Netflix’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is the latest teen rom-com coming of age story and it may just be the best of the year so far. The story follows Lara Jean (Lana Condor) whose world is turned upside down when the love letters she wrote to all of her past crushes are mailed out.
From beginning to end this is a very relatable and charming story with loveable characters, great performances, effective comedy and plenty of heart to go around. I loved this movie throughout and there was not a minute in which I was bored or felt like something was missing. The story isn’t entirely ungrounded territory as it hits a few familiar rom-com/coming-of-age beats but with the loveable characters at the forefront and entertaining journey they’re on it really didn’t phase me. It’s directed by Susan Johnson and she has done a fantastic job at nailing a specific tone that is serious enough to feel genuine emotion for the characters whilst also incorporating some light cheesy moments here and there. It hooked me in from the get-go and it kept me engaged with the amount of charm it has. It moves along at a really quick pace and is a perfect length to where I didn’t feel like it was unnecessarily dragging at any point. I loved the cute and heartwarming character journey as it’s easy to follow and with time I found myself gradually getting into the characters more and more.
Speaking of the characters, this is where the real heart of the story lies as there are a number of fantastic relationships that were all incredible whether they were in the foreground or more in the back. The relationship between Lara Jean and her sisters Margot (Janel Parrish) and Kitty (Anna Cathcart) is one of the strongest of the film despite only coming into play at a couple of points. Anna who plays the youngest sister makes a strong impact with her impeccable comedic timing despite only having a handful of scenes. John Corbett also has some great comedic and heartwarming scenes in here as Lara Jean’s dad and his presence was definitely felt and not at all wasted. Then you have the central relationship of the story which is thoroughly engaging and Noah Centineo who plays Peter is great in the role. What I think really works about this film is that there are so many character relationships being explored that I feel like there is someone in here for everyone to relate to and connect with on this journey.
The star of the show though is Lana Condor who is phenomenal in the lead role and really commands the screen. She plays the character amazingly well with great comedic timing, a slight bit of awkwardness, and a brings a tonne of heart and emotion. She is the heart and soul of this movie and absolutely kills in in every scene. The development her character goes through during the course of the story is extensive and Lana sells it all impeccably. I cannot wait to see her get some more roles as she’s a very promising young actor.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before brings together so many elements and makes them all work in this sweet story about love, friendship, family, and feelings. There’s plenty of heart, a strong amount of not too cheesy comedy, great loveable characters, even better performances, and the technical qualities are great too. It’s very well shot with some great shot composition in various scenes throughout and the soundtrack is very fun and keeps the tone quite upbeat. I don’t have anything negative to say about this film, it isn’t perfect but it executes everything very well. I had a blast with this movie as it’s funny, emotional, and just a great one to kick back and catch at home on Netflix, would absolutely recommend if rom-com coming-of-age stories are your thing.