Here are some titles to help you nurse your To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before hangover.
Netflix’s original movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is currently (September 2018) the talk of the Internet. After its August 2018 release, the teen rom-com spawned its very own meme and boosted yogurt sales. No wonder the streaming giant is considering a sequel. After all, the movie is based on the first book in the Lara Jean YA trilogy by author Jenny Han, so there’s enough source material to kick-off a franchise. Moreover, stars Lana Condor and Noah Centineo seem to be on board with the idea. Given that the release of the flick turned them into overnight sensations, it’s safe to assume they wouldn’t be opposed to reprising their roles in the future.
If you’ve been living under a rock recently, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before centres on Lara Jean, a quiet girl who finds her high school existence turned upside down when a bunch of secret love letters she’s written to her crushes are mysteriously sent out. One of them was meant for her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. When Josh confronts her, Lara Jean starts fake-dating one of the school’s popular kids, Peter, to avoid a lengthy conversation about her feelings. The rest is now history.
Since a possible sequel, even if confirmed, is still light years away, we thought it would be nice to suggest some similar titles to tide you over in the meantime. All these movies feature delightful teens falling in love and such, so they’re perfect if you fancy To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Even better, they’re all available to stream in Australia as of September 2018.
1. Everything, Everything
Based on Nicola Yoon’s YA novel of the same name, Everything, Everything follows a young girl, Maddy, who can’t leave her house due to a severe illness that makes her allergic to almost everything. However, when a handsome boy moves next door, her life changes for the better. The two start to communicate and, before you know it, Maddy will be taking risks she wouldn’t have previously dreamed of.
The movie is a classic girl coming-of-age with the help of a charismatic boy tale. As a result, it’s a gentle and engrossing flick perfect for a quiet evening at home. The two leads are great and the film’s whimsy is enough to win over even the most cynical of viewers. Plus, it’s not too overly sweet, it has a banging soundtrack, and Maddy has amazing chemistry with the boy next door. What more could you wish for?
- Stream it: Stan
2. The Fault in Our Stars
Another extremely popular YA adaptation, this time of a John Green novel, The Fault in Our Stars follows Hazel and Gus, two teens suffering from cancer who meet at a support group. The couple embarks on a moving journey towards finding some much-needed joy in their brief lives. It’s a heartbreaking story about courage, loss, and love. Yet, the movie offers a lot of humour to balance things out, so it’s not the dark and twisty affair you might be expecting.
The Fault in Our Stars is less about the messiness of cancer and more about the compelling relationship between the two leads, brilliantly portrayed by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. Fair warning – you might cry, but that’s no reason to avoid this touching flick. It does the bestselling source material justice.
3. The Kissing Booth
Netflix has been releasing several feel-good rom-coms lately, and this one is no exception. The Kissing Booth centres on Elle, a high school student who ends up unexpectedly locking lips with her secret crush, Noah, at the Spring Carnival. The problem? Noah, the ultimate bad boy, also happens to be her best friend’s brother and is totally off limits. As the two realise they’re falling in love, Elle needs to figure out how to handle the tricky situation.
The Kissing Booth is no masterpiece – it’s clumsy and predictable, but that doesn’t make it any less watchable. Quite the contrary. It’s the perfect title to relax with when you’re looking for something light and fun. The appealing cast is just a welcome bonus.
- Stream it Netflix
4. Easy A
Emma Stone is a delight in romance flicks – Crazy, Stupid, Love and La La Land stand testament to that. Before starring in these big Hollywood productions, though, Stone had her breakthrough role in Easy A, a captivating comedy about a girl who becomes embroiled in a comical sex scandal. The movie follows Olive, who attempts to help a friend and ends up having to deal with false rumours that she is sexually promiscuous.
The movie is witty and has a lot of heart, benefiting from a sharp script and a great performance by Stone. Moreover, it’s genuinely funny, with Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson stealing the show as Olive’s open-minded parents. In short, Easy A is not just another teen rom-com. It’s a modern classic.
- Stream it Netflix
5. A Cinderella Story
A modernisation of the classic Cinderella tale, this sweet flick stars Hillary Duff as Samantha, a young girl living under the watchful eye of her wicked stepmother and two stepsisters. At the family diner, she’s forced to take on menial tasks like dishwashing and mopping floors. However, Samantha’s life changes for the better when she receives a makeover of epic proportions and starts an online relationship with a boy she meets in a chatroom, played by Chad Michael Murray.
A Cinderella Story is a fresh and funny update of the fairy tale, mainly thanks to Duff’s endearing performance. She makes a sweet, smart and devoted Cinderella, which should be enough to keep you glued to the screen. Plus, the happily-ever-after ending will put a grin on your face that you won’t be able to shake off for at least a couple of days.
If you’re a teen rom-com fan, you’re probably already familiar with this classic title. If not, now’s the perfect time to fall in love with Cher, the popular high school girl with a heart of gold. A modern update of Jane Austen’s Emma, Clueless takes place in Beverly Hills and pokes fun at both the teen rom-com genre and the lives of ultra-rich teenagers.
The movie follows Cher as she discovers that she likes to do good deeds and decides to take a geek girl under her wing to help her become more popular. At the same time, she’s looking for the perfect boyfriend, whom she ends up finding in the most unexpected place. Sweet and funny, Clueless is very quotable and endlessly charming. Don’t think you’ll be able to resist.
- Stream it Netflix
7. The Princess Diaries
The Princess Diaries follows shy teenager Mia, who suddenly learns that she’s a real-life princess. As she is heir apparent to the crown of Genovia, she’s now supposed to learn what her new role entails. Consequently, her grandmother, Queen Clarisse Renaldi, starts to give her "princess lessons". The movie is just as silly and engrossing as the premise suggests, benefiting from a lovable Anne Hathaway in the lead role and boasting a great supporting performance from Julie Andrews.
At its core a makeover movie, The Princess Diaries is terrific fun for viewers of all ages, from idealistic tweens obsessed with Meghan Markle to adults looking to unwind for a little bit. It also provides some evergreen life lessons like the importance of taking chances and such; plus, it has all the ingredients of a fairy tale, so it successfully stands the test of time. The sequel is also a charmer in case you’re looking for a double-feature kind of night.
- Stream it Foxtel Now
8. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlists
Based on the novel of the same name by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a quirky comedy about two teens who barely know each other going on an exciting adventure. Nick is busy obsessing over his ex-girlfriend Tris until Tris’s friend Norah asks him to be her fake boyfriend for five minutes. However, the two seem to have a real connection, so they go off to explore New York looking for a secret show and a drunken friend.
The movie stars Michael Cera and Kat Dennings, perfectly cast as the odd couple. It’s effortlessly cool and unapologetically sweet, sporting a great soundtrack and tons of witty dialogue. It also embraces the fake dating trope, so To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before fans should be intrigued. All in all, the rom-com is totally worth adding to your playlist.
- Stream it Netflix
9. A Walk to Remember
This teen melodrama is just a tad too saccharine, but it remains a classic of the genre, so we would have been remiss not to add it to the list. A Walk to Remember follows popular high school student Landon, who is forced to seek academic help from Jamie, a religious and conservative classmate. As the two grow closer, Landon has to deal with a drop in popularity, while Jamie is struggling under the pressure of a huge secret she hasn’t told anybody at her school about.
The movie is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, so there might be tears involved. Consider yourself warned. It also has a lot of sweet moments, which make it a great flick for when you’re craving a touch of heartfelt melodrama – or simply want to reinforce your belief that Mandy Moore has always been a goddess.
10. High School Musical
The movie that sparked a trilogy and gave us the wonder that is Zac Efron, High School Musical is basically a modern adaptation of Romeo & Juliet. If follows two rival high school students, Troy and Gabriella, who shock the school when they team up to try out for the lead parts in the high school musical.
High School Musical might be cheesy, but it’s also a lot of fun, mainly thanks to lively performances by Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. The musical numbers are delightful and the light tone of the flick ensures a highly enjoyable watching experience, especially if you set your expectations accordingly. You won’t be swept off your feet, but your mood will improve dramatically.
11. Alex Strangelove
Another lovable Netflix Original, Alex Strangelove centres on a high school student who plans to lose his virginity to his long-time girlfriend. However, things get more complicated when Alex meets a charming gay kid from the other side of town and starts to question his sexuality. Thus begins a rollercoaster adventure of love and sex, as Alex tries to navigate his newfound feelings.
The movie hits a lot of familiar beats but never fails to charm, delivering an absorbing story with a powerful message. It also features some funny scenes and has a lot of heart, so it’s perfect if you’re suffering from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before withdrawal.
- Stream it Netflix
12. Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List
Starring Victoria Justice and Pierson Fode, Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List follows two besties, Naomi and Ely. Ely isn't exactly into girls, so they have a "no kiss list" where they add boys forbidden to them both. However, things get tricky when they fall for the same guy and have to decide how to navigate their friendship under this new set of circumstances.
The movie wins bonus points for focusing on friendship, along with romance, which makes it an unexpected treat. It also benefits from some strong performances from the two leads. Although mildly predictable, Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List brings the goods as far as rom-coms are concerned, even if the two main characters are no longer in high school. You can’t go wrong with adding it to your Netflix queue.
- Stream it Netflix
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