Summary: A teenage girl’s secret love letters are exposed and wreak havoc on her love life.
You can check out my review of the book here! This is a short review!
Cast and Characters. We do meet a lot of characters in the movie, some of them we see quite a bit throughout but I’m just going to talk about two of them.
Lana Condor as Lara Jean. She is our protagonist. She has this thing whenever she falls for a boy and wants to move on. She writes love letters to them, addresses them but doesn’t send them, she puts them into her hat box and hides them in her closet. It’s her way of moving on from them. LJ is probably the quirky one of her sisters. Margot is calm and collected, Kitty and outgoing and loud and then LJ is just… not those things lol. She tries to be like Margot and Kitty in different ways but that’s just not her thing which works for her. She’s funny, awkward and a bit clumsy at the best of times. I really liked Lana Condor in the movie, she was cute, and I think really played the character how she was written in the book because Lara Jean is also very dreamy and whimsical, and I thought she managed to do very well. Also, she had great chemistry with Noah Centineo.
Noah Centineo as Peter. He is a lacrosse player and probably the popular guy in school. Everyone seems to like him, and he seems cool with everyone. When he gets the letter from Lara Jean, he tells her “I’m flattered but it’s not going to happen” lol which was still awkward and what not, but he rolls with the moment. When they make their deal, he holds up his end of the bargain but at the same time, he always tried to make sure LJ was comfortable which I liked about him. He was witty and charismatic and when you start notice that he might like LJ, it’s clear it confuses him to some extent. I still quite liked him in the movie, maybe not as much as I liked him in the book, but I still really liked him. I’ve never seen Noah Centineo in anything (I don’t watch The Fosters) but I thought he was fine, he had a natural swagger that I thought Peter had and he was cool, and handsome which all helped the character. He also had great chemistry with Lana Condor.
There are a lot of supporting characters in the movie like Janel Parrish as Margot who was fine in the role of being the calm, collected and maternal big sister. Anna Cathcart as Kitty who is Lara Jean’s younger sister and she was cute and precocious. Madeleine Arthur as Christine who Genevieve’s cousin and Lara Jean’s best friend and she’s is not that present in the movie but whenever she needed to be there for LJ she was, which I guess was her point. Emilija Baranac as Gen who served her role as Peter’s ex and a bully pretty much to Lara Jean throughout the film. Super unlikable lol.
Israel Broussard as Josh who is Margot’s ex-boyfriend and one of the boys who received a letter from LJ. He’s cool with the family, he was close with both Margot and LJ, in different ways, and when Margot breaks up with him before leaving for school, he seems a little lost in what to do with their family, but LJ tries to convince him it’s okay. However, when he gets the letter, he just wants to talk to her, but he avoids him. Now, he’s not in the movie as much as he is in the book. I think they hit on some of his bigger plot points, but he doesn’t show up as often which I think helps keep him from being unlikable which I found he could be in the book. They also didn’t do the love triangle thing either, which also helped. But Israel Broussard was good in the role of Josh, the boy next door.
The Romance/Chemistry. It’s very important that Lara Jean and Peter have chemistry and they did. Lana Condor and Noah Centineo were cute together, they had great chemistry even when they were just faking it for their classmates and their family. When they started to get comfortable around each other it just seemed so natural. It was natural in the beginning when they weren’t really friends with each other, they had a natural chemistry, but it grew even more as the movie progressed.
Cute Teen Movie. It’s a super cute movie. I really had a good time watching it because it’s lighthearted, the characters are all likable and it’s harmless. In the end, you could say you learned something about being brave and bold, and looking at people on the inside more so than the outside and all of that, which is true sure, but it’s also just a cute teen movie.
The Letters Being Sent. I don’t like how we knew from the beginning that Kitty sent the letters (spoiler alert? lol) because it would have been cool for both the audience and Lara Jean to not know. Kitty had her reasons for it which in a way was kind of sweet, but it was also kind of mean and I just wanted that surprise for the audience to still come later the same way it did for Lara Jean. We didn’t have to see that.
Not Spontaneous Enough/Not Enough Love. I don’t want to compare the movie and the book, but I thought they should have allowed Peter and Lara Jean to do more things together. It just didn’t seem like a legit natural progression to get to the point at the end. I mean, you believe they start to like each other at some point but it didn’t seem like it was real because they didn’t do enough together, at least to me. Peter did a lot of spontaneous stuff in the book which helped LJ get attached to him, like showing up at her house and meeting her father, or when they went to the estate sale. I just wish they did more things together that didn’t really involve them showing off for other people because sure, that helps because of their deal but hanging out outside of all of that would really allow for them to really connect way more than I thought they did in the movie.
Overall, I really liked the movie, I thought it was super cute. I liked all the characters and the actors. I didn’t think anyone didn’t fit their character, nor did I think anyone over did or under did it. They all played their characters the way they were written, except maybe Kitty who was way more of a brat in the books than the movie. I really though Lana Condor and Noah Centineo had great chemistry with each other and managed to play off each other, even when their characters had to be awkward or not “attracted” to the other early in the movie. It’s a cute teen movie where you might learn something because the main characters do to an extent, but even if you don’t, it’s just a good entertainment watch. I only had two negatives which were I didn’t think they allowed them to do enough for me to really believe them in the end, I just wanted to see them hang out more outside of doing it to make Gen jealous. Otherwise, I really liked the movie.
Rating: 4 out 5 stars.
Have you seen To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? I swear it’s a mouthful saying and a handful typing it lol. What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments below!
Summary: February 12 is just another day in Sam’s charmed life, until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over and over, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she’s losing.
Cast and Characters. We meet a lot of people in this movie, but I won’t go into detail about all of them.
- Zoey Deutch as Samantha Kingston. She’s the main character of the film, she wakes up on Cupid’s Day (Feb. 12) and goes about her day with her three best friends. I guess they’re popular, but they’re kind of mean to people, particularly Anna and Juliet. Sam is expecting to lose her virginity to her boyfriend that night, they go to a party and then they get into a car accident. She wakes up the next day, not understanding what’s happening and she tries to do things differently, she tries to avoid the crash because she thinks it’ll stop. But she gets some sad news and it starts over anyway. Samantha didn’t seem to fit in with her friend group, but as the movie went along, we got to see just how different they were but they fit together (they should stop being mean though) and Sam didn’t seem to fit either. I don’t know if that’s because of Zoey or not, but she’s affected very much by what’s happening and she tries to deal with it the best way she can. It was great to see her growth throughout the film. I think Zoey Deutch is definitely the standout in this film, we spend the most time with her obviously, but I think she holds the film very well. She’s likable and even when Sam is being mean, she’s still likable because it just doesn’t fit her. I think the times when she’s emotional, you really feel it from her.
- Erica Tremblay as Izzy Kingston. She’s not in the movie like that, but she’s great with Zoey whenever they have scenes together and she looks just like her brother Jacob Tremblay.
- Halston Sage as Lindsay Edgecombe. She is one of Sam’s best friends, probably the “leader” and she’s the meanest of the group. With her friends, she’s not bad, she’s not like Regina George where she’s mean and fake the entire time but she’s mean to the people she’s mean to. Lindsay is that girl who will turn on you when you tell her about herself, or who will claim you did something to cover for what she did. Halston Sage is fine in her role, she manages to be both mean and sympathetic.
- Elena Kampouris as Juliet Sykes. One of the main victims of the bullying and she’s a bit odd, and her role is minor though important and I think Elena does a good job at playing this role of a withdrawn character.
- Logan Miller as Kent McFuller. An old friend to Sam, he throws the party that they go to and as the movie goes on, we learn more and more about him and his past with Sam. He’s very likable.
The Story. So I’m a sucker for time loop stories, I think it’s interesting to see how people handle having to repeat the same day over and over again, getting to make different choices and try to find out why it’s happening and how to beat it. It’s very interesting to me and I like how this one just happened. There wasn’t really any set up to it, it was a mystery that had to be figured out as well. Each day happened and Samantha learned a bit more every day and it was great to watch her experience different things. Of course it was bad that things were emotional for her but it was great to see how she reacted to each new day.
The Music. Adam Taylor is in charge of the music and I liked it. It was a mixture of being whimsical during some of the quiet moments, especially when Sam was allowing herself to enjoy life and the moment. Most notably the moments with her sister, or the moments at the end. I also liked that the contemporary songs weren’t just in the film, but they were what the characters were listening to which helped it sound less jarring when a random pop song or rap song popped in. There is a song though that sounded like a less impressive version of “Irreplaceable”.
The Ending. So, I don’t know if it was because I was emotional watching the last 30 minutes of the movie, but I teared up. It’s common knowledge now, if you’ve been following this blog, that I’m a crier at movies in general lol, but still! I think the ending had a lot to say in terms of understanding purpose, how to treat people, living your life to best of your ability etc. It was pretty interesting how it turned out.
Cliche/Cheesy. This is a type of story that’s been done many times. It’s Groundhog Day, Source Code, Edge of Tomorrow, and any movie that has to deal with living the same day over and over again. This doesn’t really bring anything new to that genre as it still follows that same formula. Plus, it’s based on a young adult book so it has to be attached to those tropes that are found in those books. The bullying troubles, mean girls, the weird girl, stuff like that and while this movie tries to add a bit more to it, it just can’t feel original.
The Story/Message. So this is here in the cons as well, because while I like the story (I generally enjoy time loop stories), I think that it’s a bit unfortunate with how it ended. Why did it have to end that way? Why did Samantha have to be the one to make the hard choices? Perhaps the book goes into more detail about it but the movie doesn’t really help out with that and it makes the ending feel unsatisfying. It wants to be deep and stuff but since there are so many unanswered questions, it just feels cheap.
Overall, I enjoyed Before I Fall very much so. It’s a movie based on a YA book and though it’s easy to tell that, I don’t think it super dramatic like those can be sometimes. I thought the acting was good across the board but Zoey Deutch really stands out in this film, she truly manages to hold her own and her character is compelling. I think the story is interesting, I really like Time Loop stories and the ending had a lot to say in terms of character, people and life. The music is also very nice. Unfortunately this movie is a bit cliché and cheesy, while it is based on a YA book and one of the better adaptations, it still falls into that category that feels like a YA book. While I did like the story, I do think it tries too hard to hammer home certain messages that’s cheapened by the ending. There are a lot of unanswered questions that make the ending feel unsatisfying. But it’s a good movie.
Rating: 3.35 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Before I Fall? Have you read the book? What did you think about it? Is the movie a good adaptation?
What is your favorite or the best Time Loop movie? Let me know in the comments below!
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