Here's The Tea: 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' Blows 'The Kissing Booth' Out Of The Water

Here's The Tea: 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' Blows 'The Kissing Booth' Out Of The Water

Peter Kavinsky has deep intimate moments, funny lines, and is a woke high school jock. Noah Flynn is controlling, has some anger issues, and a tendency to yell more than talk. Take your pick.

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Netflix has really been stepping up their game recently. This new era of coming of age teenage rom-coms are great. Most of them, that is. When "The Kissing Booth" first came out, it blew up on the internet. So, naturally, I hopped on the bandwagon and decided to watch it. It is not a great movie. Like... at all. I didn't understand.

Flash forward a few months, and Twitter is going crazy about another teen romance movie based off of a book. "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" popped up on my Netflix. Again, I hopped on the bandwagon. May I just say, THIS. MOVIE. DESERVES. THE. HYPE.

Here are a few reasons why "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" is better than "The Kissing Booth."

1. The main love interest isn't problematic

The biggest difference between Noah Flynn from "The Kissing Booth" and Peter Kavinsky from "TATBILB" is the way they treat the girls they like.

From the beginning of the film, Flynn belittles Elle Evans, controls what she does and what she wears and goes behind her best friend, his brother's, back in order to see her. TOXIC.

Peter Kavinsky falls for Lara Jean Covey when they fake date. He watches her favorite movies with her, asks her about her life, makes an effort to be involved with her family and validates her and listens to her. He uplifts her instead of tearing her down.

2. "The Kissing Booth" objectifies girls  

One of the first things I noticed about "The Kissing Booth" was how much it talked about Elle's body in an odd way. There's an entire exchange of dialogue about how she "got boobs" over the summer, and then the entire male population at the school cat calls her when she arrives back to school on the first day. It's telling girls that it's normal to have their bodies ogled by guys.

There's a scene in "TATBILB" when Lara Jean is upset about being made fun of at school after a video of her goes viral. In the video, her and Peter are in a hot tub and everyone thinks the two had sex, even though the two only kissed. Peter immediately shuts its the rumor down in front of everyone. Not because Lara can't defend herself, but because she essentially asks him to. The video gets taken down after Lara Jean's sister reports it. It's solved realistically and it isn't a main focal point in Lara Jean's character development.

3. "The Kissing Booth" is also pretty sexist

In the movie, Elle gets a drunk at a party and has to be taken care of by Noah Flynn. The cliche story-line of the big strong guy coming to the rescue is OLD. She also wakes up in his bed wearing his shirt with no recollection of what happened (nothing, but still).

4. The way the two movies approach sibling relationships 

"TATBILB" is filled with funny and heartfelt moments between three sisters. The eldest, Margo, is headed off to college out of the country. Lara Jean, the middle child, struggles with talking to her sister when she's gone. There is a very emotional scene towards the end of the film with the three sisters about how there aren't going to be any secrets between them. Kitty, the youngest sister, is plucky and witty, and also is the reason Lara Jean reconnects with Peter. I won't spoil too much, though. Just watch the film if you want these three sisters to make you laugh and cry.

"The Kissing Booth's" Flynn brothers compete with each other constantly, which siblings do. They do not, however, compete to have control over a girl. The brothers are both so hateful towards each other and their relationship is just not healthy.

5. Three words: female character development

Lara Jean Covey goes from a shy hopeless romantic who lives vicariously through characters in books to falling in love and facing her fear of people leaving. Her mother passed away when she was young and she opens up to Peter about how she is afraid to let people in because they can just leave. Throughout the film, as she hangs out with this guy, she begins to get more sure of herself. She is happier because she stopped being afraid.

Elle Evans is best friends with Lee Flynn, Noah's little brother. A lot of her characterization is super forced. She goes from this fun loving girl who dances with her friend in an arcade to a "party girl" to someone in detention to rebel. The whole plot is all over the place.

6. And three more words: male character development 

Noah Flynn doesn't change a ton throughout the course of the film. He starts to open up to Elle and work through things with her, but he continues to be angsty and angry. Again, TOXIC.

Peter Kavinsky initially wants to get back with his ex. Until he starts to fall for Lara Jean. He does things he knows will make her happy. She thinks it's just him faking it. He opens up to her about how his dad left his family. He feels more comfortable being himself. The two make each other better.

7. Minority representation 

The Covey family is an Asian-American family. Lara Jean Covey is played by an Asian American actress. Being able to see someone who looks like you on the big screen is so important.

Lucas James is also another important character. He is one of the boys Lara Jean has "loved." He is African-American and, as Lara Jean discovers, is also gay. The two establish a friendship and I love their scenes together. Again, representation matters and this movie is taking a step in the right direction.

If you haven't seen "The Kissing Booth" you are not missing much. If you haven't seen "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" on the other hand, you need to get on it ASAP. It is a movie about being young and in love. It's a story of a girl coming out of her shell and also a beautiful picture of what it means to be true to yourself with someone else. It's funny and real and the characters are lovable and unique.

Oh, and you'll also for sure fall in love with Peter Kavinsky. That I can promise you.

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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

A simple thank you is not enough.
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Your son and I have been dating a while now and I just wanted to thank you for everything.

Wow, where do I start? Ever since the day your son brought me into your home you have shown me nothing but kindness. I have not one negative thought about you and I am truly thankful for that. I first and foremost want to thank you for welcoming me with open arms. There are horror stories of mothers resenting their son's girlfriends and I am blessed there is no resentment or harsh feelings.

Thank you for treating me like one of your children, with so much love but knowing exactly when to tease me.

Thank you for sticking up for me when your son teases me, even though I know it’s all in good fun it's always comforting knowing you have someone by your side.

Thank you for raising a man who respects women and knows how to take responsibility of mistakes and not a boy who is immature and doesn’t take responsibility.

Thank you for always including me in family affairs, I may not be blood family but you do everything you can to make sure I feel like I am.

Thank you for letting me make memories with your family.

There is nothing I value more in this world then memories with friends and family and I am thankful you want and are willing to include me in yours. I have so much to thank you for my thoughts keep running together.

The most important thing I have to thank you for is for trusting me with your son. I know how precious and valuable he is and I won't break his heart. I will do everything I can to make him happy. This means more than you could ever imagine and I promise I will never break your trust.

The second most important thing I must thank you for is for accepting me for who I am. Never have you ever wished I looked like another girl or acted like another girl. You simply love and care for me and that’s all I could ever ask. Every person in this world is a unique different person and understanding that means a lot.

The third most important thing I must thank you is teaching me how to one day in the future treat a potential girlfriend that I may interact with as a mother. I am not a mother, but I one day plan to be. If I ever have a son it is because of how you treated me that I am able to be a humble loving mother to this new face that could one day walk into my door. How you have treated me has taught me how I should one day be in the future and I thank you for that.

This may seem all over the place but that’s how my brain gets when I try and thank you for everything you have done for me. It’s all so much and even the little things are so important so I promise my scattered thoughts are all with good intentions and not meant to bombard you. I just want to get the idea across to you that you are important and special to me and everything you do does not go unnoticed.

Sincerely,

Your Son’s Girlfriend

Cover Image Credit: Christian Images and Quotes

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Netflix's 'Sex Education' Is Relatable For Any Young Person, Even If You've Already Got It All Figured Out

It portrays overlooked struggles as real issues, and although it utilizes some tired cliches, it touches your heart.

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Like many others, I'm sure, I binge-watched Netflix throughout my break from school. I first came across "Sex Education" on Twitter, and after watching the trailer I was immediately excited for the release of the actual show. The show is composed of eight episodes, about an hour each, and I finished it in two days. Eight hours of tv is a bit much, I know, but "Sex Education" is addicting, and despite its comedic name it's a commentary on how it feels to be young that will make you both laugh and cry.

The story follows Otis, a straight boy nearing the end of high school. Otis is the son of a sex therapist, a fact he tries desperately to hide from his peers at school. His best friend Eric, however, knows the truth. Otis and Eric are inseparable, and while Otis struggles with his fear of sex and his overly sexual, prying mother, Eric is openly gay and attempting to figure out who he wants to be. The two become close with Maeve, the "bad" girl of the school, unfairly labeled as a "slut" since a young age and struggling to pay rent for her trailer park space. Otis is odd and at times painfully awkward, but Maeve recognizes an ability in him to deal with the sexual and emotional problems of other students. She hatches a plan: a sex clinic where Otis can therapize the students that she schedules for him.

The show is hilarious, everything from Otis' mother's attempts to therapize her sexually repressed son, to Eric's constant silliness and quick wit, to fellow student Adam's nude appearance in the cafeteria, will have you cracking up. "Sex Education" talks plainly about sex, as one would expect from its name, but it also explores the not so sexy, uncomfortable, embarrassing aspects of sex. It discusses the taboo and makes the tricky questions laughable and easy to talk about. It's a show I wish I could've watched in high-school because it makes it known that sex, and relationships, are not perfect, and that it's hard for a lot of people to figure them out.

Otis goes through the ups and downs of the relationships of his clients, and of his own relationships. He's kind, funny, and surprisingly in-tune with the difficulties of connecting with another person for a boy who can't handle any kind of sexual encounter without experiencing failure or intense anxiety. There's almost nothing "Sex Education" doesn't touch on and its most admirable attribute is that it does not portray anyone's experience in a judgmental light. As a viewer, you feel empathetic to all the characters despite what any of them do.

"Sex Education" is weird, funny, sweet, sad, and it's incredibly relatable for any young person, even if you think you've already got it all figured out. It portrays overlooked struggles as real issues, and although it utilizes some tired cliches, it touches your heart. So for anyone looking for something to binge, as I was, I hope you have Netflix and about eight hours to spare because the story of Otis and his friends is worth it.

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