Let me start by saying this, I'm a big fan of young adult. It's no surprise if you've read my articles. I mean, I saw Love, Simon four times in theatres.
That being said, though I love young adult, I'm very picky about which young adult books and films I actually dedicate my time to. Many have been big misses for me.
To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han is a very popular young adult contemporary romance novel and the Netflix original adaption just came out.
I've known for a while now that a film adaption based on a book was coming out and I ...didn't read it first. I know, I know, many bookworms like me are probably gasping, but this review is going to be based solely on the film for once (I sincerely apologize).
So Lara Jean Covey has written five love letters in her life, a letter to each boy she has ever loved. One day, her world gets turned upside down when someone mysteriously mails her letters to all her crushes.
I'll start with what I liked.
Lara Jean is a very relatable character to the people watching. She loves romance, which most people who are watching this movie probably do since they chose this particular movie to watch. She's experienced unrequited love. She understands us.
Now I have to admit, when Peter rejected her on the track, I cringed so hard I nearly died. Which I supposed is the point.
I loved Peter and Lara Jean's relationship. Was it just me, or did it seem like Peter liked her from the beginning?
There were a lot of funny scenes. For example, when Peter got upset that Lara Jean sent letters to other guys got me cracking up.
I loved Chris too. That gynecologist line had me dying. Her friendship with Lucas was sweet as well.
Most of all, I loved the real conversations that Lara Jean and Peter had. They talked about her mom, his dad, and her fears, and they could actually be themselves and be honest with one another. I think that's why they ended up falling in love because they were actually their true selves because they didn't have the pressure of real dating. It was like friends who fell in love. It was sweet and honest.
Gen made me so mad when she went up to Lara Jean after the ski trip. No. Just…no.
Speaking of which, now on to things I didn't like.
For example, why on earth would she actually address the letters that she wrote? And her sister's point at the end saying that Lara Jean must have addressed them because she subconsciously wanted them to be sent made no sense
It also bothered me how Lara Jean didn't have this bursting desire to find out who sent the letters. It would be killing me if it were me. Maybe I wouldn't lock all my possessions in a safe and hire a private detective, but I would do some digging and be at least a little bit concerned.
It also didn't make sense to me why Lara Jean wouldn't hear Peter out after Gen tells her that Peter slept in her room. Lara Jean and Gen are enemies and Gen is Peter's ex, so it's clear she would try to manipulate the situation to get them to break up. Lara Jean has every reason to get angry and to feel like second best, but if she likes him so much it would make sense to at least hear what he has to say. She didn't allow him to finish a single sentence. It seemed childish and immature, and honestly not something that someone who really wanted to be with someone would do.
It also doesn't make sense that Kitty would mail all her sister's letters just so Lara Jean would get a boyfriend in high school.
But despite those things, I loved this movie. I definitely recommend it. It's one of the better young adult contemporary adaptions. All in all, the film itself gets a B from me. But it gets an A for how much I enjoyed it. So, thumbs up.