A Letter and a Kiss

With 2021, Netflix brought two of its popular teen romcom trilogies to an end – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Kissing Booth.

Both the movies are in a way quite similar in their central theme – Protagonist has an unreciprocated crush on the unattainable and hot jock in high school. By the end of movie 1, the couple are together. Movie 2 introduces a “new guy” and toys with the practiced formula of a love triangle. In movie 3, both Lara Jean and Elle are trying to balance between saving their relationship and choosing a college.

And both movies are based on books!!

For Lara Jean it began with a letter and for Elle it began with a kiss.

Is one of the movies better than the other? Well, I kind of liked both!! Both the movies have some good moments.

Firstly, To All The Boys:

There is something cute and romantic about writing love letters to your crushes. And it was super scary (for LJ) but super fun for us when Kitty posted all her secret letters!!

The contract between Peter and Lara Jean and all that happened because of it made the first movie a great watch for me.

Movie 2 had some epic visual treats like,
The sky lanterns from Peter and Lara Jean’s first “real” date


John Ambrose and Lara Jean’s dance

I also liked the idea of the time capsule buried below a treehouse!

The scene between Gen and Lara Jean where they resolve their conflicts and Gen tells Lara Jean that Peter is crazy about her.

Watching Lara Jean fall in love with NYU

Peter’s letter to Lara Jean in their yearbook– complete with his memory of their meet-cute and it genuinely sounded like a sincere apology too.

The Kissing Booth:

Number 1: LISTS!!
For someone like me who loves lists, this was perfect.
I would have certainly liked to include these rules on my friendship rule list (if I had one):
Rule #6: If you can’t tell your best friend about something you’re doing, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
Rule #7: No matter how mad you are at your best friend, you have to forgive them if they give you ice cream.

And the Beach Bucket List!!


I mean, stuff like paragliding and swimming with sharks!!
Hell, I’ll be happy even with the small stuff like a sandcastle and a blanket fort.

Number 2: The Summer Montages
I loved the memory montages at the beginning of Movies 2 and 3 that show what Elle did over the summer.

Number 3: Lee and Elle’s Friendship

Oh Thank God that this wasn’t another one of those movies where the best friends fall for each other. I specifically liked the scene in the third movie when Lee leaves for Berkeley and Elle is waving him goodbye and the camera pans out and shows us all the Elles from their childhood till now saying goodbye and all the Lees from their childhood till now driving away sadly.

Number 4: The Dances!!
Each time Elle and Lee dance on the DDM machine


Elle and Marco’s winning performance at the DDM competition


The Flash mob to Shut up and Dance with me

Number 5: Mrs Flynn’s words of advice to Elle in each movie.

Number 6: The bike rides at the end of each movie.

Lucifer

In the world of supernatural TV dramas, I found another gem.

Lucifer, the fallen angel, decides he has had enough of Hell and leaves his throne to settle down as a nightclub owner in the City of Angels.

Destiny puts him in the path of Detective Chloe Decker and they form an unexpected partnership solving crimes for the LAPD. Meanwhile, Lucifer’s return to hell is demanded ASAP by God.

I am a partial believer but I do love watching a supernatural interpretation of the concepts of Heaven and Hell. According to the show, Hell is nothing but an amplification of our own guilt. Looks like, I am damned!!

I like cop dramas and watching Chloe and Lucifer threw me into a “Castle” flashback. Decker is no Beckett but I like following the murder mystery and how the case relates to something that is happening in the lives of the characters.

The cast is great but some I admire more than the rest. For starters, Maze.

She is, please pardon the cliche, but she is “aMazeing”!!! She’s badass with killer moves and looks, impulsive, sarcastic, straightforward and the best demon from Hell 😈

Hers and Lucifer’s friendship is one of my favorite relationships on the show, closely followed by Chloe and Trixie. She is doing quite a good job of raising that kid.

Even though Linda does theraphy for characters, her words of advice seem to give me stuff to reflect about.

And now, speaking of the Devil, himself!!

He is arrogant, a womanizer, a “man-child with daddy issues”. And he is also; charming, has superb singing skills, does effortless fight sequences and has a sexy British accent. Uff!! 😍

But what I like best are –

His Angel wings 😇

I swear to God, when he burnt them, I was like – No! NO!!! Give them to me!!

The One with the Reunion

17 years after the show ended, the cast and the makers of F.R.I.E.N.D.S reunited for an evening down memory lane.

Like countless people around the globe, I am a huge fan of the show too. I was looking forward to watching the Reunion and now I feel I could use a group hug!!

As the show makers; Bright, Kauffman and Crane put it: It is about that time of your life when your friends are your family. Each one goes through this phase, which is what makes this series relatable to every generation. The styles and locations may be a 90’s time capsule but the essence of the show “friendship” is timeless.

The episode opens with each FRIEND walking into the recreated set; which brought back all their memories. Matt revealed how Courtney used to write her dialogues on the apples on the dining table!!

The cast recreated their famous trivia game night and reacted to their bloopers.

It went all from laughing out loud one moment to sad tears when Courtney said this could be the last time they might get to do this together as a group.

My favorite part of the episode was the table read sessions for “The One Where Everybody Finds Out”

Phoebe’s “My eyes!! My eyes!!” is still bang on

and the first kiss between Ross and Rachel 😍

David and Jennifer admitted that they did indeed have a crush on each other back in Season 1, but their ships were always sailing away from each other, so they channeled all the adoration that they felt for each other into Ross and Rachel.

Chandler and Monica were supposed to be a one-time fling but seeing the way the audience reacted, the creators had to take notice.

The show makers also shared stories about how the FRIENDS were cast – from coaxing David out of early TV retirement to making a cross over to get Lisa on the show. Jennifer shared how she was a part of another show at the time and how they had told her that F.R.I.E.N.D.S would never make her a star. Could that be more ironic?

Many guests made an appearance , I liked the part where Lisa Kudrow and Lady Gaga sang “Smelly Cat.”

It was good to see Mr & Mrs Geller and Gunther again. And “Oh my Gawd” Janice!!

She revealed that her high-pitched laugh was a spur of the moment reaction to stop herself from bursting in peals in front of Matthew – who incidentally added a lot of spontaneous jokes to the original scenes.

Sure, we would all like to know where the FRIENDS would be now in their lives. But as Lisa rightly said, in order to do that they would have to unravel all the good. Sometimes, it’s best to leave something at a beautiful point in time.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S has changed the lives of not only the people who were a part of the show but also all those who have watched it. It certainly brings a smile to my face every time!! 🙃