Side by Side With Monroe Harris and Jed Kudrick: Romantic Comedies
by Monroe Harris and Jed Kudrick
Jed, you know I always have your best interests in mind, which is why I’m required to tell you I’m right. “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” is a romance movie I find myself coming back to again and again, even almost five years after its release. The film’s high saturation, over- eccentric characters, and cliche rom-com tropes make this a feel-good movie that lifts my spirits any time I put it on.
I can’t think of a better movie to watch on Valentine’s Day. In “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” a precocious little sister, Kitty, wants to help her big sister Lara Jean find love. She finds Lara Jean’s love letters–unsent, addressed to five different boys–and plops them in the mail.
I enjoy how we get to watch Lara Jean, played by actress Lana Condor, awkwardly navigate her way through the aftermath. I think anyone who has an annoying little sister, or a sibling in general, can relate to the fear of them going through your things and ruining your life. Personally speaking, as someone who is that annoying and over-adoring younger sister, I don’t think that is a completely unreasonable fear.
The purpose of why I and many other people watch and cherish romantic comedies is because of the hope they inspire in hard times. This isn’t necessarily pertaining just to love. Rather, being able to put a movie on and find a sense of self in a character who is stumbling their way through life makes the world feel less lonely. For me, it creates a feeling of belonging and that not knowing your way isn’t always a bad thing. They help me embrace the missteps or adversity that will commonly, and inevitably, occur in all of our lives.
“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” masters the slight exaggeration of reality that good rom-coms achieve. I don’t watch these types of romance movies to find an accurate depiction of life. Instead, I put them on to inspire a hope and comfort to take with me as I carry on. Maybe I’ll never have to worry about my past love letters being sent, but I can have relief in knowing that no matter what I am currently facing, I am in good company.
Monroe, I love you, but you’d have to pay me to get me to rewatch “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.” I already don’t like romance movies due to the large amounts of drama that happen in them. This movie definitely doesn’t help convince me otherwise.
With its stereotypical high school tropes, illogical casting choices, and unrealistic interactions, this movie solidly falls on my don’t-watch list for this Valentine’s Day. The only relatable part of this movie is that one of the main characters is obsessed with Subway– shoutout to the Subway on campus for supplying me with my meals this semester. The only light in this movie is Noah Centineo, and that’s only because he plays Atom Smasher in “Black Adam” as well.
This movie also doesn’t fit the romantic comedy genre, either. It’s not funny. I just rewatched the movie and still can’t think of any part that made me laugh. I actually love comedies, as opposed to my feelings on romances, so the fact that the humorous parts of the movie were nonexistent didn’t help.
I do not understand why they had to make three of these movies, too, considering the end of the first movie finished off fine on its own. The first movie has great ratings, but the ratings for the second and third ones are just passable. I also know for a fact, Monroe, that you said yourself the second one was forgettable and agreed with me on that, so you can’t argue your way out of that one.
If I had to watch a traditional romantic comedy on Valentine’s Day, though, my pick would probably have to be “The Proposal,” because who wouldn’t want to see Ryan Reynolds? I’d prefer to watch a non-traditional Valentine’s Day movie such as “Deadpool,” which also covers the romantic and comedic aspects, has Ryan Reynolds, and is significantly a better movie than “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.” If you want to watch these instead, “The Proposal” is on Hulu and “Deadpool” is on Disney+.
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