Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
MPAA Rating: TV-14
Director: Susan Johnson
Starring: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish
Runtime: 1 hr 39 mins
What It Is: Lara Jean (Condor) is pretty much just your ordinary teenage girl. She’s in love with her best friend Josh (Israel Broussard) who also happens to be her older sister Margot’s (Parrish) boyfriend. She writes letters to all of the titular boys she’s ever had crushes on including the popular Peter (Centineo) who feels like a completely different world. Until the two begin a fake relationship to help Peter get back with his ex, while also fixing the mess that occurred when those letters leaked.
What We Think: This film has no right being as good as it is. Lana Condor didn’t get a chance to shine in the bloated X-Men: Apocalypse. Here she is equal parts adorable and utterly refreshing. Her character is not a cookie cutter RomCom protagonist. Her Lara Jean is smart with just enough sass and naivety to go a very long way. I am also of the belief that Susan Johnson did a fantastic job of telling the tale of Jenny Han’s book. When you couple this with the similarly timed Crazy Rich Asians these are the sort of films that this genre needs.
Our Grade: B+, A complete surprise when you look at Netflix’ hit or miss reputation. I’m an unabashed fan of films of this ilk. It’s rare to find one that just makes people enjoy the narrative while also feeling somewhat fresh. Do I recommend this? Absolutely! This is a wonderful and warm film that is equal parts snappy dialogue and cutesy love story. I cannot wait for whatever Condor does next. I also don’t get the obsession with Noah Centineo online. You’re a strange bunch internet. THIS is the type of film Susan Johnson needs to keep doing, an excellent follow up to the also pretty good Carrie Pilby.