Connect with us


Three Reasons Why ‘To All the Boys I Loved Before’ Is the Best Netflix Rom-Com

A review of “To All the Boys I Loved Before.”

Meaghan Lanctot



Recently, Netflix has released a flurry of feel-good rom-coms that have captivated their audience. Based upon the book by Jenny Han and directed by Susan Johnson, To All the Boys I Loved Before has especially thrilled viewers with its unique plotline and memorable, lovable characters. However, it isn’t just a cute movie; it also addresses and even breaks tropes associated with the rom-com genre. Here are three reasons why To All the Boys I Loved Before is refreshing and revitalizing the rom-com genre.  


******Spoilers Below*******

Romance Is Depicted as Complex, Just Like in Real Life

Nothing about Lara Jean Covey’s (Lana Condor) crushes are even remotely easy. Out of the five boys she sends love letters, two of them become the frontrunners to her heart. One is her ex-best friend’s boyfriend and the most popular boy in school, Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) and the other is her childhood best friend Josh Sanderson (Israel Broussard) and older sister’s ex-boyfriend. In a lot of rom-coms, these two boys would be competing for Lara Jean’s and reduced to the typical stereotypes of hopelessly enamored best friend and disrespectful popular guy with a heart of gold. Nevertheless, To All The Boys I Loved Before breaks down these stereotypes into nuanced versions: Peter always defends Lara Jean against her bullies and treats her with the utmost respect while Josh actively tries to talk to her about her feelings as well as his own. Lara Jean has her share of complexity, as she tries to deal with her feelings for her sister’s boyfriend while developing feelings for a (seemingly) fake boyfriend. Throwing in a meddling little sister, an mean-girl ex-best friend with a shockingly developed back story, and a host of quirky minor characters, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before shows life and love in its most realistic, natural, and messy form.


The Main Relationship Is Natural

One of the things that people like to point out is that rom-com couples usually don’t know each other for very long before they inevitably fall in love. It’s hard to suspend disbelief and also root for the couple if they’ve only been together for a couple of days. However, we know from the get-go that Lara Jean knew all of the boys she wrote letters to well, especially Peter and Josh. Throughout Peter and Lara Jean’s fake relationship, we see a motif of months passing on a poster, denoting even more time that the two had for developing their feelings for each other. It makes rooting for them a lot more believable than most other rom-com couples who fall in love over the course of a couple of days.

Laura Jean with her sisters Kitty (Anna Cathcart) and Margot (Janel Parrish).


The Relationships Between Characters Are Actually Healthy

Usually, rom-coms are filled to the brim with jealous exes, friends, and family members who try to sabotage the couple or others. Even the couple itself are prone to wittily insulting each other before inevitably falling in love. This definitely isn’t the case with this movie. To start, Laura Jean never makes a move on Josh, even after her sister breaks up with him. The Covey sisters are always supportive of each other, and their dad is lovable if a bit misguided at times. The boys in Laura Jean’s life only care about her best interest, even if it means putting themselves on the line to help her whenever she needs it. Even her relationship with her ex-best friend, Gen (Emilija Baranac), is not simply seen as a double-sided hatred. We realize that Gen has always held a grudge against Laura Jean for kissing Peter back in middle school when she liked him. As silly as this seems, this kind of nuance only broadens our understanding of the characters and shows as many dimensions to their personalities as possible.


In all, To All the Boys I Loved Before isn’t just a great rom-com; it shows how good teen movies can be when the right people are behind and in front of the scenes.


Jumpstart a career doing something you are passionate about with one of College Media Network’s courses. Read about our current offerings, schedule and unique virtual learning environment here.

Writer at CMN

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

Government4 days ago

NYC Passes Its Own Green New Deal to Combat Man-Made Climate Change

The Big Apple goes green.

by , The Catholic American University
Equality2 weeks ago

Massachusetts Outlaws LGBTQ Conversion Therapy For Minors

The Bay State is taking more steps to protect LGBTQIA+ youth.

by , The Catholic American University
Election 20203 weeks ago

A Majority of Americans Supporting Progressive Policies Nationwide

A more progressive union in the near future?

by , The Catholic American University
Government3 weeks ago

Maryland Will Rise its Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour

The Free State raises its minimum wage to help its workers.

by , The Catholic American University
Education4 weeks ago

West Virginia Makes their Public Community Colleges Tuition Free for In-State Residents

The Mountain State is helping out its youth and their futures.

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 month ago

The DSA Endorses Bernie Sanders for President in 2020

America's largest socialist organization is feeling the Bern, again.

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 month ago

Speaker Pelosi Endorsed Lowering the Voting Age to 16 years Old

The kids maybe alright to vote.

by , The Catholic American University
National News1 month ago

Here’s What We Know So Far About Operation Varsity Blues

A summary and the latest updates about the largest college admissions scandal to hit the country.

by , George Washington University

Most Read From CMN Writers