara Jean’s ex-best friend and current enemy, jealous, and she can lie to Josh.

We see Lara Jean hopping through various hoops and somehow keep afloat in high school with so many sudden changes.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is a sweet rom-com that depicts high school life with all it’s cheesiness and messiness.

The Characters

Lara Jean Covey
Source: indiewire.com

Lara Jean Covey is the protagonist of the story and I need to give a lot of credit to Lana Condor, the actress, for bringing the character to life brilliantly. She was exactly how I pictured Lara Jean to be.

Lara Jean is invisible in high school. She has one best friend and hangs out more with her family. She’s insecure, shy and awkward. This makes her so interesting to watch because she has to navigate having a sudden shift in her high school social life.

I absolutely adored her. While some of the dimension to her was not depicted like in the book because of the movie’s time limit, all the basic aspects of her shone through.

lara jean and peter k
Source: popsugar.uk

Peter Kavinskey, played by Noah Centineo, perfectly complemented Lara Jean on screen and I can’t complain at all. I loved Peter K. in the book and Noah Centineo as Peter was perfect.

Peter is the hot, popular jock who dated the stunning and popular Genevieve. Gen dumps him to date a college guy and Peter is still hung up over her. He decides to make her jealous by being the perfect (pretend) boyfriend for Lara Jean in hopes of getting her back.

But other than that, Peter also has the sensitive and hurt side of him which comes out later, and it was shown so damn well.

Josh and Lara Jean
Source: Fashionista

Israel Broussard as Josh Sanders, Lara Jean’s latest crush and next-door neighbour, is the last of the main trio and he couldn’t have been better. Everything Josh was like in the book, he is so in the movie.

Josh is dating Lara Jean’s elder sister Margot in the beginning of the movie. But right before leaving for college at Scotland, Margot breaks up with Josh. And then he received The Letter.

Israel Broussard played all the sides of Josh perfectly, especially him feeling alone when Lara Jean avoids him because she’s his best friend too. I felt him. I didn’t care much about Josh in the book but I definitely cared more about him in the movie.

lara jean and her two sisters
Source: Collider

A huge part of Lara Jean’s life is her family. She absolutely loves her family and she prefers to hang out with them more than having a normal high school social life.

The casting for her dad and sisters were perfect. Margot, her elder sister, was brought to the screen brilliantly by Janel Parrish. Margot’s level-headed mind and practical decisions which make up her character were portrayed very well.

Katherine AKA Kitty, Lara Jean’s younger and clever little sister was also perfect. Anna Cathcart did a wonderful job as Kitty and I love that she was given enough screen time to show her importance in the story.

And lastly, their dad Dr. Dan Covey was everything I pictured him to be. John Corbett did great as the OB/GYN who tries very hard to raise three girls alone and also tries to keep them in touch with their Korean heritage.

chris and lara jean
Source: Fashionista

Now for the last and best badass character—Christine, Lara Jean’s best and only friend, and personification of I-don’t-care. She breaks the rules, stays out all night partying or in concerts, and doesn’t hesitate to stand up for Lara Jean. Chris takes no shit, especially if it’s for Lara Jean and even more especially if from her cousin Gen. (Yes Gen who is Peter’s ex). Played by Madeleine Arthur, Chris is exactly as she was in the books.

Other aspects

Okay so the movie was so well done! I loved the vibe that shone through, and the colours that dominated and were muted. It gave the movie so mimu more of a rom-com vibe and I was all for it!

At some points, I did find that the dialogues didn’t come out as they were supposed to but they were very few. I quickly forgot about them and got immersed again without much thought.

As for the book-to-movie differences, I’m very glad that the ski trip debacle was shortened and made less embarrassing. I actually didn’t like it stretched out a lot in the books so it was just right in the movie.

I’m a teeny tiny bit peeved that the sisters referred themselves as Covey girls and not Song girls. The Song girls thing had some meaning and while I understand that the additional back story couldn’t fit in, I would have preferred if it was not mentioned entirely.

And of course, with the short time-limit, a lot of things were cut out from the books but the very essence of it all was retained so I don’t have complaints there.

The soundtrack is really good as well. I noticed some songs but they didn’t take away my attention from the plot. I’m actually currently listening to the whole playlist on Spotify and it’s so good! I’m loving all the songs.

Overall

to all the boys lara jean peter.jpeg
Source: meaww

I absolutely loved the movie and totally recommend it. The movie doesn’t require the books to be read so even if you haven’t and/or are not interested in reading the book, watch the movie!

It’s rom-com, has an Asian-American main lead and will sweep you off your feet with a sweet high school romance.

I really hope we get a sequel. Everybody go watch it and rate it well so we’ll get the sequel!

Have you watched To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before yet? Are you going to? 

24 thoughts on “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before // movie review”

  1. Haha this sounds so odd to say but, judging by your name, you’re the first fellow South-East Asian I’ve seen on here! 😅 loved this review, I wasn’t so nice in my one lol 🤷🏽‍♀️ this was lovely to read! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha no I didn’t hate it. Different opinions are inevitable 😂 oh Bangladesh! Nearby 😌 btw do listen the movie soundtrack! I’ve been listening to it on repeat since I first saw the movie and it’s really good. Especially I Like Me Better by Lauv.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ahh I love that song! I swear it’s been around before the movie? And yhh we’re like neighbours lol (even though I live in England) I’m gonna give the rest of the soundtrack a proper listen though, I need new music. Xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true but despite all of the cut-outs, I’m really happy with the movie because it got the basics down and wrapped everything nicely (except Lara Jean’s scrunchie). The casting was brilliant. Plus the colours and the music were super good.

      Like

  2. Yay!! I haven’t seen the movie yet, but when I saw the trailer I kind of got that vibe like “this COULD be good or it could turn into just another rom-com but you won’t know until you watch it”. I’m so happy to hear that you (and many other peeps I’ve seen post about it on social) loved the movie. I can’t wait to give it a watch. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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