5 Reasons To Watch To All The Boys I've Loved Before
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5 Reasons Why 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' Is More Than Basic

It's breaking boundaries and you're writing it off — STOP!

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5 Reasons Why 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' Is More Than Basic

To All the Boys I've Loved Before came out on Netflix on August 17th. It's an adaptation based on the book (with the same title) by Jenny Han, published in 2014. It is a cheesy, cutesy, predictable, heterosexual teen romantic comedy of a movie that many would argue is just that: another rom com that nobody really needed, but we all watched anyway.

But there are some qualities to this movie that make it stand out as a romantic comedy that we didn't know we needed.

1. Lara Jean is a WOC.

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Our leading lady in TATBILB is Korean, played by Vietnamese actress Lana Condor. Though I may not want to give the casting directors a pass for casting a different minority to play another minority and not adjust the script/story to fit it, I think it's a pretty remarkable thing that we have a non-white, young, female actress and character as a protagonist in any of our mainstream media.

Little Asian girls can watch this movie and see someone who looks like them in Hollywood, and that's a powerful notion.

Not only is Lara Jean/Lana Condor a woman of color, the author of the book is a Korean woman. Talk about intersectional-feminist-girl-power, am I right?

2. Single parent Dr. Covey!

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Another check mark in the representation category--we have a single dad in the movie! Dr. Covey raises three girls on his own and does a darn good job. This isn't a huge deal, since single parents are pretty common in media, but it's definitely noteworthy.

3. Realistic depiction of a relationship's transition between high school and college.

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People often break up when they go to college. It's life. Long distance is hard. You want to have fun. It happens.

And Margot and Josh came to terms with that fact at the very start of the movie. Even in this unrealistic romance movie, there's the realistic fact that Margot broke up with Josh because she left for college. Not a lot of movies will show that, especially not one that is about a fantasy-worthy romance, and it could have been possible for the letters to get sent out and the whole plot still happen relatively the same way if Margot and Josh didn't break up. But they did. And that happens a lot in real life, but a lot of people are too jaded by naivety in real life to want to admit it, but they showed it in this movie.

Maybe it's a message to pre-college young people that it's not the end of the world if your relationship, like many others, ends because someone moves away/goes to school. It's fairly normal.

4. It touches on the realness that is private photos/videos being leaked.

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AKA, for underage people, child pornography. Lara Jean and Peter's hot tub video gets leaked (which is slightly different than someone's nude photos being leaked, yes, since they didn't take the video themselves) and is taken down because any video of minors in such a situation (making out, in this instance) can be considered child pornography, simply because of the age of the people in the video.

This raises awareness for the dangers of young people sending this type of image/video around, because that can, if caught, get them in trouble legally for distribution, which is a really real problem that I'm sure many teenagers aren't aware of (but should be).

(5. ...the movie is better than the book.)

I'm not trying to start any fights on the internet or to be too critical of Jenny Han, but I read the book and have started to read the sequel, and I watched the movie three times. I like the movie better. I don't know if it's because I just don't jive with the writing very well or what it is, really, because usually I'm all aboard the "books are better than movies" train... but I think that the movie just had a few more well-woven strands.

Take Lara Jean's scrunchie or the Korean yogurt things that she and Peter both like--in the movie, both of those play subtly important roles in the turning point of the story. There is no mention of the scrunchie in the book and the yogurt things hardly come up in the book. Not that the book is incomplete without it, but I think that the screenplay adapters and the directors and whoever came up with the intricately minute differences between the book and the movie deserve some appreciation.

There are people out there who disagree with me, I know, but I just think that the movie told a better story.

There are probably more reasons to love TATBILB, but these are some of mine. I think that it's a great starting point for other POC to star in movies or to be more prominent in mainstream media, and not as the 'token'-Asian/black/Latino-friend, but as a character, point blank, and for other realistic concepts and scenarios to have more awareness.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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