Face Off: The Kissing Booth

The Lance takes sides on yet another debate

Face Off: The Kissing Booth

The Kissing Booth, a new Netflix movie about a girl named Elle who falls in love with her best friend’s brother, has taken OT by storm. As the hype for this movie grows, it is clear that people think this is either the best movie EVER CREATED or THE WORST movie that has ever surfaced on this planet. Luckily, The Lance’s own Ava Klein and Olivia Franchesini have some pretty strong opinions of their own. (Spoilers abound in this article; if you haven’t watched yet, come back later!)

Ava: So it is obvious what will happen (this isn’t a very tight plot), but I’m excited to see how this will play out. I like cute, fun movies and this one seems right up my alley.

Olivia: From the beginning, it is clear that we’re in for a huge amount of disappointment. There are many problems with this movie but all of them stem from the fact that the script sounds like its written by a group chat of twelve-year-old girls.

Elle and Lee (the main characters) have been best friends since the day they were born. They established a set of rules revolving around their friendship, the most important being that Lee’s older brother, Noah, is off limits. Noah is a senior who just got into Harvard and is known for his fights at school. Though it is obvious he does it because he cares about Elle.

Olivia: Please explain to me how Noah could *spoiler* get into HARVARD with a record like that. This scene is more cringey than funny. The entire movie is just an hour and forty-five minutes of continuous cringe.

Ava: Elle seems like a strong character that I do enjoy. Although Noah seems to have serious anger-issues and most of the fights he gets into are not justified.

Honestly, Ava, this is a way better kissing booth.

Fast forward: Noah throws a party at his house and Elle becomes very drunk, so Noah ends up carrying her out. The kissing booth also comes together nicely.

Olivia: The kissing booth itself should only be credited for the fact that it raised money for charity. That’s it. Great job Lee and Elle, you actually accomplished something. Unlike Noah who just GOT into Harvard, but wasn’t sure if he “wanted to go”-still not over that.

Ava: Why didn’t Lee help her manage her alcohol intake at the party? Like why is your brother being a better best-friend than you are, Lee? But I still support Elle. I think she’s a great character and, to be honest, this wasn’t even her fault.

The relationship between Noah and Elle takes off the night of the school carnival and end up professing their love for each other.

Ava: I think this is cute. These are the scenes that make the movie worth watching, like when he kisses her at the kissing booth. They then establish their feelings for each other and I may or may not have cried a little bit while watching it.

Olivia: This is the opposite of cute. All of the “cute” moments in this movie are just every single cliché sewn together in an itchy, ugly, grandma sweater of a plot and then called “RoMAncE”. Its gross, highly uncomfortable, and afterward you feel as if your IQ just dropped below zero.  

These things are cute, Olivia. Do you hate them too?

For a while following their first kiss, Noah and Elle date in secret while hiding it from Lee. For the majority of the movie, they hide their relationship from Lee. They formulate elaborate ways to hook up in secret, including one at the top of the Hollywood sign. However, Lee is conveniently distracted by his new girlfriend, whose name is irrelevant. This is, of course, until Lee inevitably finds out.

Olivia: This plot is just painful. I could’ve written a better storyline in my sixth-grade creative writing class. How convenient that Lee just happens to meet some random, pretty girl at the carnival so he’ll be distracted for the rest of the movie. This entire script is just lazy- they didn’t even try to make it dynamic or realistic. Instead, they just took the easy route for every single conflict.

Ava:  They could have done better at hiding their relationship. I mean they were in LEE’S HOUSE where he could WALK IN at any time (which he did end up doing). But Elle’s excuses were funny. She would always have some reason as to why she was acting so strange. It isn’t terrible.  

After discovering Noah and Elle’s relationship, Lee decides to fight back against his brother for the first time in the movie. He knows that Noah is using Elle, but more than that, he knows that Noah is taking Elle away from him. She was something that was always Lee’s and never his. He then loses the fight and walks away crying, and Elle realizes she made a terrible mistake.

Ava:  Yikes.

Olivia: This was a terrible scene. And not because it was upsetting to see Noah “break down” and attack his brother. Having a character struggle to find or understand himself can be interesting; a good plot needs a conflict. But Noah’s character isn’t given a proper chance to do this, instead, he just wallows in cliches and we lose the opportunity to see any character development. Very disappointing. I would also like to point out that in the midst of this all Elle does is scream: “NOOOO”. Is she even capable of any action or movement in this movie?

At the end of the movie, Noah and Elle finally get together and Lee changes his mind about their relationship. Noah then goes off to college and Elle rides away on his motorcycle, finishing the movie with a more sad ending than a happy one.

Ava: As I said before, Lee is a bad friend. He should have helped Elle through this; she’s not even hiding that she’s in love with Noah. If he really wanted what was best for her and if he really cared, he wouldn’t have let her and his brother embarrass themselves in front of the whole school when he professed his love to her at prom. But, with the ending in mind, I did like watching Lee’s character development in the last 15 minutes.

Olivia: I understand that Lee is Elle’s best friend and, of course, she doesn’t want to hurt him. But I think, once again if we could shed some of the cliches, it would have been interesting to see her approach Lee with an apology in one hand and a justification of her own happiness in the other. Instead, we must wait to see Lee meander over to this realization himself when it’s convenient for the movie to end. I feel as if this movie was given at the very least three solid opportunities to develop the characters and create a dynamic plot. Instead, it opted for a story with the comprehension level of an “I Can Read” book.

Who knew one machine could represent so much character development?


Ava: It’s not the best movie, but I think it’s all about opinion. If someone likes romance movies then this is their movie to watch. However, if someone would rather die than watch a 2-hour movie where you practically know what the end is going to be, don’t click on it! 5/10, the movie has potential.

Olivia: The only reason this movie has gained a following is that the two actors who play Elle and Noah, Joey King and Jacob Elordi, respectively, are actually dating. And are they the cutest couple the world has ever seen? No, because that’s Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, but they ARE the second!  However, this doesn’t compensate for the Kissing Booth’s cliche-filled-plot, lack of character development, and dusty acting which equate to the trifecta of a horrible movie.

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