Where was this movie when I was in high school? I could have written love letters to all the boys I have loved before and put the notes into a box in my closet just for my little sister to find and send out. Who knows, maybe I could have had my own Peter Kavinsky? I guess we will never know because high school was three years ago, and my little sister does not snoop around in my closet. Thankfully we have an author like Jenny Han who gives us stories like Lara Jean’s in the novel “To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before”, adapted into a Netflix original, through which we can live vicariously.
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is the romantic comedy of our generation. It has all the classic elements that make romantic comedies addicting and exciting to watch. Relatable teen girl? Check. Gorgeous male lead? Check. Conflict that ends with a breakup of some sort but ultimately results in a rekindling of true teen love? Check.
But what makes this a romantic comedy for our generation, specifically, was the representation of the Asian-American community in the casting of Lana Condor as Lara Jean Covey.
In an article from Vulture.com it is revealed that many production companies interested in adapting Han’s best-selling novel wanted to cast a white actress as Lara Jean. She eventually found Awesomeness Films and Overbrook Entertainment who shared her vison to cast an Asian-American and created “To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before” that was released on Netflix Aug. 17.
I’ll be the first to admit this movie isn’t Oscar-worthy, but that’s not what it’s supposed to be. If you are dissecting every scene and discussing camera angles, you are watching it wrong. It isn’t supposed to make you question your existence or open your eyes to the horrific reality of life. Its purpose is to let you escape for an hour and 39 minutes, to walk in Lara Jean’s shoes and gush over a cute boy you never thought would be into you, to be brave and stand up for yourself when normally you wouldn’t. The movie’s purpose is to take you back to high school or, for some of us, what we wished was high school and remember the times when you had a crush so big it felt like your world couldn’t exist without the other person.