To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Netflix’s new teen romantic comedy, might be the best teen romance of the decade. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the kind of movie that’s as sweet and addictive as candy, that wants its audience to indulge in multiple repeat viewings. And, because it’s on Netflix, you can — which means that, judging from the state of Twitter and Tumblr right now, To All the Boys is already well on its way toward developing a cult fanbase.
In part that’s because of the way it plays off of familiar tropes and archetypes: not deconstructing them or taking them apart, just executing a classic formula with care and affection.
But mostly it’s because of the unabashed sweetness of this movie, and the way it builds itself around nice people who care about each other and want to do nice things for each other, like, for instance, writing each other love letters or letting the other person use them as a pillow during a nap. It is heart-melting.
To be fair, it does help to have an existing fan base to draw from. To All the Boys is based on a 2014 YA novel of the same title by Jenny Han, which became a New York Times best-selling series. There’s name recognition to work with here.
But the Netflix movie, directed by Susan Johnson, isn’t just a paint-by-numbers adaptation. It’s a stylish pastel-tinted confection of a movie, one that knows every single one of the romantic tropes it’s working with backward and forward and loves them with all its pure and wholesome heart.