“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” addresses difficult aspects of adolescent relationships

Isabelle Rayburn

Love has an effect on everyone, and the first relationship people have can change how they feel about love. 

“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” first a novel by Jenny Han, is now an original movie on Netflix that is catching everyone’s attention. This coming of age movie explores young love, interracial relationships and double standards between men and women when it comes to intimacy in a relationship. These three topics are at the forefront of modern relationships, especially with the recent #MeToo movement. 

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The main characters are Lara Jean (Lana Condor), a junior in high school, and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), also a junior, and one of the more popular boys in school. 

“The more people you let in your life, the more that they can walk right out of it” Lana Condor as Lara Jean in “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before”

Lara Jean is a girl who’s had crushes before but never a relationship. She writes letters to five of her past loves that are just an outlet for her emotions and were never meant to get sent, but somehow they do anyway. 

One of the letters Lara Jean writes was sent to her sister’s ex-boyfriend. In order to avoid him talking to her about the letter, she starts fake dating Peter Kavinsky, who also received a letter. This turns into a love story no one expected.

Lara Jean eventually starts to develop real feelings for Kavinsky, which changes the dynamic of the whole movie. While they are open in this relationship, Kavinsky and Lara Jean become victims of double standards. Kavinsky is praised for doing things in their relationship that Lara Jean is looked down upon for.

In addition to adolescent love, this film addresses how difficult it can be living in a single parent home. Lara Jean’s mother passed away, which influences her hesitation in relationships. She says, “The more people you let in your life, the more that they can walk right out of it”. People come and go every day, so this quote was very relatable when it comes to all types of relationships. It’s impossible to know when someone could walk out on a relationship.

What I like most about this movie is how it addresses losing someone and the effects of living in a single parent home. Both of these topics are relatable for me which is why this movie pulled me in. It was interesting to see a movie that had interracial couples and parents while addressing that there are single fathers out there taking care of their kids alone. Most people only see single mothers and rarely a single father.   

Rating: A-

Overall this movie would be great for someone who loves romance movies with a small twist. It also depicts what some relationships look like and many young women can relate to Lara Jean. Some may argue it’s a movie for hopeless romantics, but I saw many underlying messages. 

The book Han wrote has a sequel, so another movie may be in the works. 

Collegian reporter Isabelle Rayburn can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @seiss_diosaa. 

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