Discussion Questions for “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

Write a paragraph or two in response to the following prompts.

How does this movie introduce us to its protagonist, Lara Jean? What is she doing when we first see her? What sort of a sister and daughter is she? What are her hopes and dreams? What are her concerns and her fears? What things make her most likeable and relatable for us as an audience?

We talked about the voice-over in the blog post introducing this movie. (You’ll want to read that if you haven’t already.) What specific things does the use of a voice-over accomplish in this movie? What are some other non-diegetic elements that you notice? What things do they accomplish?

What is the “inciting incident”? How does Lara Jean discover what has happened? What is her initial reaction? What longer-term effects does this initial plot point create in the overall plot of the movie?

What does this movie suggest about love? How does one find love? What are the signs and symbols of love? How does love affect the people who feel it? Is love always a good thing? What challenges can love present for us?

Finally, in my blog introduction I mentioned that Jenny Han, the author of the YA novel insisted that the movie feature an Asian-American actress in the lead role of Lara Jean even though many production companies tried to convince her that race was not important in casting the protagonist. What do you think? Does this like an important aspect to you? Why or why not? How would the experience of the film be different if a white actress played the role of Lara Jean?

Published by Chuck Caruso

writer of dark fiction (crime, horror & western noir), literary & textual scholar (american gothic, noir, po-co, sf), and cultural critic

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