In the past few years Netflix has began to produce original content – resulting in some of the best movies and TV shows I have seen. To all the boys I’ve loved before certainly falls in that category.
The story is about Lara Jean who gets into a fake relationship with Peter Kavinsky in order to avoid another boy and Kavinsky wants his ex-girlfriend to get back with him. This all starts when Lara Jean’s letters – which she writes when she has an intense crush on someone – they leak and get sent to all five boys she loved before. One of them happens to be her sister’s ex-boyfriend whom she wants to avoid.
The film stars are Lana Condor as Lara Jean, the invisible highschooler, and Noah Centineo, as Peter Kavinsky, the jock,. I began watching the film with no expectations apart from it being a cheesy, guilty pleasure. However, I came out of it surprised and impressed by the quality of this film, the plotline and most importantly, the characters. For years, several production companies have attempted to replicate the success of High school musical which has now become a classic teen romance musical film that even today’s kids love to watch. However, none have even gotten close to the success, love and following that movie has received. I can safely say, To all the boys I’ve loved before has gotten extremely close to that compared to any other film!
I genuinely enjoyed the film and found myself deeply feeling for Lara Jean because she was very relatable! Charming, Peter Kavinsky is extremely hard to not appreciate either. This film has achieved what several films like The kissing booth or Reality High failed to do – create layered, human characters that the audience can associate themselves with. Lara Jean is not the typical high-school invisible girl – she talks, behaves, reacts like most of us would. She is not incredibly shy – she is smart, funny and is facing the struggles of being a teenager like so many of us! She wants to learn how to drive, how to cook, how to behave at parties and most of all, be a great older sister and set an example. Lana Condor, you would have seen her in X-men apocalypse, portrays the character of Lara Jean and she undoubtedly nails it. The nuances are something to look out for.
Kavinsky, is a not just a good-looking jock. He seems to be a boy who, just like Lara Jean is a teenager who is trying to understand himself and his life. He is sweet, nice, funny and caring. He is indeed reserved in the beginning, but learns to open up and let go of the strings holding him back, very similar to Lara Jean. Noah Centineo of The Fosters, portrays the character with great care and makes it a very relatable character. Amidst the overacted, sometimes very cringy leads of so many teen movies, these two are a breath of fresh air. Recently, dingy schools, with extremely mean girls and unpleasant jocks have become a thing. There is so much hate in those high-school environments along with unbelievable characters that make it a boring, predictable film. This film is refreshing, promising and leaves you wanted for the sequel. The chemistry between these two characters is wonderful – they are friends, lovers and most of all, they support one another and help each other grow.
Apart from this, the cinematography and lighting are carefully crafted and each frame is a conscious artistic choice which adds to the storytelling. Even the colours and the set designing is something to look out for. Although her room is dressed as a typical teenagers room, you can see the vibe they are going for is very different from the quintessential ‘high school girl’ vibe. There is a lot of blue and yellow in the scenes which gives a pop look, which is consistent throughout the film. It is a stylized, well-developed film.
Overall, it is a must watch and will keep you hooked till the very end!