The Kissing Booth 3 review – lacklustre and predictable

August 12, 2021
Bashirat Oladele 0
Film Reviews, Netflix


The third installment of the series is quite underwhelming. 



The third installment of the series is quite underwhelming. 

This review of the Netflix film The Kissing Booth 3 does not contain spoilers.

Read the review of the second installment of the trilogy. 

Netflix’s The Kissing Booth 3 is a whimsical romcom that comes with the stress of making adult decisions, being young and putting yourself first. Starring Joey King portraying Elle Evans, Jacob Elordi as Elle’s boyfriend Noah Flynn and Joel Courtney as her best friend, Lee Flynn — the third installment of the series is quite underwhelming. 

As a fan of teen romcoms, the Kissing Booth 3 didn’t blow me away or excite me. Rather, I was left with a disappointing film with an inadequately developed storyline and a talented yet under-utilised cast. There was so much potential for the plot to develop and occasionally, the plot was forgettable. It essentially follows the story of Elle trying to choose between Harvard, to be with her boyfriend, or UC Berkeley, to be with her best friend. Now, does she ever consider herself, her wants or desires, or just follows the men in her life?

The sequel kicks off where Kissing Booth 2 left off — after Elle and Lee’s high school graduation. Both are college-bound but it’s the vacation so the duo is focused on enjoying their summer vacation until reality kicks in. As childhood best friends, they were tied together at the hip, same birthday, same interests and it’s lovely to see how dedicated they are to one another — until it comes to the college decisions. Wanting to complete their childhood bucket list, Elle and Lee head to the Flynns’ beach house, with Noah and Rachel (Lee’s girlfriend). But, there’s just one issue — the Flynn’s are considering selling their beach house, which leaves the crew in shock and so they live it up and check off their bucket list day by day. 

As if it couldn’t get messier, Elle’s dad is dating and she isn’t a fan of this. Coupled with her social life, job, possible step mom, and other responsibilities, life is hard for Elle. And if this couldn’t get any worse, Marco (Taylor Zakhar Perez) is back. A fan favorite from The Kissing Booth 2 and the better choice for Elle has made his way back into their trilogy. Not only him, but another fan-favorite, Chloe (Maisie Richardson-Sellers), has returned. 

The reintroduction of Marco has put Elle in a compromising position with her jealous and insecure boyfriend, Noah, and a guy who still has feelings for her, Marco. Now, this was extremely underwhelming because every film/TV/literature enthusiast knows about this trope — boring and overdone. Whenever Marco and Noah were in a scene, it was just filled with toxic masculinity from Noah’s side yet Marco tended to remain calm and collected for Elle until he punched Noah in the face — which was deserved! But, it’s important to note that these are still teenagers, and as corny as it was, it’s not uncommon for boys with high testosterone to fight over a girl. It’s been happening since the beginning of time!

With Elle, we always think we are crossing a hurdle but her trajectory is always overshadowed by the guys — always caught up in their dilemmas. From the college decisions, the jealousy, the on and off relationships — we barely get to hear what she wants. Upon reflection, this might have been intentional being the only girl in her family with a younger brother and her father, we never truly know her wants or desires. We just know she is influenced by the men around her. Perhaps this is a reason for her initial hostile attitude to her father’s girlfriend. Her mother figure, Mrs. Flynn, guides her to the right decision, reminding her to pursue what she wants and not what the boys want.

Though it was lackluster, it was truly impressive that a teen romcom was firm on having a platonic male/female relationship as many romcoms go down the route of the friends to lovers trope. Furthermore, the ending was very obvious — she had to choose herself, or what was the point? After three movies, she deserved to feel free instead of carrying the burdens of the men in her life.

What did you think of the Netflix film The Kissing Booth 3? Comment below. 

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