“The Kissing Booth” Sequel Grows Up With Its Audience

by Allison Lindsey
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After audiences raved about Netflix’s The Kissing Booth in 2018, it was a no-brainer for the streaming service to film a sequel. The first film epitomized the romantic comedy genre and was just plain fun to watch. It left us wondering if our favorite new couple, Elle Evans (Joey King) and Noah Flynn (Jacob Elordi) could last through a long-distance relationship after he left for California to go to Harvard. This beloved sequel (which fans are already totally obsessed with) gives us an answer to that question, while providing about a million more obstacles for young love to overcome.

I wasn’t sure how they were going to bring the kissing booth back in the second film, but the fan-favorite festival booth continues in its matchmaking ways. This movie will make you feel just as conflicted as its characters. Though Hollywood glamorizes the high school experience in many respects, this film tells an honest story about relationships and what happens when one or both parties don’t communicate effectively. Beware, spoilers for The Kissing Booth 2 are ahead!

Marcos Cruz/Netflix © 2019 Marcos Cruz

The Kissing Booth 2 Summary

The sequel to one of Netflix’s most successful original rom-com takes us right back to where the first film ended. Elle Evans arrives home after dropping her super cute new beau off at the airport. Noah is about to begin his freshman year at Harvard, all the way across the country from his new girlfriend. When distance, Facetime calls, new friends, and weirdly specific best friend rules start to get in the way, Elle goes to visit Noah in Boston. Let’s just say that the trip doesn’t go exactly how the couple plans, leaving Elle searching for a way into the prestigious ivy league.

Winning a dance competition might just be the perfect solution, until her best friend/dance partner, Lee, gets injured. The new kid in school,Marco, with whom Elle has undeniable chemistry, is the only one with the dance skills to save the day. How will this new friendship with Marco affect Elle’s feelings for Noah? How will Noah’s new friendships with intelligent and gorgeous Chloe affect their long-distance relationship? All I can say is, buckle up.

The real question is, who communicates the worst? Lee, Noah, or Elle? All we know is, Marco deserves the world.

Marcos Cruz/Netflix

Original Vs. Sequel

Growing Up Alongside Your Favorite Fictional Characters

Going off to college or starting one’s senior year is a time when things begin to shift for everyone. These fictional characters definitely have bigger decisions on their plate this time around. Navigating relationships during the transitions of the life always comes with some obstacles, a theme this film did not shy away from. Often, it’s the words we don’t say that cause more problems than the ones we do. College tuition, applications, acceptances (or rejections), jealousy, sexual orientation, and overall identity are real-life struggles of high school students and this film has them all on full display.

Marcos Cruz/Netflix

Genre/Rating

The Kissing Booth 2 is a romantic comedy through and through and we’re not mad about it. This film is driven by hilarious physical comedy, attractive couples and rom-com tropes we all know and love. It’s lighthearted in its nature, yet deep enough in its execution to make you feel something. The more complicated relationship struggles in this sequel actually had me questioning what I wanted for these characters on more than one occasion.

It’s a fun movie to watch, plain and simple. With a rating of TV-14 and a run time of 2 hours and 14 minutes, it’s perfect for a date night, girls’ night, or you, your favorite blanket, and a bag of popcorn night.

Photo Credit Marcos Cruz © NETFLIX

Critics’ Responses

Though the movie has only been out for a little over twelve hours, the dedicated critics of Rotten Tomatoes have already started leaving their respective critiques. A common thread among critical responses is praise for Joey King, an Emmy-nominated actress who has been stealing the show in her various projects for quite some time. Others on the site, have made comments about the length of the film- over two hours of content, of which some could’ve been done without. Finally, critical audiences of the film are split when it comes to preferring the sequel to the original film. The depth and increased maturity of this film makes it more enjoyable for some, and simply less fun for others.

Marcos Cruz/Netflix

Fan Responses to The Kissing Booth 2

The general consensus from fans thus far is a complicated love for this sequel. Though fans of the first film weren’t necessarily expecting another installment of Elle and Noah’s love story, they are pleasantly surprised. Many are saying they preferred this follow-up film to the second movie in the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy. A common response from viewers was a respect for Elordi’s and King’s level of professionalism. The pair became a couple IRL after shooting the first film, but broke up prior to filming the second. They continue to play a convincingly loving pair and fans are impressed.

Some frequent grievances among fans made their way to Twitter. As expected, fans fell hard for Marco– I mean, look at him! Not to mention, he was really sweet to Elle, while providing the banter that we require from this genre. Though Elle doesn’t choose him in the end, viewers definitely want to see Marco get his own happily ever after. Others are happy with an ending that still left fans wondering what was to come for each couple, but I guess that’s true to life. Finally, fans were distraught about watching Jacob Elordi’s heart literally break on screen. That was some good acting.

Marcos Cruz/Netflix © 2019 Marcos Cruz

We Love These Characters

From the start of the first film in 2018, all we want is for Elle to be happy. Of course, we want the same for Noah, Lee, and Rachel, but Elle is our leading lady and she deserves a happy ending. The hilarious antics of the two best friends is always something we want more of. Their fellow high school students weren’t the only ones noticing Lee’s glow-up. And let’s face it, since they’ve run out of episodes of Euphoria, fans are looking for all the Jacob Elordi content they can get.

The Kissing Booth’s Joey King

Joey King has been wowing audiences with her performances for years. As a young actress, she has range when it comes to characters and genres. Apart from his role in Euphoria, Elordi has a new film coming out later this year called 2 Hearts. Joel Courtney, who recently got engaged, has an impressive list of acting credits as well as more projects in the making.

Marcos Cruz/Netflix

My thoughts: I couldn’t decide what I wanted to happen

This film was complicated. I think part of that had to do with the sheer length of the film. At over 2 hours long, there was plenty of time for me to change my mind about a thousand times over. I’m not alone in wondering how I feel about the way things settled and who ended up with whom.

I do know that I love that all the girls turned out to be friends. Thank you for your effective communication! Jealousy in relationships is often inevitable, but pitting powerful women against each other is really not something we want from our media anymore. I was extremely pleased with the way The Kissing Booth 2 handled this aspect of relationship envy.

What’s with some of those rules?

I will say that this list of best friend rules has become more toxic than helpful. When the rule says to buy each other ice cream, that’s one thing, but it’s becoming a little problematic. This isn’t the first big fight the list causes. Throughout the film, a new rule is conveniently added to complicate things. The specificity and sporadic appearance of the rules cheapened the believability in some ways.


Photo Credit Marcos Cruz © NETFLIX

Could The Kissing Booth Be A Trilogy?

Throughout the film, your heart might flip flop back and forth about who you want for our girl Elle. I certainly wasn’t sure who I was rooting for on numerous occasions. The not knowing did keep the viewing experience interesting and honestly a little more stressful than I was anticipating. However, as any true rom-com should, this story wrapped itself up nicely. It leaves just enough room for your imagination to fill in the rest.


Photo Credit Marcos Cruz

The Kissing Booth sequel lived up to its name as a fun, romantically complicated, end-of-summer movie. If you love these characters, you’ll enjoy this film. Do you want all the Jacob Elordi content you can get, plus more gorgeous characters this time around? You’ll enjoy this film. If you like to watch people make absolute fools of themselves in the name of love (the best kind of rom-com), you’ll enjoy this film. The Kissing Booth 2 premiered on Netflix’s streaming service on July 24th! Go check it out!

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