To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
To All the Boys I've Loved Before Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Book-based teen romcom has some language, racy talk.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 99 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 31 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 102 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Promotes family relationships, sharing feelings, honesty, building self-confidence, waiting before engaging in sexual activity, safe sex. Grief and recovery from tragedy is a theme.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heroine is Korean American; she's bright, loving, family-oriented. She learns to value herself and realizes that she's "not invisible" over the course of the film. Her dad, while awkward upon occasion, takes his parental responsibility seriously and is loving, dependable. 

Violence

Heroine falls from a roof; no injuries. 

Sex

Kissing and embraces. No on-screen sexual activity or nudity. Teens have multiple sexual conversations about losing virginity, safe sex, potential sexual partners. An online photo of a couple kissing in a hot tub is misinterpreted as a sexual experience. Condoms are handed out. Menstruation is mentioned.

Language

Occasional coarse language: "hell," "pissed," "bitch," "d--k," "slut," "ass," "bulls--t," "screw you." A doctor is asked about "looking at vaginas all day."

Consumerism

Reference to and/or visuals of: 7-Up, Uggs, Subway.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A dad drinks wine. Underage kids at a party appear to be drinking alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that To All the Boys I've Loved Before is based on the popular same-named YA novel by Jenny Han. It tells the story of Lara Jean (Lana Condor), a Korean American teen whose secret letters to her five crushes are sent out by her well-meaning little sister. While Lara Jean is mortified and frightened, the event ultimately helps the mostly timid, lonely girl realize her worth, deal with lingering grief over her mother's death, and discover that a real romance is better than a fantasy one. Though there's no nudity and no sexual activity beyond kissing/embracing, teen sexuality is a frequent subject of conversation. Characters talk about having/not having sex, safe sex, virginity, menstruation, condoms, etc. A dad drinks wine, and underage kids at a party appear to be drinking alcohol. Occasional swearing includes "slut," "ass," "d--k," "bulls--t," and "screw you." Despite the sexual references and swearing, there's an innocence about the film that keeps it wholesome and relatable for most teens.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 11 and 13-year-old Written byJulie St-F September 4, 2018

Balancing out teen fantasy with a dose of reality - Really OK for older tweens too

I watched this movie before I showed it to my 11 & 13 year-old daughters. And all of us loved it. While I kinda loved an Asian-American lead, where her... Continue reading
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byScarlett V. July 29, 2019

An R-Rated Film At Least

Though it was entertaining, it is not 13+ like CSM says. It is way too racy to be a teen movie. My 8 year old said everyone at school watched it and begged me t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bymockturtle August 22, 2018

Definitely Reccommend !!

I think this is a much watch. Some slightly inappropriate scenes but I think most ten year olds would be okay with this as it’s nothing they wouldn’t have alrea... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byAvlb August 20, 2018

Funny and Heartfelt

This movie is a great coming of age movie it teac
hes teens a good moral and will make you smile. To all the boys is also a book for teens that they can read if... Continue reading

What's the story?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) lives with her dad (John Corbett), a gynecologist, and her two sisters in TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE. The family is close and loving, still mourning their beloved mom's death some years earlier. Lara Jean has few friends and feels invisible in her Portland, Oregon, high school. Lonely, she reads romance novels, fantasizes about boys, and has gone so far as to write secret letters to the five boys she's "loved" over the years. She keeps those letters well hidden in a special box in her closet. Lara Jean's world crashes when the letters get mailed and the secret crushes receive them! To her horror, one of those letters was addressed to Josh (Israel Broussard), the boy who is now her big sister's boyfriend. Salvation comes in the person of Peter (Noah Centineo), her middle school crush, who now suggests that they fake a romantic relationship. That would get her off the hook with Josh and her sister, and at the same time help him get his girlfriend back by making her jealous. But conducting a "fake relationship" isn't as easy as it sounds. 

Is it any good?

Fans of teen romance will find much to like here, including an engaging performance by Lana Condor as Lara Jean and messages about self-confidence, honesty, and family unity. Especially significant is the fact that an Asian American character is at the center of a film, especially one intended for young people. That's a rare occurrence. On the negative side, there's a fair amount of predictability in To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and the story covers lots of familiar ground and characters -- popularity, romantic rivalries, mean girls, "jocks." Plus, the film resolves complex situations too easily. However, as lighthearted entertainment and a look at a too-little-seen culture, it's a welcome addition to Netflix's blossoming roster of teen romcoms. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Lara Jean changed over the course of To All the Boys I've Loved Before. What did she learn about herself? About her relationship with others? Her place in the world? How do movies like this one help kids with their own self-discovery? What events in your life helped determine who you are?

  • To Lara Jean's dismay, a video showing her kissing Peter in a hot tub circulates online and is misinterpreted. What are some of the ways kids can protect themselves from cyberbullying?

  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before was adapted from a popular book. If you have read the book, did the movie meet your expectations? If not, why? What, if anything, did you miss? If you haven't read the book, did this movie motivate you to do so?

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