To All the Boys I've Loved Before
As the sequel gets released this week, we look at his straight to Netflix, teen romance, drama. With its humour and unique plot, it is different from the usually repetitive romance genre. Honestly the film has so many different dynamics to it I wouldn’t even call it a romance movie. This film has a beautiful use of cinematography that goes unappreciated. The characters are really well developed and easy to connect to. It is funny and makes connections to popular culture, while also finding ways to include serious and dynamic moments that help the characters grow. I really liked how involved with the plot side characters were, so it was not so heavily focused on the main character.
I liked the combination of with and without narration so that as an audience member you could better understand what Laura Jean is thinking/ feeling. It helps provide the insight to the characters inner thoughts that the books allow. After reading the books, it uses a lot of stylistic language and generally interesting to hear what the main character thinks at certain times. For example when she is laying on the floor and sees Peter and Josh as imaginary beings, it was interesting how they actually did this. This helps you make stronger connections with the character.
You can practically make a connection to almost every character in this movie. I find them easy to relate to because they actually act like normal people. Unlike the typical high school movies this one is more realistic and does not revolve around things that would never happen in high school. Not saying you would send out a bunch of letters and fake date a guy for an alternative purpose, but it is more realistic than breaking out into song/ dance like in ‘High School Musical’.
I think the film actually has an interesting plot. I think the idea of the letters is going to be a more interesting dynamic in the coming movie “To All The Boys: PS I Still Love You”, as they explore what happened to the other letters. Without knowing about the sequel, I originally thought that it was kind of annoying that they did not really refer back to the letters- kind of a wasted opportunity. But then at the end you see the credit scene where a boy comes to the door holding one of the five letters Kitty sent out. Additionally, I really like the direction they took with the family dynamic of the Coveys. I think the role Laura Jean’s family plays in the film is really important and gives you more of an idea of where her morals and values come from. Her sister Kitty is the comedic relief of the film and I think the overall timing of her jokes/ comments as well as their close relationship serves as a really nice detail.
I think what is really overlooked in this film is its use of colour and overall cinematography. The whole movie has a theme to it and the lighting and colour choices work really well. One of my favourite scenes is the montage of the school bus going through the wooded area to get to the ski resort. Especially with the music choice of ‘I like me better when I’m with you’ by the Chain Smokers, that works really well with the way they edited the scene. The use of more pastel or brighter colours is something I really admire about the film. There are not a lot of dark tones unless it is a more serious scene, but generally you see a lot of colour throughout the movie.