• GABRIELA SELVA '24

In Defense of "The Kissing Booth"


The Kissing Booth is a teen romantic comedy film widely known for being absolutely terrible. Don’t believe me? According to Rotten Tomatoes, The Kissing Booth”has a harsh score of 15 percent. This score represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show. A Tomatometer score is calculated for a movie or TV show after it receives at least five reviews. So considering that only 15% of professional critics had something optimistic to say about the movie, we can assume it is VERY bad. I can easily say that there are many aspects of this movie that are straight up cringeworthy and not even capable of being salvaged, yet today I will be attempting to defend The Kissing Booth and give reasons as to why it is not all that unfavorable.


Let’s start off with the cast. I think the most noteworthy actor we can all agree made the entire movie was none other than Jacob Elordi as Noah Flynn. This was Jacob’s debut into the film industry and it definitely boosted his career immensely. As much as we hate to say it, without this movie, Jacob Elordi would not be nearly as popular as he is now or have as much of a fanbase. So thanks, Kissing Booth. The next notable actress is Molly Ringwald as Mrs. Flynn, who added a touch of experience and familiarity to the movie that made it seem as if at least one person knew what they were doing. I think these two actors were the most noteworthy in regards to making up for Joey King’s questionable acting skills with her cringey facial expressions, corny jokes, and awkward moments.


People describe this movie as cringy, unrealistic, and childish; yet if you look at it from a different viewpoint, some of the directing decisions can be seen as intended. If you look at Kissing Booth as a crossover between Sixteen Candles, Mean Girls, and an early 2010s Disney Channel movie, it almost seems reminiscent of the cheesy (yet enjoyable) entertainment that came from the typical portrayal of high school from our younger years.


Despite the movie having stereotypical depictions of what high school is like, it has its moments that are found to be relatable or simply so far out there that it is considered humorous (one that we can enjoy). Not every movie out there is ALWAYS going to portray what high school is actually like, so having those scenes where it makes us laugh or question the reality of it adds to the experience of the made-up story-line exhibited by the writers. This includes when Noah happens to get into Harvard despite his many fights or when Elle and Lee resolve their problems by dancing together. Even though there are many funny elements to the movie, there is also an attempt at a balance between a character being totally oblivious to their decisions they make and actually having the common sense to make a reasonable conclusion.


The next opinion I want to point out is that even though we may see this movie as a complete joke with no serious aspect to it whatsoever, Kissing Booth comes to surprise us and has its tender moments. Whether it's the topic of Elle’s mother passing away, Elle losing the person she genuinely loves, or Elle breaking her friendship with Lee; it forces us to take a second and actually empathize with the characters in these moments we may also experience in life.


The last point I want to make is how this movie puts us through ALL the emotions and expands on numerous valuable themes in life that we only notice if we take the time to understand the lessons the writers wanted to convey. We can appreciate a film that puts us through laughter, sadness, excitement, and sentimentality throughout the course of an hour and forty-six minutes; rather than a film simply consisting of only comedy or only romance.


Taken together, these points don't necessarily make up for the entire course of the movie, yet it gives us a new perspective on a movie that most people look at through a narrow lens.