"To All The Boys I've Loved Before" is the newest, hottest rom-com on Netflix.
It follows Lara Jean Covey, an Asian-American high school student who uses letters to write down all of her feelings. She writes these letters to all the boys she's ever loved, however, she never sends them. Her younger sister, Kitty takes it upon herself to send out all of Lara Jean's letters. Peter is one of the boys that receives the letters and he just broke up with his girlfriend. He starts fake dating Lara Jean in order to make his girlfriend jealous and Lara Jean can let her best friend know she's not in love with him anymore.
We watch as Peter falls in love with Lara Jean because of her beauty, brains, and willingness to talk about the hardest parts of her life. Peter is like any other guy who wants to make his girlfriend jealous and is just using Lara Jean: until he isn't.
What makes this movie better than most rom-coms is that you see him fall in love with her. It isn't something that happens overnight like those movies where the main characters get engaged after two seconds. We get to see him fall in love with her and her with him.
The movie isn't a montage of all the happy moments. It is a play by play of them falling in love. Peter starts to do little extra things for Lara Jean and she starts to do the same. They both have had bad things happen in their past, but are still living. Lara Jean makes boundaries in their fake relationship that Peter wholeheartedly respects. He respects it and that is a lesson men today need to learn about. I think women and men both need to learn as well that boundaries are okay and won't make the other person run. It makes them stay.
What also makes this movie ten times better than any other rom-com is the diversity representation. Little Asian-American girls get to see that they can be the love interest too. Growing up, I never saw movies where a black woman was more than just a sidekick and now there are so many movies where the love interest is a black woman. We get to see that a non-white person gets picked over the white female and that rarely ever happens in movies. Non-white women can have the fairytale too.
It also shows that people of different races can be together and have an understanding of one another without having to have a large, intense conversation about it. Lara Jean shows Peter "Sixteen Candles" and he comments on the racist archetype of someone who is Asian. They don't have a long conversation about it but he was able to understand. And understanding in situations like those is enough.
The author of the book the movie is based off of, Jenny Han, had to fight in order to make the protagonist a non-white female. She shouldn't have had to fight for that. But I'm very glad she did because we need more movies like this that have the representation and have a realistic view on what it's like to fall in love.
I recommend that everyone watches this movie, especially for my fellow lovers of rom-coms.