To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

  • Movie
  • TV-14
  • Directed by Susan Johnson
  • Based on the book by Jenny Han
  • Reviewed by Valerie Goldstein

Racial Representation: 4.5

LGBTQ+ Representation: 2.5

Disability Representation: 0

Body Size Representation: 0

Gender Representation: 5

Socioeconomic Representation: 0

Mental Health Representation: 3

Religious Representation: 0

The story focuses on Lara Jean, a mixed race high schooler who has a white father and a Korean mother who passed away when she was younger. The movie smoothly integrates Lara Jean’s Korean culture into her life without it overpowering her identity. It focuses on female relationships that she has with her friends and sisters especially, in addition to her romantic relationship with a white boy. However, the movie does not address the struggles of biracial couples which is something many people deal with in real life. One of the side characters is a gay Black teenager who has some backstory with coming out, but his role is teetering on the edge of the gay best friend/magical Black person who solves the main character’s problems. Additionally, Lara Jean deals with anxiety regarding romance and her sister leaving for college, as well as grief for her mother, but none of these are explicitly addressed or diagnosed in the film. Finally, the author of the book the movie is based on, Jenny Han, was inspired to write about her own experiences as being Korean and also writing love letters to her crushes. It took her awhile to find a production company that didn’t want to white-wash the main character, and even when she found one, there wasn’t a focus on matching the diversity behind the screen. 

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