Late this last week, Netflix made the announcement of who would be playing John Ambrose McClaren in the second To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie. Spoiler: It isn’t the guy from the end of the last movie. How would it feel to be that guy? Geez. I wasn’t a huge fan of that guy’s look in the first place, but I still feel bad for him.
Anyway, John Ambrose will be played by…drumroll…Jordan Fisher!
So there we go. I’ve been a fan of Jordan Fisher since his Teen Beach Movie days, but especially after Grease Live. I’m actually super excited about this casting and I continue to be, as ever, #teamJohnAmbrose. We welcome any and all new recruits.
How do you guys feel about this casting announcement? Are there any other actors you had in mind for John Ambrose?
The first time I read these books, I remember LOVING the first book. The second and third books were okay for me, but that’s mostly because I’m 100% #TeamJohnAmbrose. This time around though, I’m struck by how incredibly immature Lara Jean is. She’s selfish and petty and dramatic. I mean I guess that’s just being a teenager? But she’s trying to have this incredibly grown up relationship with Peter and it’s 1,000,000% clear that she’s not ready for something this deep and heavy.
So that’s pretty much my problem with Lara Jean. I find her slightly unlikable because of how immature she is. I feel like there are quite a few instances in each book where Kitty is more mature than she is and Kitty’s just a kid (though, obviously the superior character–Kitty rocks).
My next issue is obviously the fact that Lara Jean picks Peter over John Ambrose. I mean…excuse me, Jenny Han? You can’t just write the literal most perfect teenage boy character/potential love interest who LITERALLY has no faults and then not have your protag pick him. There is literally no good reason why Lara Jean decided to stick with Peter. I mean, Lara Jean says it’s because Peter got there first, but that is NOT a good reason. I challenge anyone to list John Ambrose’s faults. I’ll wait. THEY DON’T EXIST. He gives her the most perfect birthday present and he and Lara Jean are about to have this wonderful life together and then Peter walks up because he’s jealous of John Ambrose. If Peter hadn’t felt threatened by John Ambrose would he have wanted to get back together with Lara Jean? I submit that he would not.
Then in the third book they paint Peter to be the sweetest guy who is doing all of these things for Lara Jean like getting her chocolate chip cookies and recreating the scene from Sixteen Candles…but all of those things are so OBVIOUS. If Lara Jean was dating John Ambrose in the third book, he would be doing all kinds of sweet things that Lara Jean didn’t even know she wanted until he did them. He also would have been super supportive of Lara Jean going to whatever school she wanted and wouldn’t have made her feel bad or guilty in any way.
But whatever. Lara Jean and Peter deserve each other. I’ll wait for the next book which will feature the two best characters of the whole series falling in love (Kitty and John Ambrose). Lara Jean will be mad because John Ambrose is HERS but Kitty won’t care because she’s Kitty and she does what she wants. Margot will be a little freaked out because of the age difference, but again, Kitty won’t care because she’s Kitty and she does what she wants. Trina will just say, “You go, Kitty!” and Kitty WILL care because she loves Tree, but also because Trina is supporting Kitty doing what she wants.
Does anyone else spend a ton of time on Buzzfeed or is it just me? One of the things I really enjoy is reading articles where someone is doing a stream of consciousness type review for a movie or TV show (usually the Bachelor/Bachelorette). So here’s my stream of consciousness review for the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie–I’m literally typing this as I watch it. Prepare yourselves for lots of book vs movie comparisons and I guess there will probably be some spoilers for people who haven’t already watched the movie. Here we go!
- BEAUTIFUL opening scene and KITTY IS THE BEST.
- I don’t like that the girls are ragging on Dr Covey’s Korean food. From what I remember from the book, it’s not always terrible.
- Josh walking into the house with his shoes in his hand is pretty weird. Like, either he should have left them on the porch or taken them off inside.
- What Asian family eats that little rice with a meal?
- Margot is making this dinner supes awk questioning Josh about the plane ticket but once again, Kitty is the best.
- EWWWWW MARGOT GETTING INTO LARA JEAN’S BED WITH HER SHOES ON
- John Corbett is the perfect guy to play the Song girls’ dad. There is no one else.
- Why haven’t Lara Jean or Kitty called Margot “Gogo” yet? It’s such a cute nickname!
- LOL at Lara Jean’s awkward school picture smile.
- Okay, so I know they’re in Oregon, but Lara Jean’s wardrobe seems a little too Fall for the first day of school. She’d be way too warm!
- Gen doesn’t look as cliché popular girl as I would have imagined…and I don’t really get why she’s making fun of Lara Jean’s boots? They look super trendy to me… I will say that Lara Jean’s defense of “They’re vintage? But I got them on Etsy?” isn’t super helpful though.
- DISLIKE that they made Lara Jean’s kiss with Peter into a spin the bottle thing. That changes the WHOLE dynamic between her, Peter, and Gen imo.
- Josh is super awkward and stiff and I can’t tell if it’s the character or the actor.
- How is there popcorn all over the couch when the popcorn bowl looks like it’s been untouched? It’s the little things…
- KITTY IS THE BEST
- No, no, no, it erases an entire vindictive side of Kitty for her to be sending out the letters with good intentions. I want evil Kitty!
- For anyone who doesn’t recognize Jenny Han, she’s just looking like the world’s most awkward chaperone.
- I’m really digging this soundtrack.
- KITTY IS THE BEST!!!!!!
- These letters seem to be MUCH more cringeworthy than they were in the book.
- That fall out of her window would hurt SO BAD.
- This whole diner convo between Lara Jean and Peter is super stiff and awkward.
- There has to be a better time for Lara Jean to talk to Peter that’s NOT in the middle of Lacrosse practice.
- I am so glad that Peter is pointing out the weirdness of the “hand in back pocket” thing. No one does that anymore! It was weird when Jason Segel did it in Freaks and Geeks and it’s still weird–not romantic.
- It’s very distracting that every time we get a view of the contract, “Ski Trip” is written differently.
- LJ–solid nickname for Lara Jean. That should’ve been in the book for sure.
- Like I said, the hand in the back pocket is NOT cute.
- I’m so glad Dr Covey is less clueless in this movie than in the book. I cringed so hard when he thought Peter was taking Lara Jean to a birthday party in the book.
- No one’s hair looks that good coming straight out of a ponytail.
- Peter, what part of FAVORITE SCRUNCHIE do you not understand?
- Obviously at this point in the movie, Peter is starting to like Lara Jean but it still feels like it’s coming out of nowhere. This is another point that the book does a lot better.
- Josh is coming on super strong and way too intense right now. It makes it seem like he’s having a hard time getting his lines out and makes the scene hard to watch.
- Awkward sofa pillow fight.
- This conversation in Peter’s kitchen feels way more natural than any of their other conversations.
- Blatant Subway product placement.
- I don’t really see how Josh can shed any light on Lara Jean’s situation with Peter. Oh, surprise, he doesn’t. He literally just says, “I don’t know what to tell you.”
- Instagram posts weren’t in the contract, Peter. If you wanted that, then you should’ve included a social media clause.
- Chris rocks. She’s asking the question that we all want to ask male gynecologists. Also, she’s the best actor in this whole movie (besides John Corbett).
- Again, ballin’ soundtrack.
- Lucas is great too. There’s some really good secondary cast going on here.
- I’m not really understanding Lucas’ logic here, though. He kind of makes it sound like Peter’s liked her since the beginning (which isn’t true) and how does he make the leap to Peter waiting for her in the hot tub?
- Okay wait, but how is Lara Jean’s night gown now completely dry???
- *sigh* classic high school angst created by miscommunication (or refusal to communicate in this case).
- Josh is such a lurker. What is he doing slinking around the Covey’s house with his hood up?
- Yes Kitty, you ORDER that pizza, girl! Also, I would watch a whole movie of Kitty and Dr Covey playing chess.
- THIS MAKES NO SENSE. If Kitty really wanted Lara Jean to have a boyfriend, she wouldn’t have sent out the letter to Josh. An 11-year-old would recognize that couldn’t work and would only cause family drama. This is why we need vindictive Kitty back who sent the letters out for revenge. That makes so much more sense.
- Who exactly took that picture of sleeping Peter and Lara Jean for her phone background?
- Another reason the spin the bottle kiss was a bad change–it makes Gen way crazier than she is in the book. I mean, she’s crazy in the book, but in this movie I feel like she’s completely unhinged.
- The movie also makes Peter’s notes way more romantic than they were in the book.
- Lara Jean is making this whole thing so awkward. First, she makes Peter turn around and then she does the most awkward shoulder tap in all of history.
- There’s no reason for John Ambrose to be wearing his Model UN blazer here. But whatever, I’m die hard #TeamJohnAmbrose.
Okay, overall the movie was pretty good–probably especially if you haven’t already read the book. It’s a cute idea and kind of different from other teen rom coms coming out right now. However, I felt like most of the acting was about a 4/10 for me. Everything just felt so stiff and scripted. If you want to see teen conversations that actually feel real, just watch any episode of Friday Night Lights–that’s the real stuff.
But that’s just my opinion, what did you guys think of the TATBILB movie?