Why 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' Bests 'The Kissing Booth'

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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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle: Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay.

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying. What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense. I've heard it all, "He was cute, why didn't you like him?" "You didn't even give him a chance!" "You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous; however, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do. I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well. Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

THIS IS CRUCIAL FOR FINDING A NICE GUY. It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault. If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs." Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him. If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it. He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush. Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling. :)

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'Grey's Anatomy' Taught Me Just How Important Gay Rights Are

This episode opened my eyes and heart.

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Attending a Catholic high school made it very clear in my mind that LGBTQ individuals did not fit in with society. I watched as our principle refused to allow students to invite their same-sex partners to dances. I remember our administration fighting against letting a boy on our dance team because they thought it would ruin the reputation of being a Catholic school. The way they were treated in front of me every day became the way I thought the world should treat them too. But I couldn't have been more wrong.

In season seven, episode 12 of "Grey's Anatomy," Meredith Grey encounters a patient who was trampled by horses after his partner set up a carriage ride to take them to sign their domestic partnership papers. His partner explains to Meredith that he had just wanted the day to be special because straight people get to have the most special day of their lives on their wedding day. They get the flowers, the ceremony, the reception, the gifts. At this point in time, all members of the LGBTQ got was their signature on a piece of paper.

I remember something inside of me being moved at the thought of someone simply being in love and not being able to celebrate it because people thought it was "weird" or "unnatural." I put myself in the reverse situation and thought about how much it would break my heart if society did not accept the fact that I want to marry my wonderful boyfriend some day. I cried during the scene in the show because even though it was acting, I could see just how important these two people were to each other and all of the unnecessary barriers they had to cross just to prove that their love was the same as anyone else's.

Maybe this moment was extremely late in my life to have the realization of how hard it must be for LGBTQ people to find happiness in our society, but I am glad I had that realization at all.

Certain religions crucify the LGBTQ community, saying they will go to hell for sexuality because it is a sin. Personally, I have a hard time believing that God could condemn anyone for showing another human being unconditional love.

It scares me how poisonous our society can be at times. 10 years ago, if you asked me how I felt about people in the LGBTQ community, I would probably (wrongfully) say that they freaked me out. These days, while you won't necessarily see me at a Pride parade, you will see me hyping up and supporting my awesome gay best friend to go after his crush. You will see me taking girls hitting on me as a compliment rather than something weird. You will see me openly supporting gay rights because it is the right things to do, human to human.

The saying "love is love" is so simple, yet so incredibly true.

I can't help how much I love my boyfriend and I would never in a million years expect someone to tell me to stop. Who are we to tell members of the LGBTQ community to stay in some box society and religion have built? We aren't. Love is love and you can never and will never be able to put rules and restrictions on a feeling.

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