A must-watch Netflix teenage rom-com: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before



“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” impresses teenage audiences with humorous yet deep storylines and well-suited cast alongside with a strong message.


The movie is an adaptation of a young adult novel by Jenny Han. Directed by Susan Johnson, it was released on Netflix on August 17, 2018. It has scored 96% on Rotten Tomatoes so far and has been popular among teenagers. My friends told me that it is a must-see movie, and after watching it, I realized why. As one of the many fans of this movie, I particularly liked the unique story. Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) writes soul-baring love letters to five boys who once were her crushes. She keeps the letters in a safe place and never plans to mail them, but the letters get out. Two of her crushes were Josh Sanderson (Israel Broussard), her sister Margot’s ex, and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), the most popular guy at school who just broke up with his girlfriend. Peter suggests a fake relationship contract that would benefit both of them because Lara Jean wants to make Josh think she doesn’t like him so that she doesn’t have an awkward relationship with him and Margot, and Peter wants to make his ex-jealous and get back with her again. Eventually, Lara Jean and Peter actually fall in love.


The plot and characters are the main elements of the movie that make it interesting. “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a short movie to watch without time pressure,” said Grade 9 student Miriam Recca. Even though it was less than two hours long, which is relatively short for a movie, it was enough to impress the audience with humorous yet deep storylines with the unique set-up of the secret love letters being sent out. The important parts of the plot were the ups and downs of the relationship and the touching family story. These deep stories were all included without a flaw in the movie. The characters were perfect as well. The protagonist, Lara Jean, was an easy character to relate to. She is a high school student who doesn’t want people to know about her crush, looks for her friend in the cafeteria, and generally struggles to find her identity.


One of the best aspects of the movie was that the cast perfectly matched the characters. “Who else can play Lara Jean?” said Grade 9 student Nothando Lekgoro. Lana Condor and Noah Centineo did a good job portraying the characters. Lara Jean was portrayed as a typical girl in high school and Peter as a tall, sporty boy. This combination excited many teenagers; it seemed impossible and not too obvious because in many movies popular girls date popular boys. It is also unique that an Asian actor, Lana Condor, starred in this movie, which improved the diversity of the cast. I found the cast’s performance to be engaging.


The messages of the movie are family unity, honesty, trust, and most importantly self-confidence. Lara Jean was an inconspicuous, shy person who would only stick around with her only friend Christine and kept her feelings to herself. She, later on, hangs out with Peter during the fake relationship and starts to talk about her inner feelings. She brings more people into her life and opens her heart to confidently share her story.


“This movie will definitely become a classic,” Nothando said, and I agree. Its set-up is unique for a rom-com, which is a genre that many people are fans of. The film is loved by many teenagers; some said they have watched it over and over again and it is still good. I hope teenagers can get the message of self-confidence after watching “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and be influenced in a good way.