Monday, September 3, 2018

Movie Review: "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" (2018)

Director: Susan Johnson
Year: 2018
Rating: TV-14
Running Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

Lara Jean has written and saved five love letters that she wrote to the boys she has had crushes on throughout the years. When these letters get sent to the guys she wrote them for, Lara and one of the love letter recipients, Peter, begin a fake relationship so she can ward off the other recipients, and so he can make his ex-girlfriend jealous.

"I think drama can be fun, just as long as nobody else knows about it." (Image Source)
Is there any person out there who hasn't written a letter to a person they have liked? Feel free to replace the word "letter" with "text message" or "email" to you all you youths out there. "To All the Boys I Loved Before" is directed by Susan Johnson, who has one other feature-length directorial credit in the 2016 film "Carrie Pilby." It is written by Sofia Alvarez and is based on the novel of the same name by Jenny Han. The story centers on a young teenager named Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor), who is a bit of a shy introvert. Lara Jean has had five crushes in her life and has written love letters to each of the boys she has liked as a way to express her inner feelings. One of these letters was written to her childhood best friend Josh (Israel Broussard), who just so happens to be her sister's longtime boyfriend/recently turned ex-boyfriend/neighbor. When all of her letters get mysteriously mailed out to their recipients, it puts her in an awkward position. Instead of talking to Josh about it calmly and rationally, Lara Jean decides it would be better to pretend to date one of the other recipients of a letter, a popular kid named Peter (Noah Centineo), who is the recent ex-boyfriend of Lara Jean's ex-friend Gen (Emilija Baranac). Peter agrees to a fake relationship with Lara Jean so she can show Josh that she isn't interested him, and so Peter can make his ex-girlfriend jealous and try to win her back. As the two pretend to date, it becomes apparent that they are developing real feelings for each other.
"Don't you find it depressing that it's Saturday night and you're having a "Golden Girls" marathon with your little sister?" (Image Source)
"To All the Boys I've Loved Before" has received very high praise and acclaim from critics and audiences alike. It's essentially a new-aged version of a "10 Things I Hate About You"/"Can't Buy Me Love"/"She's All That" type of film intended for the teenagers of this generation. While we admit that it is completely predictable within the first 10 minutes, there is something sort of sweet about this film, at least to me. Sure, it's full of typical romantic comedy tropes and by-the-book dialogue we're sure you can dig out from other books and movies just like it, but it's not a total loss like most modern films aimed at teenagers. The characters are a bit one-dimensional, but the performances by Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, and "Happy Death Day" co-star Israel Broussard are believable and well done. Hell, at least the actors look like they belong in high school compared to most of the adolescent rom-com flicks and shows where the cast members look like they are 30-40 years old like in "One Tree Hill" and "Pretty Little Liars."
"You can be mad at someone and still miss them." (Image Source)
We are not in the target demographic for "To All the Boys I've Loved Before," so our opinions on this film may not hold much weight. I will admit, I did find myself remembering what it was like to be a girl who grew up with crushes throughout my school career. I can distinctly remember writing diary entries and letters to the boys I liked from school. Finding these tear-stained scribbles while boxing up my stuff while preparing to move out was quite a hilarious treat, and so was this movie for me. It's not going to win any awards, but I found it to be pretty cute, relatively heartwarming, mostly harmless, and pretty dang funny. The same cannot be said for BigJ, who found himself bored and physically annoyed with this movie within in the first 20 minutes. Hey, some things just aren't for 39-year-old men and 32-year-old women, and that's completely fine.

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.5/10
RT Rating: ~95%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

Please be sure to check out Lolo Loves Films all over the internet!

No comments:

Post a Comment