Last month, Netflix released the rom-com “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” Based on the book by Jenny Han, the movie has been anticipated by Netflix viewers all over the world.
I was looking forward to this movie for months. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that I’ve watched the trailer hundreds of times, and it seems like I’m not the only one. The Netflix trailer has 5.2 million views, clearly showing that many others have been waiting for this movie.
What is “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” about? The main character, Lara Jean Covey, is a 16-year-old girl who writes love letters to every crush she has, five in total. One day, all the letters are sent out. This leads to a fake relationship between Lara and her friend, Peter Kavinsky in order to make Peter’s ex girlfriend jealous and divert Lara’s real crush from thinking her feelings for him are real. They later realize that their feelings for each other are real.
Why is this movie so momentous in the film industry? For one thing, the movie promotes interracial relationships. This film is just one example of the definition of love being more diversified in the 21st century. Lana Condor, who plays Lara, is Vietnamese and Noah Centineo, who plays Peter, is Italian American.
For years before “Crazy Rich Asians” and “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” were released, Asian Americans were only cast to play supporting roles that helped the main lead shine, like the neighbor next door or the smart classmate. Asians were consistently portrayed to play one dimensional roles that embodied stereotypes. But in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”, Lara Jean is allowed to transform from a teenage girl who is afraid of love to one who embraces it. She’s allowed a character development arc, which no longer encompasses the one dimensional stereotype that Asian American actors have had to play so far.
To some people, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is just another stereotypical high school rom-com. However, I, along with others, truly believe that this movie is breaking the boundaries of the film industry.
Netflix’s new romantic comedy movie is a huge step towards expanding the definition of love and diversifying the film industry.