“To All The Boys I Loved Before” Is Another 16 Candles

When it comes to teen romances Netflix original films seems to be getting them mostly right.

To All the Boys I Loved Before (based on the semi autobiographical novel by Jenny Han) creates lead characters with unusual depth for the genre.

The heroine, who is Asian of Korean ancestry may seem like the typical shy teen, but she is also intelligent and proud of it. Even more unusual is that her fellow teens respect that part of her. There is none of the usual hazing and bullying smart girls in other films are subjected to.

The male lead is of course handsome, but also smart, considerate, thoughtful and kind. There are no hormonal jocks roaming the halls of this high school.

The plot which involves the release of letters Lara Jean wrote to herself a few years back to several crushes and involves a platonic pretend boyfriend follows the usual confusions, delusions and inevitable romantic conclusions. The relationship between Lara Jean and Peter (Lana Condor and Noah Centineo) builds naturally without sex getting in the way.

To All the Boys I Loved Before (that even the film overtly acknowledges in one scene) is a post-millennial remake of John Hughes Sixteen Candles without the Long Dong Duck offensive stereotyping and racism.

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