Film Review: Netflix’s The Kissing Booth (2018)

Director: Vince Marcello

Rating: 2/5

I am always up for a good film about teenagers, if for nothing else, because they are usually fun. I am also always interested to see what kind of a message is being sent to youth.

In this particular case the film moves on from High School issues, such as bullying and mocking of students portrayed as geeks. We do get to see the popular girls, called OMG in this film, but they are minor characters, barely relevant to the story. This was quite refreshing.

Nevertheless, the girl who is the main character in the story is not the most popular or the prettiest one, but she manages to fit in. What is more important than popularity and lame parties is her friendship with her best friend Lee (Joel Courtney). The pair formed a set of rules when they were six years old, and still tries to live according to those rules. As it turns out that is not always easy, because Elle (Joey King) falls in love with Lee’s brother Noah (Jacob Elordi) and this violates the rule of not messing with family members.

When I first started to watch the film I thought that this will be a love story between Ellie and Lee, but it wasn’t, which surprised me.  Instead, this was an interesting story of love and friendship. The only thing is that the film felt too long. It could have been shorter, and there could have been more discussion between Ellie and Lee. We did get to understand why Lee does not want Ellie to date his brother, i.e. his brother always had everything he ever wanted except for her, and thus Lee does not want to see his brother take the only one he ever had and crush their feelings. However, this is not explored in details and the film generally suffers from this lack of focus.

But, if you fancy something light while browsing something on your phone or reading something, then this may be it.

Thank you for reading.

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