The Kissing Booth was a great Netflix film. By which I mean it was terrible, but entertaining. It was about an hour and a half long, basic plotline of “girl crushes on unattainable guy, turns out he likes her too, drama ensues then they fall in love”. Sure, the acting was sub-par, the plot had huge holes in it and the script was woeful, but for a teen rom com it was a good time.
I’ll tell you what was not a good time. The Kissing Booth 2. Landing on Netflix this weekend, I decided yesterday’s horrendous weather was the perfect excuse to sit down and watch BOTH films back to back. I’d forgotten the plot of The Kissing Booth you see, on account of it being so beige that you simply wipe the story from your brain as soon as the credits roll.
The Kissing Booth 2 is far, far worse than The Kissing Booth. It’s kind of like watching the exact same storyline play out, except for longer and with less Sexy Jacob Elordi.
1. It’s Fucking Long
The trick to making a perfect shit-but-good movie is to keep it tight. Fast game’s a good game. Etc etc. What you DON’T do is drag things out for an inordinately long amount of time, until I pass out into my tub of Golden Gaytime. DON’T DO THAT.
Guess who did that. The Kissing Booth 2.
The Kissing Booth 2 is 131 minutes. The Kissing Booth was 110. You wouldn’t think 20 minutes could drive you to throwing pillows at the TV, but it can.
This is because The Kissing Booth was ALSO a more fast-paced plot. We’re introduced to Elle and Lee! We get the background on Elle and Noah! The Kissing Booth happens! Elle and Noah fucc! They have a whole secret relationship! It breaks down! It revives again! That’s a LOT.
In The Kissing Booth 2 the plot is literally just this – Elle and Noah have a long-term relationship which is fraught with trust issues, meanwhile Elle tries to win a dance comp with a new, sexy guy from her school who you can tell will never replace Noah. It’s not enough for TWO+ HOURS OF TV.
2. I Don’t Care
Part of what kept me hooked to The Kissing Booth, even with the shit acting and the terrible script, was that I got invested in Noah and Elle’s relationship. They don’t even have much chemistry once they’re together tbh, but the sexual tension was excellent so I kept watching.
In The Kissing Booth 2, they’re already… together? So I already care a lot less. Mix in the fact that they live on opposite sides of the country, and I am even less invested.
The only way to counter this would have been to bring in a new, even sexier bloke and to turn Noah into an asshole so I want Elle to move on with New Bloke. But the new dude was this too-polished dancing man who always seemed like a fuckboy.
Therefore, I both didn’t care for Elle’s new maybe-relationship, nor did I care about her existing one. I started to give somewhat of a shit when Noah and Elle semi-split after she kissed Marco live on stage (hello, Elle, it’s very clear you’re being filmed) but that happened in the last 30 minutes of what was two hours of painful plodding along.
3. I’m Getting Real Tired Of The Dance Machine
The dance machine “bit” from The Kissing Booth was cute, until it wasn’t. It feels like the scriptwriters really, really want us to know that Elle and Lee love the dance machine. A lot. Who goes and sad-dances in Timezone/Intencity when they feel like shit? Literally no one.
But I accepted it. Until now. Yep, the dance machine is a focal point of The Kissing Booth 2, in fact more so than the actual KISSING BOOTH.
Do you know how many emotional dance machine sequences I had to sit through in this movie? Enough to make me want to drive to all gaming stores and rip the mechanics out of dance machines.
4. Noah Dyed His Hair & It Was Off Putting
Jacob Elordi can get it. But Jacob Elordi with brassy blonde streaks in his hair is making me question this fact. Around the time his relationship with Elle goes south, Noah arrives for Thanksgiving dinner with BLONDE HIGHLIGHTS.
This would be fine if the highlights a) looked somewhat natural and b) a nice hairdresser had run a toner through them. Instead, they’re orange. ORANGE!!! It’s so off putting I almost stopped having a crush on him.
Anyway, I think you can see that I… hated this movie? But I still think it’s worth your downtime. Just fast-forward through the really shit bits.
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