The Kissing Booth 3 Review: From Annoyingly Upbeat To Weirdly Relatable

At least, it’s better than the first two films in the series

To be honest, we have never been big fans of Netflix’s The Kissing Booth films. More than the script, it is the cast and their charming performances that makes the trilogy a hit (yes, we think The Kissing Booth 3 is definitely a success, but it’s not exactly well-deserved- more on this later). It is watching Joey King, Joel Courtney, and Jacob Elordi that is the most fun as the script remains as cliched as ever, apart from a few occasional segments where it is surprisingly relatable. We know, we just expressed very mixed emotions here but bear with us. 

The Kissing Booth 3 starts off in its usual fashion- by being annoyingly happy and upbeat. No problems exist in the world of Lee, Rachel, Noah, and Elle, they are four youngsters who are madly in love with their partners and are not afraid to flaunt it. While Noah is already in Harvard (being Elle’s senior), Elle, Lee, and Rachel are all set to start college. As Lee is going to the University of Berkeley, Elle applied to both Berkeley and Harvard. And got accepted to both. Now, it’s a matter of breaking the heart of either her boyfriend or her best friend since childhood. 

But for the initial hour of The Kissing Booth 3, this problem is put on the back burner and instead, the four characters dip their toes, no scratch that, dunk themselves into an overly sweet and impossibly elated period of their lives. We get being happy, being so in love that the problems in our life become inconsequential. But what we get in the film can only be explained by what Friends’ Phoebe Buffay once said to one of her overly happy and sickeningly optimistic boyfriends- that he is like “Santa Clause, on Prozac, at Disneyland, getting laid!” Seriously, there is no other way to explain how the four characters are portrayed in the first half of the film. 

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And then, predictably, all hell breaks loose. It’s not hard to guess what happens next, but let’s just say that from riding on a bloody rainbow, the characters soon jump to losing control and being depressed as they tackle difficult decisions, long-distance relationships, past flames, and the inevitable compulsion to grow the f*** up. But while the transition is pretty sudden, it is this part of The Kissing Booth 3 that every young 20-something will find relatable. With school over, the four characters are pushed to face the fact that they can’t ditch the task of making hard decisions on their parents anymore. We agree, that there are parts we have already seen in other YA romance movies, in fact, the list also includes To All The Boys I Have Loved Films as well. But again, the cast coupled with a portion of a script that finally resonates with its target audience works out in the film’s favor. 

Though the ending of the film serves as a reminder that a) the series started off on a rather misogynistic note and b) that the story is often too fairytale-ish to be digested, compared to the first two films, we have to agree that The Kissing Booth 3 is definitely better,  The only thing we would want director-writer Vince Marcello and writer Jay Arnold to perfect the next time they make a film together is to balance the happy and sad by not creating such an overabundance of one in the absence of another that it seems too far-fetched to gulp down. 

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