Netflix’s Dear David: Is the Romantic Movie Rooted in Reality?

Netflix’s ‘Dear David’ is an Indonesian romantic comedy movie that revolves around the story of a nerdy high schooler named Laras, who is well-reputed among her teachers but bullied in the corridor by her peers for always being ahead of them academically. However, nobody knows that she writes and maintains a secret fantasy blog about her crush David. Soon, the teenager’s life turns upside down when her blog gets leaked to the entire school.

While everyone is curious to discover who the blog writer is, Laras struggles to face her authentic personality and her secret fantasy self. The Lucky Kuswandi directorial stars some talented actors, including Shenina Cinnamon, Emir Mahira, Caitlin North Lewis, Anne Yasmine, and Michael James. That this comedy film deals with some realistic subjects, such as the complications of teen life and how people have a secretive side that nobody knows about, is enough to spark a valid question in one’s mind — is ‘Dear David’ based on true events? Well, why don’t we explore the same and find out?

Dear David is an Original Screenplay

No, ‘Dear David’ is not based on a true story. Instead, its true-to-life narrative can be credited to the collaborative effort of Winnie Benjamin, Daud Sumolang, and Muhammad Zaidy, all of whom are screenwriters with years of experience in the entertainment industry. Apart from the fact that you can relate to the life of a teenager in school through the character of Laras, another one of the reasons why the Netflix movie might hit home for some is that it touches upon some familiar themes and instances, such as school life, teenage crushes, and the alter egos people tend to keep hidden from everyone.

Many movies and TV shows have explored all these subjects and elements over the years, but hardly any of them come as close as Netflix’s ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.’ Based on the eponymous novel by Jenny Han, the Susan Johnson directorial focuses on a teenage girl named Lara Jean and her mundane and not-so-happening school life.

Just like Laras in ‘Dear David,’ Lara Jean in ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ also harbors a secret about her crushes, but in secret love letters. When these private love letters somehow make their way inside the respective boys’ mailboxes, her quiet world is turned upside down as each of her crushes confronts her one by one regarding the letters. With the revelation of both the characters’ secrets about their crushes, the entire school starts gossiping about it, which is not far from reality as gossip in schools spreads like wildfire.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before// Peter (L) and Lara (R)

Starring Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, and Janel Parrish, ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ dips its toes into familiar themes also predominant in ‘Dear David.’ Moreover, the uncanny similarities between the characters of Lara Jean and Laras and how they handle the situation with panic play a significant part in making the two films in question seem familiar and worth mentioning.

To reiterate, the themes and subjects about teenage years tackled in ‘Dear David’ stay quite parallel to real life as most of us have all gone through or watched someone else go through similar situations. So, all in all, we can say that the three screenwriters — Winnie Benjamin, Daud Sumolang, and Muhammad Zaidy — took some inspiration from what goes on in teenagers’ lives these days and dramatized it for entertainment purposes, making ‘Dear David’ a fictional tale that explores some realistic themes.

Read More: Where Was Netflix’s Dear David Filmed?