How far would you go for your best friend? Would you sacrifice your first love? That’s basically the entire plot of The Kissing Booth.
The Kissing Booth is your classic coming of age story, except where the girl doesn’t fall for her best friend, she falls for his brother. Bit of a shocker right? Precious little ‘Shelly (Elle) Evans’ played by Joey King has never been kissed or on a date and absolutely adores her best friend ‘Lee Flynn’ played by Joel Courtney. What happens when she falls for his hot older brother?
The Kissing Booth follows like this, Elle and Lee were born on the same day, at the same time and they’ve been best buds ever since. Even their moms were best mates! Elle and Lee have a set of rules that they wrote when they were little kids that they strictly abide by. Here’s where things start to go downhill, rule #9 says you can’t fall in love with your best friend’s siblings. This has got to be one of the stupidest rules written, plus it seems to be just for Lee’s benefit, seeing as Elle’s brother is a toddler. So obviously, Elle falls for Lee’s older brother Noah. Honestly, the rule exists we’ve got to use it!
Throughout the movie, we watch as there is maximum effort to catch Elle in various states of undress. Within the first ten minutes, we see her pants rip. Elle then proceeds to wear the tiniest skirt ever, to school. Further, in The Kissing Booth, we see her drunkenly strip on a table at a party. We see her in her underwear again when she and Lee have a paint fight. She even parades around the boys’ bathroom in her bikini to prove a point. Seriously?
Then there’s the part where Noah and Lee are very very controlling and clearly have unresolved anger issues. They constantly attempt to control Elle’s life. Noah tries to curb Elle’s love life. Lee restricts who she falls in love with. They also always sweep in to save her even when she tells them not to because they clearly don’t think she can handle it. A fact which Noah tells her when he tells her she “has zero experience with guys.”
In the first scene of The Kissing Booth that we see of the school, a random dude smacks Elle’s butt and while Noah does save the day, the gravity of the wrongdoing is severely downplayed. Noah even tells her that wearing something like that (referring to her tiny skirt) is asking for it. Clearly a major red flag right? Eventually, Elle gets the same punishment as the student who touched her. Further, into The Kissing Booth, she agrees to go out with that student. Really? Its like she doesn’t have any sense of judgment whatsoever. Women aren’t this dumb, literally ever.
After forever, we finally get the actual The Kissing Booth, which does raise a good amount of money I’ll admit but I sincerely doubt any school in 2018 condones its students (who don’t know each other) kissing each other for money. Here, Elle kisses Noah. She immediately starts to freak out remembering the rules with Lee and confesses to him that she’s kissed his brother to which he responds saying that as long as she doesn’t end up grinding “coochies” with him he’s okay with it. Why does she need his permission again?
Elle makes the worst pros vs. cons list ever known to decide whether she should date Noah after they realize they both like each other. There are major red flags here but we’ve already established she doesn’t have any sense of reasoning so she decides to date him (I mean love wins right? She’s in high school, just saying, let’s be practical here). She and Noah have sex (her first time) under the Hollywood sign (isn’t that illegal?), which looks super romantic but in reality would have definitely been horrendously uncomfortable. They keep their relationship a secret until Lee busts in on them. All hell breaks loose and Lee and Noah end up throwing punches, a testament to their anger issues. It turns out Lee didn’t make the rule because he liked her but because she was the one thing he had that his brother didn’t. I’m sorry are we talking about human beings or colored highlighters?
Fast forward a lot and Noah gets into Harvard (what?). How he managed that with skipping school and the fighting I have no idea. There’s the cliche airport goodbye scene and in what is definitely by far the best scene, we see Elle all-empowered driving away on Noah’s motorcycle.
There is comedy in the movie, you might laugh here and there, but it’s honestly not that funny. Teens might like it, but if you’re above fifteen, chances are you won’t (except if your my mum). It’s not all-bad and not-all good, it does have some positive messages about the strength of friendship but overall there isn’t much.