The best romantic comedies are the ones you find yourself caught up in. The ones where the drama feels personal.
Netlifx’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before falls into that category. The basic set up is Lara Jean (Lana Condor) has a box under her bed that contain a series of love letters each addressed to a different intense crush that she has had.
Somehow the letters get sent to all the boys, but wait, it is not as cut and dry as you may think.
Instead of the easy set-up of “now she has all these love interests,” the film takes a different direction.
To say more would spoil the movie somewhat but audiences should expect that their expectations will not turn out exactly the way they imagine.
The film nails the details every romantic comedy set in high school needs to.
The pettiness and superficiality of high school is all there but not overdone, the character relationships all feel believable and accurate, and the soundtrack is great.
Technically speaking, the film also has a look to it. No generic, made for TV style shots or lighting here.
Many of the shots have a simple and clean “squared-up” composition that feel inspired by contemporary filmmakers but also unique.
Another appreciated aspect is the run time. Coming in at one hour and 39 minutes, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before does not overstay its welcome.
It can function as a movie enjoyed with friends on the couch, alone curled up in a blanket, or in the background while you tell yourself you are studying.
Some may scoff at romantic comedies, but this is one rom-com where people will find their emotions sufficiently satisfied.