Review: “To All the Boys I Loved Before” showcases ‘teenage romance’ with modern spin

Lana Condor poses for the Netflix preview of To All The Boys Ive Loved Before.

Photo credit: "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" promotional material.

Lana Condor poses for the Netflix preview of “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.”

Full of fake boyfriends and love letters, “To All the Boys I Loved Before” fulfills the guidelines of a typical comedy and the perfect teenage romance. The Netflix hit is awkward, realistic and funny—just what a rom-com should be.  The movie was released on August 17, 2018, and is directed by Susan Johnson, known for her work on “Carrie Pilby.”  

Based on the hit trilogy by Jenny Han, the movie follows the books to a tee. It combines the books “P.S. I Still Love You” and “To All the Boys I Loved Before,”  creating a realistic film sure to lift your spirits. 

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” follows Lara Jean, a Korean-American girl who is slightly awkward, reserved at school and vibrant at home. Her introversion leads her to spend Friday nights in, baking with her younger sister and reading her favorite book, “Forbidden Love.

But she has been keeping a big secret from her family: she is in love with her sister Margot’s (Janel Parrish) ex-boyfriend and family next-door neighbor, Josh (Israel Broussard). 

Lara Jean is a true romantic, and when she has a crush “so intense she doesn’t know what to do,” she always writes a love letter. She has written five letters in total, including one to Josh. When Lara Jean’s younger sister Kitty ships her love letters out, she panics. 

At school, Lara Jean must pretend to date the most popular boy, Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) who receives one of her letters. The plan is to create a fake relationship with Peter so that Lara Jean can get over her crush on Josh and Peter can make his ex-girlfriend jealous. This is where Lara Jean’s love story begins. 

Unlike some romantic comedies, I felt like I could completely relate to Lara Jean’s emotions.  In fact, it was so good I watched it three times over the course of three days. 

Actress Lana Condor fits her role perfectly as the awkwardly shy, charmingly sarcastic Lara Jean. Condor is able to model Lara Jean’s lighthearted innocence combined with her energetic quirkiness. 

The only aspect of this film that could be better is the overall acting. Sometimes the characters seemed one-dimensional or lacking. Condor and Centineo’s chemistry and acting seemed effortless; however, some of the other characters like Mr. Covey (Lara Jean’s dad) and Margot seemed a little forced.

The cinematography for this movie definitely was not award-worthy, but it wasn’t supposed to be—it is simply a Netflix original movie, not a massive production.

While watching the film, I felt the embarrassment some characters faced but also the happiness portrayed. The story is very realistic and leaves out unnecessary drama. If you are looking for a feel-good, warm story, I strongly suggest you check it out.

And get ready—there are rumors of a sequel (based on the third book “Always and Forever, Lara Jean”) sometime in the next few years.

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is available to stream on Netflix.

  • Story
  • Acting
  • Technical Quality
  • Enjoyment


“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is a Netflix romantic comedy focusing on main character Lara Jean’s life.  Lara’s private love letters are leaked and her uncomplicated high school existence gets turned upside down.