To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Movie Review

So one advance screening and three at-home rewatches later, I feel confident to launch into my review of my most anticipated 2018 film, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Just like the beloved book by Jenny Han, I absolutely loved To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and it will always be a movie I can return to again and again. This Netflix film also gives us the opportunity to channel our true Covey-Song selves with being able to put on our comfiest pajamas with plenty of chocolate chip cookies and face masks at hand.

IMG_E5419When it comes to book-to-movie adaptions, us bookworms most like to discuss the differences between book and movie. There were minor changes made, but nothing that was significant enough to affect the plot, in my opion. For the most part, the changes usually involved the setting of certain events. I admit that I was a bit sad that Lara Jean lives in Oregon, not Virginia, in the movie, but I’m sure this had something to do with the movie being filmed in Canada and having to find a similar US setting. I don’t want to go into too many spoilers, so I’ll talk about the most obvious change that you can find in the trailers. Kitty was made to be older in the movie -she’s starting the sixth grade. Director Susan Johnson revealed that they wanted a bit more mature, older Kitty in the movie so she could act as a comic pinpoint. Which is fine by me, because I laughed out loud at almost everything she said.

While the actresses who play the Covey-Song girls aren’t all Korean, I was still so happy that the film was not whitewashed, many thanks to Jenny Han, because it just made the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before feels even stronger. I’ve seen some debate over if Janel Parrish was too old to play college freshman Margot, but I did like her as Margot- even though I always pictured Margot to be a bit more nerd-chic for some reason. And like I said above, I LOVED Anna Cathcart as Kitty. Her comic delivery was just so good! I know there’s a lot of loves being thrown around here, but Noah Centineo as Peter K was just so perfect and much love to John Corbett as Dr. Covey. I think I also liked movie Chris a tad more than book Chris?? Her questions about Dr.Cover’s career choice was one of my favorite moments. Most importantly, I think it’s safe to say that Lana Condor is the Lara Jean we all hoped for. From her wardrobe to her bad driving skills to her introvert self to her messy room her love for her family, Lana is the Lara Jean I always imagined. And let’s not forgot about that Jenny Han cameo! I love how she lingers in the background for a bit so readers really have the chance to recognize her.

Speaking of messy rooms and camera shots, I obviously give this move an A+, but its camera angles and cinematography gets A+s themselves. This movie was just so beautifully shot, and I loved the sequences, like when Lara Jean is opening the hatbox and the different shots as she shows the letters, pictures the boys, and sweeps the hatbox aside when Margot comes in.

I’m so happy that we can watch this movie again and again on Netflix, and I’ll likely buy it if it ever comes out on DVD. Netflix powers, please give us P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean adaptations. Especially after that ending.

Have you watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Love, Fangirl Fury: Love, Simon Movie Review

March 16th marked the day that almost ALL of us YA bookworms have been looking for: the premiere of Love, Simon, the film adaptation to Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. For me, March 17th was even bigger for me because I went to see Love, Simon in theaters! It’s definitely an understatement to say that I am jealous of anyone who was able to attend an advance screening beforehand, so I’m glad that I was then able to complete my mission of seeing the film opening weekend. For those unfamiliar with Love, Simon or Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the story follows a teenage guy named Simon who has a normal life filled with family, friends, and plenty of iced coffee- MV5BZTVkOWJkOTYtM2FlZS00YTBlLWE2YTYtODEyZWJjMTZkM2IzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTQ4NzkzOTA@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_except for that fact that no one knows he’s gay.

Before jumping into anything else, I have to say that I adored Love, Simon. I often get nervous about book-to-movie adaptations not doing the book justice and while there were a few changes (like many book-to-movie adaptations), I think Love, Simon perfectly captured the message behind Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. And yes, I know Nick Robinson doesn’t perfectly match the physical characteristics of book Simon, but to me, he was the perfect Simon. He captured the Simon we all know and love, humor and awkwardness included. One of my favorite light-hearted scenes with Simon was when him and Leah dress up as John Lennon and Yoko Ono for Halloween, and Nick mistakes him as fancy Jesus. Speaking of Leah, whose wardrobe and character I loved, since we now have Love, Simon, does that mean we’ll get an on-screen version of Leah on the Offbeat??

IMG_4501Out all of the things I loved about this movie, my favorite aspect was .. Simon’s bedroom! Seriously, I already have the blueprints going for me to have chalkboard walls around my bed! Thanks to Becky and Adam Silvera’s Twitter accounts, I knew there was a lot of detail put into Simon’s bedroom. I think I’m going to have to buy the movie when it eventually comes out on DVD just so I can pause Simon’s bedroom and analyze everything on his desk and walls! A few things I noticed were copies of Adam ’s More Happy Than Not and Becky’s The Upside of Unrequited (and maybe Nicola Yoon’s The Sun Is Also a Star?), some Adventure Time Funkos, a Hamilton playbill, a UCLA poster, and of course, a Hufflepuff sticker! Also speaking of Becky and Adam, who else caught them as extras at Bram’s Halloween party?? The two authors both wore masks, and Adam’s mask was complimented by a unicorn onesie. I obviously want to watch the film again for a few reasons, but I’d love to rewatch to try and pick up on any more cameos.

A few of my fellow bloggers have mentioned on Twitter that they cried from the moment Simon tells Abby he’s gay to the end of the film, and while I can understand their feels, the only scene that really had me wishing that I brought Kleenex was when Simon’s dad tells him that it doesn’t matter that he’s gay and that he how regretted not realizing sooner that Simon was gay. Josh Duhamel is one of my favorite actors and I just loved seeing him as Simon’s dad. While Simons’ family obviously isn’t the focus of the film, I wish we got to spend a bit more time with them.

Some of the funniest scenes took place during the Cabaret rehearsals. While my high school memory doesn’t seem to remember teachers being able to talk so freely (Haley, it’s a rom-COM for a reason), I LOVED Ms. Albright’s remarks (specifically when she shuts down two of the guys who make fun of Simon). I of course have to mention my movie-buddy & Netflix obsessed sister’s reaction to the first Cabaret scene, where she realized that there were TWO actors from Thirteen Reasons Why in the movie—she was freaking out that both Katharine Langford and Miles Heizer were part of the cast.

Overall, Love, Simon met my expectations and more, and the film marks the beginning of many more YA book-to-movie adaptations to come in 2018 & 2019!

Have you seen Love, Simon? What other book-to-movie adaptations are you looking forward to? Share in the comments!

Everything, Everything Movie Review

The film adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything was released in the United States on May 19th, and I was lucky enough to see the movie during its opening weekend! The film and book follows eighteen-year old Madeline, who has an illness that prevents her from ever going outside. Madeline is somewhat content on spending life indoors, until Olly moves in next door. She’s forced to question how she can spend a life inside when there’s a person and a whole world waiting for her. Madeline is played by Amandla Stenberg, with Nick Robinson playing Olly.

**Warning: This review will contain spoilers for the film and book, Everything, Everything.

My Thoughts:

Amandla Stenberg was the perfect Madeline. She was exactly how I pictured Madeline when I read Everything, Everything. I loved seeing all of her books scattered around her bedroom and office, and it was so fun to see her work on her book blog. I also enjoyed seeing her growing addiction to Modcloth, it just made her feel so much more real.

I absolutely loved Nick Robinson as Olly! I think he fit the role perfectly, and I’m so excited to see Nick in future roles. His looks definitely don’t hurt him either! I saw Everything, Everything with my sister, who I read the book alongside with back in 2015, and she swears that Nick is a mix of Ansel Elgort and Shawn Mendes!. One of my favorite parts of the movie was toward the beginning, when Olly takes his mom’s Bundt cakes and keeps placing it on the windowsill for Madeline. My favorite edition of the cake was when Olly made a fake IV for it. It was so funny to get a sense of Olly humor and his desire to get to know Madeline.

My main critique of the film is that I feel that we needed a bit more interaction with Olly and Madeline. I definitely felt their love for each other, but I just wanted more. I would have loved to see more of the artwork from the book incorporated into the actual film. However, I loved how the film set up Madeline and Olly’s text messaging. Instead of having scenes filled with phone screenshots or messages, their messages were played out as them talking in one of Madeline’s architecture models. Additionally, I noticed few differences between the book and the film, which I’m so happy about. I feel that the film captured the true heart and spirit of Everything, Everything so well! I read the book back in November 2015, so while I may have forgotten a few things, the only difference I found between the book and the film was that Olly and Madeline didn’t go to Carla’s house before going to the airport.

While I do prefer the book to the movie, I appreciated how the movie took more time with the ending. One of my critiques of the book was that the ending felt very rushed. Yet, in the film, there was still about twenty-five minutes left of the movie after Madeline returns from Hawaii, allowing her to learn more about her condition and to confront her problems with her mom and Olly.

My Overall Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

I really enjoyed the film, and I definitely recommend seeing it if you have or haven’t read Everything, Everything. I’m really excited to see Nick Robinson star as Simon Spier in the film adaptation of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and Amandla Stenberg is currently working on The Darkest Minds film adaptation and she’s set to play Starr in the film adaptation of The Hate U Give.

Have you seen or read Everything, Everything? Share your thoughts & feels in the comments below!