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  • Marah Heikkila

Review: ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ Not a Typical Teenage ‘Love Story’

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” focuses on the story of Lara Jean, played by Lana Condor. The film specifically focuses on the love letters from Lara, each addressed to a boy she loved in some way, but things don’tsimply end there. The letters were sent out by her sister, and the lm shows a journey of a young teenage girl trying to nd her way through high school.

After the letters got out, Lara ended up having a “fake” relationship with Peter, played by Noah Centineo, in order to make Peter’s ex-girlfriend up-set. It works – a lot. Although the premise of the lm and the fake dating trope has been done, watching it done once more wasn’t boring here. It was rather funny at times, awkward and quirky, but that’s what made the performance genuine. The characters were struggling with their own feelings, trying to eliminate them or play them off as being part of a deal.

But they get more than they bargained for, and this film adaptation did well to show Lara and Peter’s relationship within the time restraints.One downfall to the film was the parts that could be anticipated. Of course in a high school setting, there’s going to be a mean girl. That’s understand-able, but the actions of the “mean girls” were rather redundant and easily anticipated.

These girls purposely did things to make Lara paranoid of her “relationship” with Peter with the intent to have Peter and her break up. That’s a rather common tactic. Although some of the trope was common enough to be easily anticipated, the film still shows the journey and a teenage girl who learns to love after the death of her mother while also balancing out her own relationships with her family and others, too.

The acting from Condor was also convincing, important to point out since she did well to portray the character adaptation from the novel. The characters, especially Lara, were relatable. Not only that, but the viewer would be able to understand her perspective even though she is young. For example, Lara when driving, had a lot of trouble and actually embarrassed herself at one point in front of a boy – something a teenage girl would do.

Why was the lm important? What makes it different from the normal trope we see? Well, it was refreshing to see that the female lead of the, movie just as in the novel, was not purely American, but also Korean.

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