Based on Jenny Han’s book and directed by Susan Johnson, the Netflix original movie, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” has quickly charmed the internet. This rom-com tells the story of Lara-Jean Covey (Lana Condor), an Asian American teenager, whose struggle through high school escalates when her secret love letters become not-so-secret. To convince her sister’s ex-boyfriend, a love letter recipient, that she isn’t in love with him, she enlists popular Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), in the role of faux-beau.
Of course, it’s inevitable that Lara-Jean and Peter genuinely fall in love, and like all rom-coms, clichés saturate this film. Whether it’s the “jock and the bookworm” love story or the nasty ex-girlfriend (whose cringe-worthy acting makes for an unconvincing threat), “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” undoubtedly has its contentious moments. However, although this film may be no match for the classics, its iridescent aesthetics, whimsical soundtrack, and relatability inevitably force out smiles (and maybe even tears).
If a film makes you feel anything, even the slightest tug at your heartstrings, then it did something right. Watching Lara-Jean, a young, Asian American girl, be honest with herself and brave enough to expose her heart— it becomes a little easier to feel beautiful and loved because finally, someone on screen looks like me. In the end, that is a coveted joy that nothing, not even bad acting or endless clichés, could ever overshadow.