After going “awhhhh” a thousand times and pausing the screen out of giddiness another one hundred, I finally finished watching Netflix’s adaption of Jenny Han’s beloved novel To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. The movie easily exceeded my expectations and gave me all the emotions and excitement I felt when I read the book for the first time four years ago!
- The cast was great. Although I didn’t really like the castings for Margot and Kitty because they didn’t feel like the characters from the book, the actors for Lara Jean, Peter and Josh were perfect. Josh was your typical boy next door, Lara Jean was a total homebody and while Peter was much sweeter than he is in the book he still had that cocky attitude which was what I was looking for. Chris and Gen were also really well portrayed.
- It’s a shame that the casting directors couldn’t (or wouldn’t) find actual Korean-American girls to play the Song sisters. It’s time they realised asians are not inter-changeable. However having an Asian heroine in a rom-com is already a big step forward and while we are sadly gonna have to wait a long time before that is normalised I’m glad Jenny Han didn’t let her characters be whitewashed.
- Praise whoever the stylist was for the movie because the looks Lara Jean was serving were straight out of the book! Lara Jean’s quirky and innocent style really embodies who she is and her clothes are meant to reflect her personality so I’m glad they paid close attention to that in the movie.
- Peter and Lara Jean were so cute!!! I couldn’t contain my giggles every time they appeared on screen together. Their banter was just funny and snarky and you could see them slowly falling in love while pretending to be a couple.
- Although a lot of scenes from the book were missing, the movie was still able to convey the feel of the book through the cinematography, soundtrack, character dynamics and inner monologue. The movie is incredibly authentic to the source material, it’s as if the book came to life!
Now go watch the movie if you haven’t already and recommend it to everyone you know! People who hyped up Netflix’s The Kissing Booth better be giving that same love to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Let’s get that sequel!
Differences Between the Movie and Book (spoilers!)
- The movie Lara Jean is a bit less childish and innocent that the Lara Jean we know from the books. Her scrapbooking and knitting hobbies are also no where to be seen.
- Josh plays a less prominent role in the movie than in the book. In the book, we learn more about Josh’s familial issues and he and Lara Jean kiss, while in the movie those two scenes are completely omitted.
- Lucas, in turn, plays a more prominent role in the movie than the book. I really liked their friendship and was happy Lara Jean had another friend to confide to besides Chris.
- There was no Halloween scene in the movie, sadly. One of my favourite chapters in the book was when Lara Jean and Josh both coincidentally dressed as Harry Potter characters for Halloween and cast spells at each other, while Peter looked on sulky and jealous in his authentic Spiderman getup.
- The ending is more ambiguous in the book than the movie. In the movie Lara Jean decides to amend things with Peter and finds him on the school’s sports field where she professes her feelings for him and vice versa. In the book however, when Lara Jean decides to reconcile with Peter she begins by writing him a new love letter and we are left with the iconic cliffhanger “Dear Peter…”.
There are also some other minor differences in the movie version like: Kitty not getting a dog, no New Year’s Recital, no car accident, no John Ambrose McClaren, no Christmas cookies, the sisters calling themselves the Covey girls and not the Song girls (still salty about that), just to name a few!
It’s understandable that they had to cut out so many things since the movie is only an hour and forty minutes long and they had to prioritise the content that would move the main plot along. So for what it’s worth I think they did a good job compressing the book into a movie. We’ve gotten some pretty bad adaptations in the past and I’m so glad this wasn’t one of them!
Have you seen the movie, what are your thoughts? Did the movie live up to your expectations? Or were you let down? What was your favourite scene? Which scene do you wish they had included from the book? Let’s chat in the comments! ♥