Title: Everything Before Us
Released: 2016

Fix: Romantic Melan-comedy
Platform: Netflix

Netflix Summary:

The government issues ratings based on the quality of your relationships. But love is a little more complex than that.

FYA Summary:

The U.S. Government is notorious for creating various departments to “guide” American citizens and keep them toeing the line. The Department of Emotional Intelligence (DEI) is one such example; the regulatory agency tracks and scores people on their relationships, and the scores they give affect people’s lives much like a credit score. Your score goes up or down based on a variety of factors, but not staying together for more than a year or cheating on your partner can drastically lower it.

But relationships are already hard enough without having to follow government mandates.

Familiar Faces:

Randall Park as Randall

Knowing Randall (the actor) from Fresh Off the Boat (which, to be honest, I’ve only seen a few episodes of), I idea a vague idea how how funny he can be. My idea proved to be right, and even though Randall (the character) is a secondary character, he brought a needed sense of levity and a delightfully dry wit to the movie (even when he wasn’t being funny on purpose).

Aaron Yoo as Ben

Most of the movies/TV shows I’ve seen Aaron in, he’s played the sidekick role. It was nice to see him as Ben, the leading man. He can totally carry a film.

Brittany Ishibashi as Sara

At first, I didn’t recognize Brittany. But looking through her IMDB page helped me remember that she was Maggie from Ghostfacers (Supernatural)! Sara’s quite different, but Brittany does a great job—proving that she has great acting chops.

Joanna Sotomura as Anna

I only watched a couple of the Emma, Approved videos, in part because Emma was a pale comparison to the ladies of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but it’s the only thing I know Joanna from. And because of that, in my head, whenever Anna wasn’t onscreen, I imagined that she was off filming a vlog.

Ki Hong Lee as Jay


Couch-Sharing Capability: Depends on Your Relationship Status

Everything Before Us follows the stories of two couples, one of whom began dating in high school and kept their relationship going, long-distance, through the first year of college, the other who dated previously and reconnected when they maybe shouldn’t have. It’s an honest look at relationships, even under the guise of the fantastical idea of the DEI. If you’re watching this with people with whom you have purely platonic relationships, you should be fine.

But you might want to question whether you want to watch this with anyone with whom feelings come into play, as it might bring up super awkward topics of conversation. That said, it might also open important lines of discussion. So, I’ll leave it up to you to decide if it’s worth the risk.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: High

Although Everything Before Us is a cute movie with a pretty happy ending—sorry, vague spoilers—much of the plot serves as a reminder of the many crappy things that happen in relationships. Depending on how solid your own relationship is, you might need more alcohol to numb the pain.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Very Good

This is yet another case of “If I didn’t have Netflix, I would never have heard of this movie, much less watched it.” And while it wasn’t the happy, fluffy rom-com I’d been hoping for, it was a movie I enjoyed watching, full of flawed-but-beautiful characters and important things to say about love.


Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.