Director: Vince Marcello
Screenplay: Vince Marcello
Starring: Molly Ringwald, Joey King, Jacob Elordi, Joel Courtney
Runtime: 104 Minutes
Coming mere weeks after the shockingly excellent Dude debuted on Netflix, romantic teen comedies hit another low point with The Kissing Booth. A highly predictable, dumbfoundingly plotted piece rubbish based on the teen novel of the same name by Beth Reekles’.
The title derives from the purportedly central conflict where high school student Elle (Joey King) is forced to confront her secret crush at a kissing booth, who just happens to be the hunky older brother of her best friend Lee (Joel Courtney). The entire sequence happens at the centre of the film and doesn’t come off as even passably dramatic. Stereotypes fill the backdrop, drama comes and goes, and Molly Ringwald showing up for what looks like a day of work on set adds nothing.
What’s worse than the banal screenplay general direction by Vince Marcello, all of which is uninspired and horribly cut like a made-for-TV movie, is the horrendous way in which the film constantly objectifies the otherwise talented young star, Joey King. So many scenes are contrived to strip her down to her underwear or get her wet, for no reason other than titillation in the name of some sort of empowerment, which is weird considering it's almost rather candid in its presentation of sex.
King and Courtney are at least trying but it’s just a wasted effort on an insufferable bore ridding on cliché and simple emotional notes.