I’ve been reviewing a handful of Netflix movies, and they’ve been pretty good. Dude starring Lucy Hale was unexpectedly heartwarming and relatable for anyone who has ever held onto the past. Alex Strangelove and Set It Up also surpassed my expectations. Out of all these movies, The Kissing Booth got the most social media hype. While it definitely has its charm here and there, I was slightly disappointed.
The movie is about two best friends Shelly and Lee who run a kissing booth as a fundraiser, and drama ensues when Shelly kisses Lee’s older brother, Noah. From there, it’s rather predictable, but let’s jump into my thoughts of the movie.
Let’s start with what I did like. The three leads were all pretty good and had great chemistry. It’s weird to talk about friend chemistry, but I felt that with Joey King and Joel Courtney who both really captured their goofy friendship that never veers off brother/sister territory. That was one of my favorite pairs to watch onscreen. Jacob Elordi made a mark in every scene he was in too, and it’s clear why King’s character pines after him. The plot is pretty good too, and the kissing booth functions as a set up for the rest of the movie. It’s a classic rom com plot line and I’m actually pretty content with the ending too, although I’m sure some won’t be happy with it.
My main problem is that the movie is just so cheesy. It felt like something I’ve seen on Nickelodeon even thought the content is more mature. I wonder if maybe I’m just getting old, but then I look back at how much more authentic the dialogue is in Dude and Alex Strangelove, and I can’t help but compare since all these characters are in high school. I mean some of Noah’s lines are so corny, and some of the moments are just silly including a paint/ locker room scene.
That being said, I do think this movie will set up the three leads for bigger roles in the future, and deservedly so. I really like the cast, and the movie gets a major boost from their charisma.
However, it lacks a descent script and to me, the message sort of gets lost in all the melodrama. I know a ton of people adore this movie, but that’s just my opinion about it. Sound off in the comments and let me know if you agree or disagree with my take!
“Set It Up” is a modern romantic comedy starring Glenn Powell and Zoey Deutch who both work for demanding bosses and decide to set them up to alleviate their hectic schedules. When I say modern, I really see it being one of the best romantic comedies in a long long time. And it really surprised me.
When I see Zoey Deutch, I think of Maya who played Zack’s girlfriend in the Suite Life on Deck. She was a badass relatable character then, and she really shines as the quirky but awesome Harper. From seeing her delight over free food and pizza to seeing her kill a game of beer pong with Pete Davidson, she became a great female character to root for. Glenn Powell plays Charlie the 28 year old assistant who thinks he wants to live a life similar to his boss Rick. He has the classic romantic comedy arc, where he messes up, but somehow through grand gestures, fixes everything.
Despite having the predictable format of a class rom com, this film largely benefits from a likeable cast. But it also has characters that have great dialogue that sort of poke fun at the stereotypical romantic comedy lines. One of my favorite scenes took place in a ring shop, where Harper leaves dramatically only for the alarms to go off and the store clerk making an awkwardly funny scene even more funny. Additionally, the “will they or won’t they” gag isn’t completely played out. You know it’s coming, but the journey to get there isn’t frustrating through unnecessary miscommunication. It’s through their own insecurities, which both characters eventually face.
The supporting characters are great as well. Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu play hilarious bosses as they change their mind and make rash decisions as a typical no nonsense boss should. Pete Davidson makes an endearing performance as Charlie’s roommate and the actress who plays Harper’s was really awesome too as she delivered a sentiment about loving someone despite their differences. The ending is super cute and it might be predictable, but it works in its simplicity.
All in all, this movie is truly a New York City romance. It’s actually funny too. The jokes made me laugh every now and then, and I think we’ve been missing the string of classic romantic comedies. Go watch “Set It Up” on Netflix because it’s a gem of a movie, and it’s a feel good one at that.