THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

REVIEW: Rule number 13: don’t watch “The Kissing Booth”

The film

Courtesy Netflix

The film "The Kissing Booth" proves to be underwhelming.

Sean Neusch, Assistant Opinion Editor

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A girl has a crush on a boy that she is forbidden from dating. Pretty common rom-com plot, right? Well what if the stresses of starting off a new year of school pushed her to finally make a move?

Like Shelley “Elle” Evans (Joey King) took on risk on her crush, “The Kissing Booth” took a risk trying to spice up this overused plot.

It did not pay off.

Writer and director Vince Marcello’s idea was to make the main character Elle fall in love with her best friend’s older brother, Noah Flynn (Jacob Elordi). The result was an unrealistic and cheesy scenario with countless questionable actions from the characters.

Unlike notoriously subpar films such as “Sharknado” and “The Room”, for me, “The Kissing Booth” is a bad movie that isn’t quite awful enough to laugh at; it’s simply unenjoyable. With a predictable plot and unrealistic characters, it’s difficult to find redeemable qualities in this picture.

To rub salt into the wound, “The Kissing Booth” doesn’t even seem to have a message or purpose for existing. The film’s plot is focused on Lee (Elle’s best friend) and Elle’s strange childhood rules, Elle’s physical development through puberty and Elle’s unreasonable lust for Noah.

As children, Elle and Lee created inane rules such as, “no matter how mad you are at your best friend, you have to forgive them if they give you ice cream” and the ever so crucial rule #9: “relatives of your best friend are totally off-limits.” There is no essential or unique moral lesson, no educational value and arguably no entertainment purpose to watch this picture.

Oddly enough, the plot seems to be thrust forward by Elle’s body and everyone’s obsession with controlling it. But for some reason Elle is never affected by this in any way.

Throughout the story Noah tries to “protect” her from all the guys trying to make a move, but when some guys slaps Elle’s “lady bum,” Noah claims that she was asking for it by wearing a short skirt. If that isn’t ignorant, I really don’t know what is. The worst part about this whole situation is that Elle agrees to go on a date with her sexual assaulter after a very shallow written apology simply stating: “I’m sorry.”

More perplexing than Noah’s sexist actions is Elle’s attraction to him. Noah proceeds to act in this condescending way, but with every further sexist event, Elle only desires him more. It simply does not make sense especially considering Noah’s reputation for being a “player” and treating women like objects for his enjoyment.

The one thing I can possibly give this work any credit for is the acting. The delivery of lines and body language of the actors was well-done; I commend them for doing their best when given absurd lines such as, “Dude, he touched my lady bum.” There truly is no right way to say those words together, but lead actors King, Joel Courtney (Lee Flynn) and Elordi do their best.

If you have any thoughts of watching this movie, it’s probably a bad idea. Unless you would like some awkward background noise or want to bet someone you can sit down and watch the whole film… don’t do it.

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About the Writer
Sean Neusch, A&E Editor

Sean started writing for the Harbinger his junior year as a staff writer. He became the assistant opinion editor before the end of junior year and switched to A&E Editor his senior year.

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REVIEW: Rule number 13: don’t watch “The Kissing Booth”