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A Decade of Reverse Harem

Reverse Harem Garden actually turned ten last September. Sorry, for the late post. But be warned, to compensate for the late post this ...

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Related/Movie Review: To All The Boys I've Loved Before

Lara Jeans wrote letters to all the boys she've loved before but the letters got sent out to the ALL the guys!


I have mentioned this before that before the reverse harem western novels exploded I resorted to labeling young adult books as reverse harem novels with heroine and multiple guys such like this and E. Lockheart's The Boyfriend List. And as well as books unsuspecting of reverse harem trope like  Kiera Cass' The Heir. But now that the reverse harem is a genre in western setting novels, I noticed that that the heroine must make the reverse harem work with all the harem members unlike in eastern setting (Japanese, Korean, Chinese)  where the heroine chooses one or no one at all. The book where the movie is based on is kind of related to mangas or Asian dramas however the movie adaptation really made it about the main couple: Peter and Lara Jean. In the book, Josh didn't have that much participation but in the movie, it's like he barely existed. I was also hoping there was more of Josh even in the book but it's just the icky factor that he's her sister's boyfriend. The third guy will play a bigger role in the second book and Josh will be out of story. (Also, the actor for the third guy was recast. See news.) I kept on reading the series in hopes of getting a reverse harem closure but sadly I did not get one. I also had hopes that they will have more liberty in the movie of making it more of a reverse harem but it's surprisingly faithful to the book. As far as I can remember, I don't see any glaring difference with the book except for diminution of Josh's existence. Oh they also left an element from Josh and Margot.  

So which is better? Book or Movie? I normally would say books are always better than the movies if I have already read it. But in this case, I would say the movie. But let me set this straight first. I was so-so with the book but when I saw the trailer I was so excited. But after watching it I was back to being so-so again. Then the movie blew up and  TATBILB becomes most rewatched movie on Netflix and with a sequel on the works. I realized I had a set a very unrealistic expectation of the movie from the trailer. I realized too that this movie is now how Clueless was for me when I was a teenager.  I had rewatch it again from a rose colored glasses and not as a cynical adult and I can say I've enjoyed it the second time around. 

I liked the Instagram-worthy cinematography. The retro clothes.  The casting. I'm not gaga over Noah Centino though but I love Lara Candor! She's the perfect Lara Jean! It warms my heart when I see fans gushing their love through art, quotes and especially Asians dressing up as Lara Jean for Halloween. It's interesting to note too that it was released in this time where representation matters. The sisters were suggested to be whitewashed by producers before and thankfully the author didn't agree. But as much as I love the three actresses as sisters it's weird that they look all Asian yet different since they're from different descent.

Even though I don't watch much movies as I used to, my heart has a special place for late 90s and early 2000s teenage movies and romcoms. I'm glad Netflix has tapped into this market. I'm glad too that Netlfix has unconsciously become a reverse harem enabler (see She's Gotta Have It and Good Morning Call), well although this is not a straight up reverse harem, I hope this will get the industry to discover the appeal of reverse harem. My dream too is that for reverse harem novels to be adaptated into drama series like in CW or Netflix. And well I hope more manga or otomes games getting anime and drama adaptations too!

I still recommend to read the book. I also tried to watched 16 Candles from the movie contract but it's a very problematic movie for me. Sadly, I think this will be my last review of the series and I'll stop blogging news about this too. I was having second thoughts if I'll still blog the movie but this will be final love letter for the book that made me hope and dream of reverse harem novels. I'm happy that the book I tagged as reverse harem would someday be the most rewatched movie on Netflix and made young and young heart swoon.

Yakult is not a Korean smoothie. It's a Japanese probiotic milk. 

Always and Forever,
Reverse Harem Garden

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