Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List – Review

Genre Romantic, Comedy, Drama
Directed by Kristin Hanggi
Starring Victoria Justice, Pierson Fodé, Matthew Daddario, Ryan Ward, Griffin Newman, Monique Coleman, Daniel Flaherty
Released on July 17, 2015 (Outfest), September 18, 2015
Duration 90 minutes
Flixxpanda Rating 4/10
Channel Netflix

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List is a coming-of-age teen movie that is primarily about a girls and her gay best friend falling for the same boy. The film is based on the young adult novel of the same name written by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan and while the book did well, the movie wasn’t quite as popular.

I think the Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List was primarily aimed towards young teen audiences who might relate to it, but it definitely failed to strike a chord with older audiences. It’s just incredibly predictable, I mean I love a cute romantic cliché as much as the next person but there needs to be some sort of curve-ball, some surprise to keep watchers hooked. You could easily leave after watching the first one-third of the movie and not feel a pull to come back and watch the rest. Extremely boring plot lines coupled with tasteless dialogues made me eye-roll at multiple scenes and it just wasn’t very enjoyable overall.

Naomi (Victoria Justice) and Ely (Pierson Fode) maintain a No Kiss List for the sole purpose of not falling for the same guy. Remember The Kissing Booth, with those ridiculous rules? That’s exactly what happens here too. If a no kiss list exists, it’s pretty obvious they’re going to want the same boy, sooner or later. They’re both 18-year old youngsters who are about to start college when they set their eyes on the same boy. Naomi and Ely have been friends for years, but while Ely is gay and Naomi knows this she’s still in love with him. She has this childhood fantasy in her head that in the end Ely will love her and the two will get married someday. It’s denial at it’s finest. Ely starts exploring his sexuality and Naomi half-arses her way into dating a boy named Bruce. But Ely and Bruce bond over X-men and the inevitable (the movie must go on) happens. They fall in love! Naomi and Ely have a falling out. The two fight then make-up and voila that’s a wrap on it! Honestly the producers of teen movies need to stop grossly underestimating their audiences’ intelligence levels.

While Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List has the names of both Naomi and Ely in the title, the story is told solely through Naomi’s eyes and her narrative. We see how she reacts to events and deals with her insecurities and flaws. It’s all about how she feels and eventually, how she changes for the better. We barely ever get to see how Ely copes with the sequence of events. Victoria Justice carries most of the film and with the limited script she does a fantastic job but it’s clear the film doesn’t bring out even half of her potential.

That’s not to say the Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List doesn’t have any positive messages. It emphasizes the power of strong friendships and how love transcends all differences. It highlights how accepting the millennial generation is of the spectrum that is sexuality and fluidity of genders. That’s not easy and Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List received a few homophobic comments but in general there wasn’t much of a backlash, considering mostly the millennial generation watched it and they’re a-okay with it all.

Credit – YouTube

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