To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is a typical romantic comedy. The story revolves around Lara Jean Covey, a teenager who is shy, fantasies about the boys, likes to cut herself off from the real world and indulges herself in books. She writes intense passionate letters to her crushes before locking them in her closet. She has had a crush on five boys, the latest being her elder sister’s (Margot) boyfriend. Lara has a strong bond with her sisters. Margot breaks up with her boyfriend and she has to leave for college. Lara is left alone. One day while hanging out with her younger sister Kitty, she falls asleep, allowing Kitty to sneak into her room. She finds her collection of letters.
Next day, she is confronted by her former crushes. One of whom is Peter who is in relationship with Lara’s nemesis, Gen. But Peter breaks up with Gen and to make her jealous, he asks Lara to pretend to be in a relationship with him. She is skeptical at first but finally agrees. Things take a turn when Lara starts to develop feeling for Peter. This makes things complicated.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is a traditional fake dating story. The storyline is painfully predictable. Once you get familiar with the characters in first 30 minutes of the film, you can predict what is going to happen next. It sounds to be a Wattpad teenage romance that we often find ourselves guilty of reading and swooning over. But it has a quite realistic approach. The film gives you all the feels if you are fan of genre. It is charming, beautiful and emotional.
The thing that goes wrong with the film is that the dialogues somehow fall flat. Screenwriter Sofia Alvarez had to compress the lengthy novel into a 90 minutes film and it is quite a difficult task to present it in an articulate manner. It is funny and entertaining at times but sometimes the jokes don’t actually land. The wholesomeness of the film somehow gets lost in the clumsy deposition. Anyhow, I don’t think that it affects the film badly.
The factors that makes it a hit is the stellar performance by the cast and the artful cinematography. It is well shot and color graded. The art of presenting the movie in an aesthetically pleasing way shows the extraordinary vision of the director, Susan Johnson.
Lana Condor gives a powerful performance and brings the character to life in a rightful and just way of acting. The way that she manages to create the bonding with characters and bring all the emotions in a subtle and stunning way make her undeniably the star of the film. On the other hand, if Lana is a powerhouse of film then Noah Centineo is the energy. He keep an energetic atmosphere in the film. He brings out the best in the story and that makes him steal the limelight.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is like a sweet candy for hard days or you can call a dessert freshly baked out of oven. It maintains its teen cheesiness due to which it has created a sensation on social media and is on its way to form a cult fanbase. The film ends with a twist which adds fire to a possible sequel and we are down for that. The film is teen rom-com at its best and what can you expect more! It is what it should be: pleasing and entertaining, fun and happily sweet.
Rating: 7 out of 10