Chaos Attraction

To All The Boys I've Loved Before

2018-08-24, 9:10 p.m.

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So any evening plans I was going to have tonight were thwarted by my dire need to get a project done ASAP during the CC's shortened Friday hours. (It's still not done, I'm gonna have to go back and finish it tomorrow. Sigh.) So instead I watched To All The Boys I've Loved Before, which is actually as good as the hype I've heard about it.

The plot: Lara Jean is a sweet/nerdy 16-year-old girl who has crushes like everyone else but isn't inclined to do anything about them beyond write the dude she has a crush on a letter about it. She addresses them and puts them in envelopes, but doesn't put a stamp on or mail it. Lara Jean's little sister Kitty decides that it's sad that Lara Jean is doing Golden Girls marathons with her on a weekend night and decides to mail all five of her stashed letters out. Embarrassment ensues with the 3 out of 5 dudes that are still in her life at this point (the others being like, a camp crush and a guy from Model UN). One of them's gay, one of them politely turns her down and the third is ah....

The third is Josh, who was Lara Jean's guy friend and then he started dating her older sister Margo. Lara Jean had and still has no intention of making a move on him, but the crush feelings only kicked in once the two started dating. But Margo is going off to college in Scotland(!) and knows you're supposed to dump a guy once you do that. So Lara Jean feels awkward as fuck about Josh now knowing how she feels, while also being single, and there's the sister thing...argh.

Back to the second dude, Peter: Peter was a "Spin the Bottle" kiss in middle school and now he's dating Lara Jean's bitchy ex-best friend Gen. (Lara Jean is now best friends with Gen's cousin Chris, who is badass.) However, when Gen randomly throws Peter over, he suggests good ol' fake dating to get Gen's attention. Lara Jean would like to look romantically occupied around Josh herself, so she goes for it, they sign a contract, they watch each other's favorite movies and take cute photos and go on The Ski Trip, an infamous hookup event at their school.

Suffice it to say that real feelings are ensuing--and at one point Lara Jean joins Peter in a hot tub and everyone ends up seeing that--but Peter does still have feelings for Gen (and he's honest about it) and Gen still has feelings for Peter (and is pushy about it), so....awkward. Josh isn't totally sure how to handle this stuff either.

Anyway, it's very good.

* I was startled to see John Corbett as the girls' dad, but he's adorably daddish. At one point Chris is going on to him about why would a man want a job as a gynecologist and he just politely asks her to leave the kitchen.
* The narration is top notch. I like.
* Peter ... I believe he's the Internet's new boyfriend now, from what I hear? I admit I frequently found myself just giggling when he was talking and I do not know why. He is dude-ish and yet sensitive and has very amusing eyebrows and dude voice. Nice dude overall. Does nice things even for a fake girlfriend.

It's all very cute. Highly recommended. And will probably get sequels. Also, people are doing stuff like this.

More on this:
"To All The Boys I've Loved Before made me believe in love again because it's one of the few depictions of onscreen romance that doesn't gloss over every reason we have to not want love. Messy, wounded, petty, neurotic, awkward, full of fits and starts — the love in this rom-com feels closer to home than any of the classics ever did."

The Enduring Appeal of the ‘Fake Relationship’ Rom-Com.


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