Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school's all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.
Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were 5, so they couldn't possibly be right for one another...or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies.
A Chicago baker (V.Hudgens) is competing in a Christmas baking competition in Belgravia. There she bumps into the prince's fiancee. They look alike and switch for 2 days. "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
Lara Jean Covey writes letters to all of her past loves, the letters are meant for her eyes only. Until one day when all the love letters are sent out to her previous loves. Her life is soon thrown into chaos when her foregoing loves confront her one by one.
The forbidden kiss. We knew that it was wrong, that he was betrothed to my sister. But if this wasn't what he wanted, then why did he come to the field of desire? It was fated that we should meet like this
[pillow hits Lara Jean in the face]
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I'm not going to lie, there were a lot of red flags going in to this, given the massive amount of dull and terrible Netflix films that have come out this year, many of which focused on relationships and slice-of-life type stuff, but I think I kind of like this one. It's certainly the least obnoxious of the bunch, and is even more surprisingly carried by the young female supporting actress. There's nothing this film does that's extraordinary, but it's an easily watchable film that's fine through and through, and manages to avoid dragging despite having such a simple premise and it doesn't overstay its welcome. The leads in the film aren't amazing, but they're certainly above average, and are relatively charming. The film is quite heavily reliant on exposition, and feels oddly reminiscent of 13 Reasons Why, though I would say this is a much more tasteful story that handles it's premise appropriately whereas 13 Reasons Why felt melodramatic and edgy. The melodrama here manages to be less melodramatic, and the material is light-hearted enough to deal with a pinch of superficial acting.
The dramatic elements are certainly nothing new, such as dealing with the loss of a parent, but they're implemented in a reasonable manner and are played out naturally and they add a bit of spice to what might have been an otherwise bland story with flat characters. It's refreshing nowadays to see characters with tragic backstories being portrayed in an empowering way. These elements are almost understated, and as a result the characters seem stronger than the usual. Towards the end there's a bit of an incident, but it doesn't cause tonal whiplash, and it's certainly not frustrating as it tends to be in other stories.
I'm not a huge fan of teen films, especially not in modern times with how the music industry has degraded into simple, easy-to-produce tripe whilst brainwashing the simple-minded teenagers into thinking they love superfluous and downright useless music, and there's certainly an abundance of that in this film. It's a shame because the score feels fine for the most part, and the film opts for no music when a scene works better without it. I'm fine with simple and fluffy tunes to accent the films various moments, but the commercial trash is hard to deal with, even in small doses.
This film's a bit of a pleasant surprise, and is among the few 2018 Netflix films I would recommend so far. For those who dislike 13 Reasons Why for being edgy or tasteless, this film will likely be more up your alley, and it's much less of a time investment as well.
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