Oh how I love you, Lara-Jean. Devotedly brought to life on our small screens by the wonderful and adorable Lana Condor (whose potential as Jubliee was criminally cut away from us in X-Men: Apocalypse), TATBILB is honestly, without a doubt, on my favourite – and definitely one of the better – adaptations to date! From the heart-warming family dynamic to the instantly lovable, Peter Kavinsky, TATBILB is the modern rom-com we’ve all been waiting for, whether we knew it or not.
So, I supposed a bit of background is in order, in case you’ve managed to avoid all forms of internet recently and don’t know what To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Is!
Based on the New York Times best-selling trilogy by author Jenny Han, this is what Goodreads has to say:
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?
Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
So, adaptation-wise, which is the whole point of this post after all. I believe the director; Susan Johnson, Netflix, and the entire cast and crew have truly done this book justice.
Championed by the author from the outset, I was definitely intrigued, especially considering that I am a relative late-comer to the series, having only read them for the first time a few months ago. And, I can happily say, I was not disappointed!
From the script to the actors to the cinematography, this film was romantic-comedy excellence.
Now, on a slight tangent – but the film geek in me could not talk about this film and not mention the absolutely beautiful cinematography.
Michael Fimogiari created some stunning shots in this film, truly capturing an authentic atmosphere; setting the entire feeling of the scene with one well-placed shot.
With help from the lighting and costume departments, some of these scenes were sheer aesthetic perfection!
Back to the real business – and let’s get to the story. The really did stay true to the source and changed the bare minimum necessary when moving to the big screen. I didn’t notice any truly major changes, perhaps a few things with Margot, but overall, very accurate.
The characters were all so similar to their book counterparts; Lara Jean was just as cute as I’d imagined her, Peter K was the heart-throb we all wanted in our lives, and Kitty was the kick-ass, cool kid. They all sprung to life on our screens and they did so without losing their base personalities from the book.
There is a reason you have probably seen countless articles recently on how this movie channels 90’s vibe of romantic comedies, on how this movie is revitalising that said genre. And they’re so right.
I grew up in the early 2000’s watching the likes of Clueless, Sixteen Candles, A Cinderella Story; and this film automatically shoots right up there. It is equal parts cute, funny and drama-filled enough that it is totally rewatchable, totally gif-able ad completely lovable.
To All The Rom-Com’s I’ve Loved Before… You Finally Have A Worthy Successor.