Adolescence is unarguably an interesting, usually challenging phase of life for people. It is also a mandatory part of the human experience. It is marked by various changes biologically, socially, emotionally, and so forth. The movie “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” especially captures the various changes in adolescence, particularly the social aspects.
This movie is an adaption of the book by the same title. The story follows high school junior Lara Jean Covey. Lara Jean is an introverted teen who writes letters to boys that she has crushes on. She writes five letters in total, and hides these letters in a teal box given to her by her late mother. The fifth letter is addressed to her close friend Josh, who happens to be dating her older sister Margot. However, Margot breaks up with Josh before leaving for college in Scotland. In a way, Margot has filled the role of the mom in her house, which leaves Lara Jean and her younger sister Kitty feeling her absence heavily. After the breakup, Lara Jean feels too awkward being around Josh, and ultimately spends her time solely with her only other friend, Chris.
Lara Jean’s life changes drastically when Kitty sneaks into Lara Jean’s room and finds her collection of letters. In an effort to fix Lara Jean’s loneliness, Kitty sends these letters, without her sister’s knowledge. The following Monday at school, Lara Jean is confronted by a former crush of hers, Peter Kavinsky. Lara Jean faints when Peter reveals the letter that was mailed to him. After waking up, she sees Josh approaching with a letter of his own, and in a moment of panic Lara Jean kisses Peter before running off.
Lara Jean then encounters another recipient of a letter, Lucas. It is now clear to her that all of her letters have been mailed. Peter confronts her again, and she explains that she only kissed him to cause Josh to think she had lost interest in him. Following this exposition, Peter proposes that he and Lara Jean fake date each other to make his ex-girlfriend, Gen, jealous. Lara Jean agrees, and the next few months pass with the whole school, along with their respective friends and families, believing the lie.
Somewhat inevitably, Peter finds himself conflicted on his true feelings for Lara Jean. Meanwhile, Lara Jean finds herself jealous of Gen and confused about Peter’s feelings. Eventually, the two go on the school ski trip together, where they confront each other about their true feelings. Initially, the story proceeds happily, as the two finally communicate and kiss while alone in a hot tub. However, the story takes a turn when the trip ends, as Gen confronts Lara Jean, revealing Peter spent the night in her room after they kissed. Furious, Lara Jean breaks up with Peter and storms home. She arrives home to find Margot, who surprised the family by returned from college early for Christmas. Peter comes to her house, hoping to explain that nothing happened between him and Gen, but Josh arrives as well. In the midst of the argument, Margot overhears everything, and is visibly upset when she learns of Lara Jean’s former feelings for Josh. Seemingly when things cannot get worse, Lara Jean sees that a video of her and Peter in the hot tub has been put up on Instagram.
Margot eventually calms down when hearing the reality of what happened from Lara Jean, and she proceeds to help her with her problem. In the midst of revealing secrets, Kitty admits that she was the one who sent the letters. Initially, Lara Jean is enraged, but after discussing her motivations in addressing the letters with Margot, she realizes she may have wanted to send them but was too afraid to do so.
Upon returning to school, Lara Jean is devastated to discover that everyone knows about the video, and Peter announces to the whole school that nothing happened in an attempt to help Lara Jean. Immediately following this, Lara Jean confronts Gen about the video, who angrily admits that she felt betrayed when Lara Jean kissed Peter in middle school during a game of spin-the-bottle. Lara Jean finally comes to the point of reevaluating the relationships in her life, and decides to take action. First, she talks to Josh, who happily agrees to be friends again. She then goes to see Peter, and admits her true feelings for him. He tells her he is in love with her, and the story ends with a kiss before walking off together.