It’s been a week since Netflix started streaming the film adaptation of Jenny Han’s novel “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (TATB).” I have since watched said movie a total of four times (five if you count the 12-minute supercut of all the Lara Jean and Peter K scenes on YouTube). Every time I think I’ve finally gotten out of the black hole of endless press tour interviews and expert fan edits, my Viber and WhatsApp notifications pull me back in. At least three of my group chats have turned into some form of a Peter Kavinsky appreciation thread.
The last time I’ve been this invested in a character was four years ago when Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” was turned into a movie. Theo James as Four was everything. And it didn’t help that he had such amazing chemistry with Shailene Woodley who played Tris. I consumed all of their videos—clicked on all the related ones at the end. And when the list was done, I’d just do it all over again. I would message my friend Patty every single link and she would do the same. We were stuck in a Four/Tris bubble for I-don’t-evenremember how long.
(READ: To all the Jenny Han fans who loved ‘Before’)
Fast forward to four years later, here we are again. I find myself getting lost in the TATB universe, crossing over to reality and trying to find everything there is to know about Noah Centineo (who, according to director Susan Johnson, apparently is a natural flirt and ad libbed a lot of Peter Kavinsky’s “moves”). I giggle to myself as I watch his archived Instagram stories and outtakes from their shoots. Of course, I send out all these links to my Peter K groups so we get kilig together. This has been happening since Aug. 17, and I’m not entirely sure when it will stop. Do I even want it to end?
I’m aware that I’m a 35-year-old woman obsessing about a teen movie. But clearly, I am not alone in this obsession. My 30-something friends share my intense feelings about that hand-in-the-back-pocket-totwirl move, and that scrunchie face Peter K makes after LJ confesses her feelings to him on the lacrosse field. Our safe space allows us to be our 16-year-old selves again, swooning at this charming boy—one we just know we would’ve fallen completely in love with no matter how old we are.