Netflix just drew the curtains off of its latest rom-com Original, ‘The Kissing Booth 2’. After its prequel was a smash hit with the young adult audience, it is no wonder that there were a lot of expectations pinned on the movie. Since its release, ‘The Kissing Booth 2’ has been greeted with mixed feelings. Some feel that it rambles on for way too much, while others feel that there were certain inclusions that made the plot more interesting. So, how did it fare in comparison to ‘The Kissing Booth’? Let’s see.
In ‘The Kissing Booth’, we saw Elle (played by Joey King) as this happy-go-lucky girl who was having the time of her life with her best friend, Lee (played by Joel Courtney). She was the object of male desire, was controlled, though indirectly, by Noah’s actions, and was seldom seen standing up for herself. This changes in the second movie of the Kissing Booth franchise. In The Kissing Booth 2, Vince Marcello, the director, frees up the character to explore everything ranging from her dreams to her sexuality. She finds the strength and the courage to do things and make decisions that she feels is right without caring about what others will think. All these aspects join hands with King’s brilliant acting to endow Elle with a charm that was absent in the prequel.
Noah (played by Jacob Ellordi) was certainly one of the talking points in ‘The Kissing Booth’ and mostly for wrong reasons. He was this adamant hot-head getting into fights on little instigation, a control freak who used to drive away boys from Elle just because he had his eyes on the prize. The negativities that Noah brought into Kissing Booth outweighed the positivities by a fair margin. But, thankfully, ‘The Kissing Booth 2’ does not make the same mistake as its predecessor. In the latest film, Noah grows up and for the better.
He is shown grappling with his studies and his infant college life in Boston, away from the love of his life. The distance molds him into a caring boyfriend, a better brother, and even exposes the humane side of the handsome hunk. Speaking of hunk, I remember audiences swooned over Jacob Ellordi’s chiseled abs and beefed up biceps in Kissing Booth. Unfortunately, that is not the case in Kissing Booth 2. Though Noah remains a treat for the eyes, he has slimmed or has been slimmed, perhaps to portray the hardships of living away from home.
The Kissing Booth 2 introduces a couple of central characters into the premise of the movie, and that spices things up. One of the two characters is Chloe (played by Maisie Richardson-Seller), Noah’s super-hot college mate in Boston, and the other is Marco (played by Taylor Zakhar Perez), who with his guitar and his greek-god bod is the new ‘snack’ at Elle’s prep-school. The two play their part ingeniously and keep the audience guessing as to what is next. It is largely because of these two characters that the movie doesn’t seem boring despite running for a marathon 132-minutes.
In the first movie, the central characters Lee, Elle, and Noah, hogged too much of the limelight. In the sequel, it is more of a team game. Characters like Rachel (Lee’s girlfriend), Marco, and Chloe play an important part in shaping the actions and decisions of the central characters, and that is a welcome shift that adds a few dimensions to what otherwise would have qualified as a lackluster high-school drama.
Depth of the plot
Though the first movie garnered whopping figures as far as views are concerned, critics and the audience unanimously agreed that the moot points and premises of the movie were mostly childish and frivolous. Now, in the sequel, it seems that hand in hand with the characters, the plot has ‘grown-up’ too. We have all faced the dilemmas that they face at some points in our lives as the characters do, we have all gone through the same pain and felt the same ecstasy, and that makes us relate more to the characters and gives the plot a dose of maturity that is desperately needed.
The Kissing Booth: Retains its place of importance
Given the pivotal role the Kissing Booth played in the first movie of the franchise, I was wondering how it will be brought back into the scene. Initially, the way it was eventually brought back seemed more forced than anything else, like a boring ritual that no one wants to do but needs to be done. But, ultimately, the booth held its sacred place in the movie when Elle found herself on the crossroads standing on the counter of the booth, just like old times. She once again needed to choose. What was her choice? To find out, you have to set up a date with Joey King and Jacob Ellordi in ‘The Kissing Booth 2’. Before you do, check out a spoiler-free review of the film.
Both ‘The Kissing Booth’ and ‘The Kissing Booth 2’ come with their pluses and minuses. It is impossible to arrive at a conclusion as to which movie scored more in what aspects if we take into account the views of different sections of the audience. These were my views on the movies, and I am dying to know yours. So, light up the comment section with your views on the movies from the Kissing Booth franchise, and we can discuss that over some freshly-brewed coffee.