Film, TV + Theatre

8 Reasons to watch ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ on Netflix


By Stephanie Boey

8 Reasons to watch ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ on Netflix

2018 has been a great year for expanding representation in film. Marvel’s Black Panther was a huge success at the box office raking in US$1.3 billion. Closer to home, Crazy Rich Asians has made US$40 million in sales so far and it’s only been in theatres for a couple of days. Unless you’ve pre-booked your tickets for the weekend, chances are you’re going to have to settle with mediocre seats at best if you can get any at all. I’ve tried virtually every shopping mall and cinema vendor in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya.

Time to hit up the next best thing—Netflix. The network’s recent push, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before also sees Asian representation into mainstream media. Centred around Lara Jean Covey, an Asian-American high school student whose secret love letters get mailed out to her five crushes… and chaos ensues.

Here are 8 reasons to tune in:

1) The refreshing new faces The promising young cast is lead by Lana Condor (who made her acting debut as Jubilation Lee/Jubilee in X-Men: Apocalypse) nails the character’s naïvete while fellow young actresses Anna Cathcart and Madeleine Arthur provide brilliant comic relief as the protagonist’s sister and BFF respectively.

2) … and familiar ones John Corbett plays the widowed patriach to the heroine. You might remember him as Aidan Shaw from Sex and the City, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and United States of Tara. Pretty Little Liar’s Janel Parrish plays Margot, Lara Jean’s older sister.

3) The humour The movie has some pretty solid lines which include a diss on Uggs and a joke about googling Justin Trudeau shirtless, two highly polarising topics in our books.

4) Diversity The story revolves around a biracial American family. Lara Jean is half-Korean and half-Caucasian, but what’s great is that the story isn’t explicitly about that and neither is it written as the family’s defining quality. They just happen to belong in a multicultural household, as do many families in America and all over the world for that matter. According to IMDb, Jenny Han the author of the books, was approached by studios to sell the rights but had plans to change Lara Jean’s heritage to fully Caucasian. But Jenny was determined to keep the character’s original Asian roots. Representation matters!

5) Eye candy Israel Broussard plays the unattainable boy next door and the male lead character, Peter Kavinsky portrayed by Noah Centineo is also a sight for sore eyes. He’s previously known for his tv role in The Fosters, and has another upcoming film on Netflix, Sierra Burgess is a Loser scheduled for 7 September 2018.

6) Throwback teen movie referencesThe narrative by the movie’s main protagonist is reminiscent of another coming of age teen flick—Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles also gets special mentions in the film.

7) The cinematographyThe aesthetic and carefully arranged artful shots come together for a visually pleasing product which is a pleasant surprise for a romcom.

8) The soundtrackThe music is a perfect blend of old and new. The ’80s movie references continues with Tears for Fears hit from 1985, Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ seamlessly woven in with current favourites like Troye Sivan, Sza and Blood Orange.

Watch the trailer below: 

‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ is available for streaming on Netflix here.

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