The trailer for “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” Netflix’s new addition to their string of rom-coms, just dropped, and I’m visibly shaking, literally on the floor in tears, I’m so excited.
The movie stars Lana Condor, who you might recognize from the latest “X-Men” movie. She plays Lara Jean, a self-described “invisible” in high school living out her romantic fantasies with the five boys she’s loved by writing letters to them, letters which she has no intention in sending.
However, because the universe hates everything, the letters are somehow sent out. Peter, the one with “the beautiful eyes,” approaches Lara Jean confronting her about the letter, to which she, understandably, falls to the ground. Every teenager’s worst nightmare coming true was outright painful, yet a bit endearing to watch.
Based on Jenny Han’s 2014 novel of the same name, the movie looks to be a step in the right direction in terms of Asian representation in the mass media. With the book spending 40 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, and published in over 30 languages, it is incredibly evident people are interested in a love story with an Asian as the leading lady.
“There aren’t that many rom-coms out there starring an Asian lead love interest. So, I was and am over the moon to hopefully begin to pave the way for other ladies (and men) in my position,” Lana tells Teen Vogue.
With onscreen Asian representation reduced to side characters, friends of the main white ones, gracing us with barely a few minutes of screen-time, this movie looks to be monumental, especially when distributed by such a revered platform like Netflix. It’s been far too long where Asians are nothing more than the side story, or so ridiculously dehumanized to the point where their role is simply a caricature, that it’s rare to see an Asian American in a leading role where they are allowed to just be a normal teenager trying to guide themselves through the world of romance.
I’m beyond excited to see my Vietnamese sister (from another mister) in what looks to be the rom-com of the summer. Mark your calendars for August 17, or I might hit you with a pillow.