The changes made when adapting Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before book into a Netflix movie will impact the sequel - here's how. Netflix recently found massive success with the debut of its latest teen rom-com, To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Directed by Susan Johnson from a script by Sofia Alvarez, the movie is actually adapted from the same-named 2014 novel by Jenny Han. As such, the film made some changes to the story and characters of the book, some bigger than others. And those changes will undoubtedly carry over to a potential To All the Boys I've Loved Before sequel.
In the case of the film, it follows high school junior Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor), a hopeless romantic who's more likely to daydream about falling in love than actually have a boyfriend. However, all that changes when the five love letters she's written throughout her young life get sent to the boys on which she's had crushes. To make matters more complicated, both boy-next-door Josh (Israel Broussard) and popular boy Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) receive letters; the former also happens to be her older sister's ex-boyfriend while the latter just broke up with Lara Jean's ex-best friend. To avoid Josh, Lara Jean agrees to enter into a fake relationship with Peter, but she starts to develop very real feelings.
For the most part, the first two-thirds of the movie sticks to the story of the book pretty closely. Certainly, there are elements of the book that are cut out, including specific scenes or characters that stuck with fans of the book. However, the biggest changes made to the storyline arrive in the last third of the movie. As such, this post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for To All the Boys I've Loved Before book and movie - as well as Han's second novel, P.S. I Still Love You - as we discuss the changes made to the story and how they impact the potential sequel to Netflix's rom-com.
- This Page: Lara Jean & Peter's First Kiss
- Next Page: The Movie's Ending & What's Missing
Lara Jean & Peter's First Kiss Was Different In The Book
In the movie, Lara Jean and Peter have their first kiss in seventh grade during a game of spin the bottle at what Lara Jean describes as her first boy-girl party. She also makes it clear that she was aware at the time that her best friend Gen (Emilija Baranac) liked Peter and it would be a betrayal for her to kiss Peter. But as young Peter points out, those are the rules of the game, and Lara Jean is forced to follow them and kiss Peter. This later provides the motivation for much of Gen's vendetta against Lara Jean, after Gen and Peter have broken up and Peter starts dating Lara Jean.
However in the book, the circumstances of Lara Jean and Peter's kiss are slightly different. Most importantly, their kiss isn't during a game of spin the bottle, it's at the end of a party when Lara Jean and Peter are the last ones waiting to be picked up. Though Peter is the one to initiate it in both cases, the contexts are different and it's more of a betrayal to Gen for Lara Jean to kiss Peter simply because she wants to than because she's participating in a game. The book's version of events give Gen more motivation to feel jealous of and seek revenge on Lara Jean (more on that revenge later).
In the To All the Boys I've Loved Before book, Peter's motivations for entering into a fake relationship with Gen were slightly different as well. He didn't necessarily want to make his ex-girlfriend jealous (a motivation that caused Lara Jean to believe he wanted to get back together with Gen despite the fact that Peter doesn't say that's his goal). Instead, he wanted to make Gen and the whole school see that it's over between them. Of course, since both the book and movie mostly follow the story from Lara Jean's perspective, she doesn't truly know what's going on in Peter's head. But between his eagerness for their first kiss, no matter the context, and his motivation for starting the fake relationship with Lara Jean, it's fairly clear he's been interested in her for quite a while. And although Peter and Lara Jean are solid by the end of the To All the Boys I've Loved Before movie, a sequel will undoubtedly put their now-real relationship to the test.
Next Page: The Movie's Ending & What's Missing
- To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018) release date: Aug 17, 2018