I love rom-coms! I miss rom-coms. It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve watched a decent rom-com. And To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the coming-of-age teenage rom-com that I’ve been hoping for.
While To All the Boys reminds me of Mean Girls, the #1 teen rom-com of all time (according to me), it isn’t “just another teen movie.” It’s about growing up and understanding life’s lessons, but what makes it heart-warming and relatable is the story’s focus on a stage in life that we all experience as teenagers: having a teenage crush. Having a crush on someone, whether it’s a classmate, boy band, girl group, actor or actress, seems like a right of passage. And as we grow older, we look back at this point in time, and we laugh at our cute and silly actions.
Watching Lara Jean reminded me of the silly and stupid things I did as a teenager. I think Lana Condor did a fantastic job of portraying the romantic daydreaming teen girl. I especially love her character because she is the right blend of not quite an adult but still possesses a bit of that childhood innocence. And Peter, played by Noah Centineo, is charming and cute. He nailed the portrayal of a popular high school jock who on the inside isn’t really the confident guy everyone thought he was. And the chemistry between Lara Jean and Peter is breathtaking; there were moments when my heart melted.
To top it off, what really made me appreciate this movie is it’s positive message on self-image and sexual consent. Teen movies, especially teen movies for girls, focus so much on “the makeover.” It’s always about an ugly girl who gets a makeover and becomes the most popular girl in school. There’s no makeover, there’s no discussion about body image, there isn’t even any jokes about the nerd or the fat kid. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is simply about a teenage girl trying to find her way in life’s complexities and in the process finding love as well.