Film Review: The Kissing Booth 2

Note: This is film #91 of my 365 Film Challenge.

Okay, so the first film didn’t wow me, but I figured I need to watch a lot of movies and having watched a lot of horrorish movies lately this would be a nice change of pace.

Now entering her senior year in high school Elle (Joey King) is in a good place, although missing her boyfriend Noah (Jacob Elordi) who is off at uni. She has to deal with embarrassing herself in public again and the problems of long distance relationships, like jealousy, poor communication and insecurities. Further complicating it is the fact that Noah has asked her to come to school in Boston, which goes against the deal she made to go to the same uni as her best friend Lee (Joel Courtney), Noah’s younger brother.

There’s also a good looking new guy at school to deal with, and trying to work out a way to raise money for her university. Lee, meanwhile, has his own relationship woes as his close friendship with Elle negatively impacting on it.

This movie suffers from all the problems of the original, mainly being that a lot of the drama feels rather blown out of proportion and easily solved, and the central relationship isn’t that believable. King is great as Elle, funny, sweet and charming, but poor Elordi gets screwed over by the script with Noah being one of the most underwritten characters I can remember. He’s almost devoid of any personality beyond having a quick temper.

It’s not helped by the fact they add in a love rival for Elle’s affection who is infinitely more charming. Taylor Zakhar Perez shines as the newcomer, and his character’s relationship with Elle felt a lot more engaging than her and Noah’s issues. Courtney is solid in support, but his subplot with his girlfriend feels rushed and underdeveloped.

It’s funny in places, and keeps moving with a real sense of fun and cheeriness, but it’s rather predictable and it’s hard to muster much feeling for the central story. The ending, leaving it open for a third movie which is due out next year feels cliche and one wonders what exactly there is left to do with these characters going forward.

King and Courtney are good as the best friends, but the story is uninvolving and the subplots aren’t given much room to develop. While it’s nice to see a gay relationship featured, it’s literally only given about three scenes.

Just a bit “meh” overall. 5/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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