Although I haven't read Jenny Han's book, I was looking forward to seeing To All the Boys I've Loved Before as it looked kinda nice from the trailer.
The film follows Lara Jean (Lana Condor), a 16-year-old who, instead of telling boys how she feels about them, writes them love letters that she never sends and puts them in a teal hatbox. When her older sister, Margot (Janel Parrish) leaves for university, her younger sister, Kitty (Anna Cathcart), steals the box and sends the letters, thinking of doing her a favour, and soon Lara Jean finds herself faking a relationship with one of her crushes, Peter (Noah Centineo), so that another of her crushes, Margot's ex-boyfriend Josh (Israel Broussard), who think she is in love with him.
I don't need to tell you how this is going to end as this is probably the most clichéd, predictable and straightforward film I've seen in a while, so much so that it ends up being tremendously boring and it's get really challenging to keep following the "plot".
Which, unfortunately, isn't by far the worst part of the screenplay. Rather than showing or leaving something to the imagination, the film keeps explaining to us every single detail either through a crappy narration or some character which eventually gets pretty annoying. Not to mention the bland dialogue the film is filled with.
The characters don't get any better. I haven't read the book but considering how many people loved it, I'm pretty sure Han did write developed and interesting characters. Susan Johnson's film doesn't have any. Lara Jean is such a boring main character as she has no other interest or passion whatsoever other than the boys she likes. Okay, she likes reading and watching some movies, but it looks like something she just does, without really loving it. The supporting characters are paper-thin and are literally just plot-devives. Also, I'm pretty sure we are not supposed to like Peter, and that Josh isn't just some background character who stares at Lara Jean. The only relatable character in this is Lara Jean's father as he is probably exhausted from existing in the film.
And the acting, oh boy it's bad. I'm glad Han fought to have an Asian actress cast for the lead as Lara Jean, in the book, is half-Korean and half-Caucasian. I think it's really empowering for Asian teenagers to be represented in a romantic comedy. That said, Lana Condor was not a great choice. Although she is the best, she is pretty cringy. The rest of the cast is just terrible, especially John Corbett as Lara Jean's father, as he delivers every single line as if he was forced to be in the film.
In addition to extremely poor writing and terrible acting, To All the Boys I've Loved Before can also claim pretty terrible editing and a soundtrack that's over the top and distracting most of the time.