Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Movie Review: "The Kissing Booth" (2018)

Image Source
Movie: "The Kissing Booth"
Director: Vince Marcello
Year: 2018
Rating: TV-14
Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Elle and Lee's friendship is put in jeopardy when Elle falls for Lee's older brother Noah.
"Don't wind up grinding coochies with my brother or I'll literally never talk to you again." (Image Source)
The story in "The Kissing Booth" is so full of teenage melodrama and cheesy dialogue that one might think it was written by a 17-year-old girl.......oh wait, it was. This movie is directed by Vince Marcello, who is known for directing many installments in the straight-to-DVD "American Girl" series, as well as Nickelodeon's "Liar, Liar, Vampire." Marcello also wrote the screenplay, which is based on a novel by Beth Reekles, who was a 17-year-old at the time it was published. The story follows best friends Elle (Joey King) and Lee (Joel Courtney), who have basically known each other since birth. Their biggest pastimes include playing video games like a knock-off of "dance, dance, revolution" and sharing ice cream. Entering their junior year of high school, Elle has suddenly matured. On the first day of school, her last pair of pants rip, so she is forced to wear a skirt that is a couple of sizes too small since her backup pants are at the cleaner. RELATABLE! That day, all the boys take notice of her. When one of the jocks at school smacks her butt, Lee's older brother Noah runs to her defense. As this happens more and more often, Elle and Noah start to fall for each other, but they know that telling Lee they are an item will break his heart despite not having any romantic interest in Elle. He's just tired of his brother getting everything that he wants.
"It's never good to hear your childhood crush say there's nothing good in your pants." (Image Source)
"The Kissing Booth" is yet another Netflix original movie. It's a formulaic teen romance meant to make girls ages 12 to 17 "oooooh" and "awwwww" over all the sexy musclebound guys and swoon at the thought of an unpopular girl having a forbidden romance with the most popular, most sought-after guy in school. This seems to be a movie that wants to have a somewhat empowering message for young girls when it comes to their own agency and sexuality. At the same time, it loses itself entirely as Elle gains her popularity not through confidence, but through careless behavior. She wears a very short skirt that gets unwanted attention and even gets her butt slapped before being rescued by Noah. She voluntarily gets drunk at a party, strips down to her underwear, and is a half a second away from getting into her birthday suit before she is, once again, saved by Noah. She accidentally enters the boy's locker room where she takes off her shirt and runs around the room in her bra while flashing the other boys in order to make Noah jealous. Talk about a mixed message! Much of the overall conflict between Noah and Lee makes it feel like Elle is being fought over like a piece of property. The 1900's called, it wants their premise back.

"No boobs are worth a broken nose." (Image Source)
"The Kissing Booth" is full of one cringe-worthy moment after the other for 104 minutes. We rolled our eyes so many times, we thought they might fall right out of their sockets. The piss-poor message is not the only problem we had with this movie. The pacing is dreadful. The story drags on and on in a slog-like fashion, repeating itself over and over for no rhyme or reason other than its lack of an actual story. Look, we're not morons. We know we're not the target audience for this movie. It's obviously for a target audience of 12-to-17-year-old girls who will only halfway pay attention to it while texting their friends and making Instagram stories. See? We're hip. We're with it. We know about the 'gramz. Honestly, if those 12-to-17-year-old girls were smart, they would stay away from this dopey, silly, predictable teen romance with sub-par acting. Netflix needs start focusing on making fewer movies of a higher quality rather than churning out a high quantity of low-quality movies like they do now.

My Rating: 1.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 2/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.5/10
RT Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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