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“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” Movie Review

You read the title right. We do movie reviews now. As well as this being a movie review though, this should also serve as a cautionary tale about Twitter hype; whether it be hype about music, movies, or any other form of entertainment out there. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is directed by Susan Johnson and is based on a novel by Jenny Han. It stars Lana Condor as Lara Jean and Noah Centineo as Peter Kavinsky. To give a little overview of the plot, Lara Jean is starting her junior year of high school, and over the years she has written love letters to five boys, but has never sent them. She keeps them hidden. One day, those letters all get mailed, and cause all sorts of trouble for her where she has to quickly grow as a person and confront these issues. Now, before we get into the meat of the review, let me preface it by saying I had heard this movie through Twitter, where many of my followers either tweeted about how amazing the movie was or they would retweet other people who were also praising the movie. After reading the movie’s description, I thought it’d be a good watch, since movies based on young adult novels or just young adult movies in general have been some of my favorite movies. So let’s start with some positives. The acting is coming from Lana Condor and Noah Centineo is good. Lana definitely carries the movie and stands out in every scene she’s in. The cinematography is also beautiful. Some shots definitely stand out to me as well as remind me of other movies where I’m sure they got some inspiration from. I also appreciated that there wasn’t a terrible side plot that went nowhere; the story is very centered on Lara Jean and doesn’t have some hijinks that happen to her friend or her family. It’s clear who the movie is focusing on and doesn’t stray from that at all. The minority representation, in this case Asian, is also a fresh take, especially in this genre. However, that’s more or less where the positives end for me. There’s a lot of very cliché plot points, such as the best friend who stopped being her friend once she gained popularity, the quirky new friend who is more outgoing than her, the dad who tries to give a pep talk at a crucial moment in the movie, and the younger sibling who causes all sorts of trouble. I usually don’t mind clichés in movies, but in this one, nothing special is done to make them different from movies I’ve already seen. Then there’s the older sister, who, if you ask me, is the real antagonist of the movie. She claims to be so close to Lara Jean, but starts dating Josh, a boy who Lara Jean was real good friends with and is obvious she liked but was too shy to say anything about it. If you’re an older sibling, you obviously pick up on those signs, especially if you’re close with your siblings, but she didn’t. The acting coming from the supporting characters was not as good as the main actors. The Josh character comes off as very whiny and Lara Jean’s sister’s come off as annoying and very cringey. The writing also didn’t make me believe the connection between Lara & Peter could be real, except for maybe two parts of the movie. Overall, the movie is fine. If I had to give it a number, I’d give a decent to strong 5 out of 10. Maybe part of the problem was I was expecting something great, given the hype surrounding it. But it came off as mediocre with just some fun moments, great visuals, and an overall positive message about letting the people closest to you know how you feel about them before it’s too late. So yes, be wary of social media hype, but also don’t let it deter you from checking things out for yourself and forming your own opinion on it.

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