To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Director: Susan Johnson
Writer: Sofia Alvarez
Based on: Jenny Han’s novel
Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, John Corbett, Israel Broussard, Andrew Bachelor, Trezzo Mahoro, Madeleine Arthur, Emilija Baranac, Kelcey Mawema
Seen on: 4.1.2019

Lara Jean (Lana Condor) lives with her two sisters Margot (Janel Parrish) and Kitty (Anna Cathcart) and their father (John Corbett). Margot is about to leave for college in Scotland and therefore she breaks up with her boyfriend of many years, Josh (Israel Broussard), their next-door-neighbor. After Margot leaves, this brings up old feelings in Lara Jean who used to have a crush on him. She writes her feelings down in the continuation of a letter she wrote to him many years ago – as she has written a letter to all the boys she fell in love with at some point, without ever sending them. But then Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), the most popular guy in school, approaches her asking about the letter she wrote to him and Lara Jean realizes all of her letters were mailed out. When Josh asks her about this, Lara Jean tells him a panic that she is dating Peter, completing the confusion.

After finishing the book in like two days, I was so taken by it, that I watched the adaptation basically immediately. And fortunately the film version did not disappoint at all: it’s pure, lovely sugar.

The film poster showing Lara Jean (Lana Condor) with a letter in her hand.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a supersweet RomCom with great characters and fake dating – which is one of my favorite tropes, so it has all the right ingredients to make for a lovely film. But ingredients alone don’t make a good film – fortunately they combine the ingredients in a good way, so I was basically in a state of awww the entire film.

Compared to the book, the film seems a little more in tune with youth culture today than the book was, making the John Hughes references a little weird (generally I’m not that much of a Hughes fan, so that part didn’t work that well for me). Unfortunately, they lose some of the complexity in the relationship between the sisters in the film. The other big difference was the ending that is much less ambiguous than in the book. Other than that, I thought that it was a very faithful adapation.

Peter (Noah Centineo) and Lara Jean (Lana Condor) striking a deal.

I was a little irritated by the fact that Centineo and Broussard looked a lot alike, with Centineo being slightly prettier. But other than that, I would need more than a quick glance to tell them apart. But they gave good performances. Generally, the cast was really nice and if Lana Condor doesn’t walk out of this film a star, I don’t know what’s going on.

In any case, if you are itching for a nice RomCom, I can only recommend this film. It will satisfy all your romance needs for sure.

The three Covey sisters Kitty (Anna Cathcart), Margot (Janel Parrish) and Lara Jean (Lana Condor).

Summarizing: my heart.


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