To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before — Review

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Have you accidentally sent text message to someone that you supposed not to send? Let’s talk about the feeling — it’s humiliating, or worst, troublesome. Somehow you will feel the urge to disappear or move to another planet and start a new life thinking how the recipient would react to the message. This real life occurence springs to a wonderful novel that anyone could relate to. In 2014, Jenny Han authored this young adult, teen-romance novel called, “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.” A story of a 16-year old high school student named Lara Jean that used to fantasize about romance but afraid of having a real romantic relationship, so she wrote letters to all she had crushes on and put it in her secret box instead. Without her knowing, these letters were addressed and mysteriously sent to its recipients that resulted to different awkward confrontations with her past crushes. The book was so successful that it even was considered an option for screenplay weeks after its debut and was followed by sequels in following years “P.S I Still Love You,” and “Always and Forever, Lara Jean.”

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In March 2018, Netflix acquired the distribution of the movie adaptation and released it last August 2018. And then, everyone went tremendously crazy over Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky (these damn hot creature!).

The selection of characters for this film adaptation is perfect mostly for the two main cast like Lana Condor and Noah Centineo. Both executed the job in a very expected manner. Of course, we know that Lara Jean is half-korean and she’s definitely fitted to be played by Lana Condor, that really act it as she is. Noah Centineo on the other hand, is a one kind of a jock looking guy and he nailed Peter Kavinsky’s head turner look and suave charm that makes high school girls going insane. Both actors shine their way to sudden stardom because of their great chemistry and charisma.

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Aside from the good looking actors, what added to the overall success of the film is the way shots were taken. Those shots, I believe were the main factors why everyone went hoity-toity over this adaptation. Imagine Peter’s hand inside Lara’s back pocket? How about the scene in the hot tub? Or Lara’s ninja kiss with Peter on the race track? Just thinking of these scenes would creep your spine, how much more watching them?

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I also will put good credits to the wardrobe of this film. Lara is so charming with how she was dressed and that showcased the Asian way of “How you take the runway?” The same way with Peter, he’s such a goal. I am so much amaze with his fashion. You know those plain shirts. What a minimalist. He’s killing it! Also, his hairstyle makes me want to go to salon for a quick digital perm.

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The score selections were also just fine. It has the millenial tune and rhythm. I just don’t know much of the songs and their titles, but I love their sounds. Each sound track complements the scenes. It is also apparent that Lara’s narration is as crystal clear. Her voice over is not too deep nor transactional, she’s just awesome. Her narration keeps the story going.

Although the film is a success, there are also parts or details that will make you frown. For one, the phasing of the story. While watching, I can’t help but tell my sister that Lara and Peter will surely end up together. I mean, anyone who will watch it, even without reading the book, would know how the story would end. There’s no much perils or conflicts along that makes it hard to discover. It seems that the film is just doing the count down until the climax. My take, it’s because the film is originally a book which really makes it different to cast the time setting into play. There are also parts that are not included in the film for some reason, like the halloween party where Peter is suppose to be Spiderman (anyone that read the book would know this). And of course, the shallow reason behind Gen’s frothing hate to Lara that started during middle school.


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All in all, the adaptation is still a good coverall of the book for those who preferred to watch than to read. What makes it different among the pantheon of romantic film? Honestly, nothing. Except for the good casting of characters and the possibility of finding romantic relationship in real life the way Lara and Peter found it — through love letters. As old romance as it gets.

The film is directed by Susan Johnson and screenplay written by Sofia Alvarez. Cast also included Janel Parrish as Margot, elder sister of Lara. Anna Cathcart as Kitty, Lara’s younger sister and Israel Broussard as Josh, Lara’s best friend and Margot’s ex-boyfriend. We can also watch-out for the adaptation of its sequel, “P.S I Still Love You,” that would give us a fresh look to a more interesting characters. To Jenny Han, you’re an exquisite author girl, really.

Btw, the last picture was used in the film as the wallpaper of Lara. You would scream to know that this was actually taken by one of their crew members. The two were found sleeping in that position during off-cam, not part of the play nor the script. This is pure kilig.



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