It’s hard to believe that To All The Boy’s I’ve Loved Before was released five years ago, but it’s true. The romantic comedy helped usher in a resurgence of the genre, especially in the young adult space, and has since become one of the best romantic comedies of the 2010s. Not to mention, it spawned two sequels based on the best-selling novel series by Jenny Han, and even a spinoff Netflix series.
To celebrate the milestone anniversary, I decided to rewatch the movie, which I have seen an embarrassing number of times. There’s something so special about Lara Jean and Peter’s love story that has me coming back to it so often. Part of it has to do with the phenomenal chemistry between actors Lana Condor and Noah Centineo, but there are also a handful of scenes that prove why To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is still the best.
Lara Jean Nearly Hitting Peter With Her Car
Every great romantic comedy has a meet cute, and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is no exception. While it’s true that Lara Jean and Peter have known each other for years, their catalyst moment happens when Lara Jean nearly backs up into Peter while pulling out of the high school parking lot.
To me, this is the scene that solidified Peter and Lara Jean’s chemistry. Even with a car door separating them, they manage to banter with each other in a way that’s not only entertaining but also swoon-y. I certainly can’t forget the way Peter jokingly asks if she’s going to be able to make it out of the parking lot with a grin on his face. It’s clear that these two characters are going to have fun with each other — especially if Lara Jean’s meddling sister, Kitty, has anything to do with it.
The Diner Scene Where Lara Jeans Talks About Love
Romantic comedies are obviously all about love, but few ever address what that love looks and feels like, especially in real life.
This is something Lara Jean addresses early on with Peter. After dragging her to a house party, Peter takes her to a diner to decompress. While there, he asks her why she’s never dated anyone, given the fact he knows someone asked her to a high school dance the year before. In a moment of vulnerability, Lara Jean responds by saying that love is fun to think about in theory, but the idea of letting someone in is scary because they could end up leaving forever.
This is by far my favorite scene in the entire movie and franchise for a couple of reasons. One, it showcases the complexities of Lara Jean, a character who yearns for love, but is also terrified of it. It’s also one of the first scenes that hints that Peter is falling for her for real. I know I screamed when I saw how upset he was when she pointed out that it’s easy with Peter because it’s fake. Just wait, Lara Jean!
Peter Defending Lara Jean
After the video of Lara Jean and Peter making out in the hot tub gets leaked, and their peers interpret it as something else, her locker is vandalized. Upon learning about what happened, Peter makes a scene in the hallway telling everyone that nothing happened between them, and to leave her alone unless they want to deal with him.
Now, I firmly believe women don’t need men to come to their aid, but something about this scene had me rethinking my statement. Even though Peter should have nipped it in the bud on the bus, seeing him come to his senses and actually set the record straight is refreshing. It’s one of the first times I remember a male love interest actually setting a rumor straight instead of encouraging it.
Lara Jean & Her Dad Bonding
When it comes to teen movies, the parents are usually just background characters, but To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before makes it a point to include Lara Jean’s single father. Though the two share a handful of great scenes, the one that always has me rewinding is the scene where he takes Lara Jean to the diner to talk about love and relationships.
Don’t get me wrong, talking about those types of things can be embarrassing for any child and parent, but the movie handled the scene so beautifully. It's such a beautiful father-daughter moment, including John opening up about his relationship with Lara Jean’s deceased mother to encourage her to keep exploring love. It definitely had me reaching for my phone to call my own dad.
Peter’s Love Letters
The entire premise of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before centers around Lara Jean’s love letters being sent out to her various crushes, so it’s only fitting that she receives her own love letters. Not only are Peter’s love notes/letters adorable, but they also bring them together again. It's the perfect full-circle moment!
For me, this scene proves the movie is the best because it shows that Peter isn’t afraid to be vulnerable. It also proves to Lara Jean that she is worthy of the kind of love she reads, writes, and dreams about. Plus, who didn’t fantasize about receiving little love notes from their crush in high school?
I’ve already pointed out so many scenes that prove To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is still the best, and there are still so many more! I didn’t even talk about Peter’s hand in Lara Jean’s back pocket (swoon!), Peter and Lara Jean bonding about their complicated family life (cries!), Peter and Kitty’s adorable pillow fight (I love a significant other who includes siblings!) and, of course, the hot tub scene (because, duh!). But if I keep going I’ll just list the entire movie, and it’s way more fun to watch it than read about it!
Five years is a long time, so refresh your memory about this iconic teen romcom and stream To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix. After, make sure you check out our 2023 Netflix Movie Releases feature so you don’t miss out on any new movies. Plus, don't forget to check out the spinoff XO, Kitty, which is also available with a Netflix subscription.