I haven’t read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, but I’ve been seeing a lot of people posting about the Netflix adaptation released just this month. This got me curious.
Yesterday, a close friend and I were talking and she said: “Feel ko magugustuhan mo. Benta, you’re the only boy I can say that to! Hahaha.” Because I am a jolly bear and I watch anything I want without fear of judgment from other people, I took that as a compliment and a challenge.
My #Beardict on To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before: It’s simply an entertaining, feels-galore film with a lot of likable characters. I enjoyed it so much that I was compelled to end my 3-month writing hiatus. Heartwarming but not overly cheesy, it shows the adventures of growing up and finding love during a time when you haven’t figured out life yet.
Here are several life lessons we can learn from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (SPOILERS BELOW):
There’s a Lara Jean in all of us. Okay, some of you are probably protesting right now and saying “Are you serious? But she’s annoying!” EXACTLY. Aren’t we always kind of annoyed with ourselves? Lara Jean has many flaws, but it’s exactly why she’s so relatable. Like Lara Jean, we tend to overthink, question everything we do, and pretend our way to happiness. But like her as well, we should always remember to try to be true to ourselves.
It’s okay to be romantic, but we also have to be realistic. While it’s true that Lara Jean’s fantasies helped her through tough times, they also harmed her when she started dating Peter. She could not admit to herself that she was happy with him because she already had unrealistic expectations of what a perfect relationship should be like.
Life can be sad, so don’t keep everything inside. Find good listeners. Yes, you can say that To All The Boys is a feel-good movie, but it spent a lot of time emphasizing the need to talk about things to not feel too sad. Like Lara Jean said, “it’s not whatever.” For Lara Jean, it wasn’t just the fact that she had Peter to talk to about her mom’ during their “relationship.” She wasn’t the most popular kid in school, but she had a support system in the form of her family and friends. On that note…
Surround yourselves with people who will push you to be your best self. Lara Jean did not have a happy ending because she suddenly changed her perspective in life. No, everyone around her encouraged her. Her friends Chris and Lucas convinced her to take Peter seriously. Lara Jean’s dad was as supportive as a parent could be. Her sisters were brutally honest and gave her tough love when she needed it, and even Josh chipped in to give her some much-needed direction.
In the age of social media, handwritten notes are more valuable than ever. Sure, chats, mentions, and tags are nice, but they’ll never replace the feeling of receiving something more tangible. Did you see how Lara Jean lighted up when she read her collection of Peter notes? Her reaction was priceless. With that said, let’s all go and give a handwritten note to a loved one and make their day. NOW.
You never know how the smallest thing can affect somebody. Most of the movie’s plot would not have happened if not for the kiss with young Peter. During that time, for Peter, it was cool, but it was nothing special. For Lara Jean, it cemented Peter as her first crush. However, for Gen, it was the event that made Lara Jean her enemy, and Lara Jean was completely unaware of its impact the entire time. Talk about having a grudge!
It’s always nice to get an explanation. However, there are times that you just have to accept things and move on. We’ve all been poor Josh at one point in our lives, confused and left in the dust. First, Margot breaks up with him all of a sudden after he buys a freaking plane ticket to Scotland, then Lara Jean continually dodges him after he receives her letter. Although Lara Jean did explain why she reacted the way she did, Josh himself said that he now understood why Margot broke up with him. When we don’t get all the answers, we end up maturing a bit more.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is now available on Netflix.