Thoughts on To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Posted August 22, 2018 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Film Reviews / 13 Comments

Like most book bloggers, I was PUMPED for the release of the Netflix original movie based on Jenny Han’s iconic book series. After a VERY long week, Max and I settled down to watch it with some Chipotle, hoping for the best but with some skepticism (Max because he didn’t know much about it and I think he was expecting it to be boring, me because I’m only halfway through the second book and haven’t finished the series yet). Overall I think we were both pleasantly surprised with the movie, but I wanted to round up my thoughts in one place since there is so much buzz going around about the film still.

P.S.- this post may contain spoilers for the movie/book, read at your own risk!

  • Lana Condor did such a great job of capturing Lara Jean’s essence. Max kept referring to her as being “wholesome” which I found accurate but also for some reason hilarious, so we just kept shouting “wholesome” at the screen whenever something, well, wholesome happened lol.
  • The pacing felt a little off to both of us- to Max it felt rushed, but to me it actually felt kind of slow (maybe because I just read the book?)
  • I was surprised that the storyline veered into book 2 so much. I’m wondering if they do more movies if they will have enough content to do a whole P.S. I Still Love You movie or if they’ll combine the second and third book into one.
  • I was a bit disappointed in the fact that there was such little mention of Lara Jean’s Korean heritage in the movie (especially when it’s such an important part of the book). Aside from the opening scene when their dad is making Koren food, it’s really not alluded to much. Also, I cringed when they called themselves the “Covey” girls- it should be the Song girls!!
  • Lara Jean’s aesthetic of baking cookies, watching movies on her couch, and staying in her pajamas all night on the weekend is my personal aesthetic. (#goingoutisoverrated) (#iamold)
  • Max thought Kavinsky was going to be sort of a tool (and so did I honestly, I’m not overly impressed by him in the books) but we actually were both sort of charmed by him in the movie.
  • Josh’s character really depressed me. He just seemed so much more obsessive and sad in the movie than in the books, where he at least has one other friend to hang out with. It was like he just spent the whole movie lurking outside of the Covey house.
  • I felt like there were a lot of awkward pauses in the movie? Like between dialogue? I wasn’t sure if this was done on purpose or not (perhaps to show the awkwardness of the teenage experience)?
  • I loved that Kavinsky’s friend totally did the “Largie” nickname thing for Lara Jean (I love when they keep little details from the books that they don’t necessarily have to in film adaptations, it makes it seem like they care about the source content). Also apparently Kavinsky’s friend is played by a Youtuber? (Max was pleasantly surprised, I had no idea who he was talking about though lol).
  • Jenny Han’s cameo was adorable!
  • I know in a movie we can’t expect to get the same sort of character development in the book, however I really didn’t feel connected to Margo’s character at all, which is a bummer since her and Lara Jean’s relationship is really important in the novel.
  • Mr. Covey was hilarious, with his open sex-ed talk to his day-drinking-eavesdropping-on-teenage-girl-drama. (Also, I think he’s the husband from My Big Fat Greek Wedding?)
  • I have mixed feelings about Kitty being aged up. Like I see how it made the plot easier and made it easier to integrate her into Lara Jean’s life/drama, but I also miss sassy 9 year old Kitty who names her dog Jaime Fox Pickle and makes inappropriate HBO references.
  • I saw a lot of people on Twitter lamenting that the movie was hard to find on Netflix, but for us it popped up right as the banner advertisement, so apparently my electronics have been listening to me lol (creepy yet convenient).

Overall we found it to be a sweet movie and I loved Lara Jean seeing Lara Jean on screen, even if I had a few small complaints. Have you watched it yet? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments!

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13 responses to “Thoughts on To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

  1. I agree with a lot of the points you have here! I also thought the pacing was a little fast, especially the second time watching. Also with Kitty being aged up – she’s a great character in the books, but part of that was because she was only 9! And definitely the heartbreak over the Covey girls comment, and the Korean heritage. But mostly I adored the film to pieces.

    Erin @ Pages of Milk and Honey recently posted: The Tea Cupboard Chronicles | Lara Jean Song Covey
  2. I’m glad you guys liked this one too!! I agree about a number of things – the lack of Korean heritage discussion, the small details that translated over, and Josh’s character being weird. I feel like the movie went fast in spots and slow in others — my sister kept saying that they rushed to the next scene too soon (although if she had her way, the movies would be word-for-word the same as the book haha).

    Lauren (Bookmark Lit) recently posted: The Queer Eye Book Tag
  3. I agree that they did a great job with this adaptation. I actually think (whispers) that I liked the movie a bit more than the book. I read the book years ago, but I’m pretty sure that Josh had a MUCH smaller role in the movie than in the book—which made me happy. I felt like the book played up Lara Jean’s ongoing attraction to Josh a lot more. So much so that at the end of the book, I thought she was still pining for him. The movie didn’t make it seem that way at all (and they took out the kiss). Basically, those were changes I could get behind. But I agree that it’s harder to capture depth of relationships in a movie, and the connections between the characters weren’t nearly as fleshed out. Still, I think it was a great job overall!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted: Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson: A Spectacular Spin-Off!
    • YES they really did downplay Josh’s role and I’m happy for it- I honestly got a bit tired of it in the books and never really felt a connection to their chemistry, it just seemed more like she thought she should like him so he could stay a part of their world once Margo left for college. I did feel like though they almost made his character a little too diminished in the movie to the point where there was little conflict between Lara Jean’s feelings for him and Peter. I personally however am a John Ambrose fan 🙂

  4. Lovely post! 😀
    I agree that they did such a great job with the adaptation, I was especially pleased at the cast and found them all so, so great. Also, yes, Lara Jean’s aesthetic is my aesthetic as well haha, we can be old together 😉

  5. Some excellent points about the film. To be honest, I was sucked right on into the cute and adorable and had no reservations but I am kind of an all or nothing girl who loves films and books way too easily. It’s been a good long while since I read the books (and I’ve still not read the third) so the book/film differences weren’t obvious to me. I was a little sad there weren’t more elements of their Korean heritage included because that was such a big part of the books of their dad keeping it alive for them. I did love the dad, though, especially that awkward sex ed talk in the car which had me cackling. I also wish there was more baking in the film because the baking in the books always made me so hungry! I think the film did well at really keeping the feel of the books, though. Like it was cute and sweet and awkward and that is what I remember most from the books. And that film had been popping up for a week for me on Netflix so maybe some folks just watch enough teen/YA stuff on Netflix for Netflix to know what they wanted to watch?

    Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity recently posted: Sunday Summary // 26.08.2018

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