Disclaimer: I’m obsessed with the current high school dramas like Riverdale and really enjoyed Love, Simon and Alex Strangelove. With that in mind, I intended to become obsessed with Netflix‘s latest venture into the teen market, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Spoiler alert: I did not.
There is nothing inherently wrong with the Netflix original movie, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected. Actually, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I should. To All The Boys I’ve Loved before has been plastered over my Twitter timeline for the past few weeks – from the memes it’s spawned to people (read: Buzzfeed) fawning over actor Noah Centineo.
Noah plays Peter, the main love(?) interest in the film. For those who haven’t watched it, a brief synopsis (including spoilers) is a girl embarks on a fake relationship with someone she previously had a crush on to make another girl, also her arch-nemesis, jealous. They end up actually falling in love, as if you wouldn’t expect that to happen. This is in spite of there being another guy that she’d probably be much happier with – her best friend, who happens to be her sister’s ex-boyfriend.
So, back to Noah. I entered the film expecting to also fall in love with him. It seems like he’s the current It-boy on The Internet. There are countless Buzzfeed articles about him. I’ve seen more tweets about him than I could count. And I was excited to be able to be a part of this once I’d finished the film. That’s why I’m so disappointed that I didn’t fall for him like I was supposed to.
Here’s the thing: Peter isn’t that great. He comes up with the idea of the fake relationship with Lara Jean (Lana Condor, more on her later) so that his ex gets jealous and wants him back. Lara Jean starts falling for him pretty early on but he’s still stuck on his ex. Then suddenly there’s a U-turn and he’s actually in love with Lara Jean and they’re real life boyfriend and girlfriend.
It’s the classic unpopular girl falls in love with the popular boy and they live happily ever after. The USP is that Lara Jean had written some secret love letters to past crushes, Peter being one of them, which got out. Apart from slight humiliation, they didn’t play that much of a part in the overall plot. They allowed there to be the initial interaction between Lara Jean and Peter, a bit of a fall out when her sister found out she used to fancy her boyfriend, and a funny post-credits scene. But that was it, really.
And I think people have really sunk their teeth into the film because Noah Centineo is attractive. But Peter is, to me, such an unlikeable character that I couldn’t become obsessed with Noah like internet people were preaching I should.
Lara Jean, on the other hand, is great. My favourite moments of the movie were her and her sisters doing sister things.
Maybe I’m too old, at 25, for the latest teen dramas? Maybe this time last year (or a few years ago) I would be obsessed with Noah Centineo, like I was obsessed with Dylan O’Brien when I watched Teen Wolf? Maybe if I watch it again I’ll feel differently?
I’m not sure, but I’m not ready on giving up on high school shows and films just yet. I’m so ready for Sierra Burgess is a Loser.