Written By: Rani Jivani
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them all at once? Lara Jean Song Covey’s love life goes from fantasy to reality when her love letters for every boy she has ever loved- five in all- are mysteriously mailed out and she has to confront each boy about it.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (TATBILB), previously a novel adapted into a movie, tells the romantic story between two high schoolers from different social circles: Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky. Lara Jean, a 16-year-old Korean American with an addiction to romance novels and a fear of talking to boys must fake date Peter Kavinsky, the most popular boy at school. The goal is for Lara Jean to get over her crush on her older sister’s ex-boyfriend and for Peter to make his ex-girlfriend jealous.
Of course, as in many romance novels, the two, despite their “fake” relationship, inevitably fall in love. They start bonding over many different topics, realizing that they have much more in common than they originally thought.
The movie is a throwback to the chokers, slip dresses, and scrunchies of the 90s but still has characteristics of the 21st century.
Lara Jean and Peter go to great lengths to prove to others that their relationship is real. They have each other as their background photos on their phones and talk about when to post pictures of each other on Instagram.
TATBILB turns away from the traditional all-white casts to an Asian-American protagonist, Lara Jean. When the author of TATBILB was asked about what kind of spirit the protagonist was, she responded an Asian-American with no doubt.
It is overwhelmingly rare to have an Asian-American play a main role featured in a movie; in fact, as the book was pitched as a movie, only one production company offered to keep Lara Jean Asian-American.
“I think it is very important that the movie industry incorporates more Asian-american protagonists to demonstrate representation .” said Cinthya Maldonado.
To All The Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before is a combination of the cheesiness of most teen dramas and elements of real life and relationships. It has just the right amount of high school drama, young love, and sweetness all in one 100 minute movie.