REVIEW: Teen rom-coms make a comeback in Netflix’s ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’

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Courtesy Netflix

The romantic comedy "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" surpasses other recent releases.

Katrina Liu, Opinion Editor

Ever since classic teen movies like “10 Things I Hate About You” and “Mean Girls have been released and loved by many, the gap has been wide open for the next iconic teen comedy. Netflix’s “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a strong contender for being this generation’s go to feel good movie.

The film stars Lana Condor as Lara Jean Covey, a half-Korean high schooler who prides herself as a hopeless romantic but is scared of actually finding love herself. Noah Centineo plays Peter Kavinsky, a nice jock who is trying to figure out how to be in a relationship. A notable mention goes to Anna Cathcart who plays Kitty Covey, Lara Jean’s younger sister. Though she has little screen time, you can’t help but fall in love with her good intentions and snarky remarks.

The plot sets itself up when Lara Jean’s love letters to her former crushes, which were never meant to be sent, inadvertently reach the crushes themselves. One of the recipients is her sister’s ex-boyfriend, and to try and convince him that it wasn’t real, Lara Jean drags her friend Peter into a fake dating plan that almost goes too far.

The setting itself is ordinary, making it extremely relatable and realistic. The story takes place in a small suburban town with a high school much like our own, with the different groups of people that are always in a high school. But, contrary to many other movies, the high school stereotypes are only touched upon instead of being a main focus of the film. They present themselves in a way where it feels just right, not over the top.

However, of course, like many romantic comedies, there are specific lines and scenes that make my second hand embarrassment soar and my stomach turn, just because it is a bit too cliché for my tastes. But what else can you expect from a film about fake dating in high school?

For the genre it’s in, this film would not be considered predictable. And even the parts that may be are still watchable, since there are little splashes of originality that keep the audience interested. It was refreshing to see a movie with no major twist, because sometimes that’s what we need. A movie that makes life seem good for a couple hours.

So yes, if you love a good, easy romantic comedy to sit down and watch on a Friday night, you should give “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” a try. It might not be for everyone, but it definitely ranks higher on the list of young adult movies from the last decade. Also, Peter Kavinsky may find his way into your heart due to his good natured personality and his good looks, and Lara Jean Covey may become your next girl crush, just from how relatable she really is.