By JUDE SALAM
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is an enchanting love story based on the novel created in 2014 by author Jenny Han. The movie was released by Netflix in August 2018 and features actors Lana Condor as female lead Lara Jean Covey and Noah Centineo as male lead and love interest, Peter Kavinski. It was directed by Susan Johnson and produced by Matthew Kaplan, James Lassiter, Brian Robbins and the renowned Will Smith.
With the inevitable end of summer shortly in sight and the dawn of junior year becoming all the more apparent, Lara Jean Covey drearily anticipates saying goodbye to her college-bound sister and starting a rather uneventful year in high school. Unfortunately for Lara Jean (but to the entertainment of us viewers), things take an unexpected turn. Lara Jean’s mundane expectations for a smooth sailing junior year are confronted with rocky turbulence as secrets are exposed, feelings are confessed and an extraordinary tale of trust, sisterhood and love unfolds.
The film garnered much praise and attention for its uniqueness in featuring an Asian-American actress playing the lead role of Lara Jean Covey, a refreshing deviation from the rather consistent trend of white female love interests starring in every other movie of its genre.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved is exceptionally successful in creating loveable characters audiences can easily resonate and relate with. Audiences report feeling understood as well as sympathized with, from the characters.
“I can relate a lot with her shy personality,” senior Nadine Yang said, “I really sympathized with her, especially when her sister leaves and when she couldn’t talk to the people she liked.” She continued by expressing her appreciation for the hearty nature of film, saying, “The characters and their stories were also really relatable, rather than the fake, cliched, ‘adult version’ of high school we see in most other movies like it.”
In regard to the storyline, the movie seamlessly executes classic symbols and, furthermore, manages to present them in a unique, unforgettable way. Some viewers, however, were rather underwhelmed with the classic quirkiness of the film.
“I thought the acting seemed unnatural and I didn’t particularly like the story,” junior Tiffany Phan said, “it was pretty cliché, it didn’t really appeal to me.”
Although there is some debate as to whether the movie was effective in providing a unique cinematic experience, most audiences were blown away by the impressive cinematography in the film. Icy blue mountains are beautifully captured in breathtaking shots thanks to cinematographer Michael Fimognari. Mesmerizing indigo-violet hues are cast upon the actors throughout the entirety of the film, reminiscent of an 80s style with a modern touch.
“The cinematography and the lighting were perfect, especially the blue and red lights that shone on [Peter Kavinsky’s] face,” junior Rylie Klenke said, expressing her enthusiasm and appreciation for camera work.
Overall, To All the Boys I’ve Loved presents a heartwarming story that manages to execute a fanciful, entertaining plot while being able to maintain a strong sense of relatability to teen audiences.