Title card for The Kissing Booth.

On one hand, The Kissing Booth can be seen as a conversation on a young woman’s autonomy. On the other, it is a simple, sweet, and kind of cheesy romantic comedy.

Director(s) Vince Marcello
Screenplay By Vince Marcello
Date Released 5/11/2018
Genre(s) Comedy, Young Adult
Noted Actors
Elle Joey King
Lee Joel Courtney
Noah Jacob Elordi


It’s junior year and Elle and Lee are still best friends, basically since birth. Something that can be contributed to a list of rules they came up with when they were 6 that, almost 11+ years later, they still abide by. However, as Elle pushes herself closer and closer to breaking one of Lee’s major rules, being not falling for his playboy brother Noah, so comes the question of what would happen to their friendship if the rule gets broken?

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Did Noah really make Lee’s childhood so terrible that he believed Noah would be capable of hitting Elle?


It’s Cute

Elle having a peaceful moment at prom.
Elle – Joey King “It was at this exact moment that I finally felt okay.”

It’s so weird to kind of have watched Joey King go from Selena Gomez’s little sister in Ramona & Beezus to playing a 17-year-old who is sexualized, making out with boys, and having simulated sex. Yet, despite the awkwardness of that, you have to admit her relationship with Noah is kind of cute. Not in a, I’m putting them on a pedestal as the goals for my future relationship, kind of cute, but cute enough for you to get through the movie.

You Could Find Deeper Meaning If You Wanted To

Though I don’t have it in me to dig deep into themes which may or may not have been considered in the making of the film, you do have to take note Elle’s autonomy is a strong part of this. Be it Noah not scaring off guys because he has made his claim, Lee guilting her into not being with his brother, or Elle having the right to be in a bra or swimsuit without being harassed. It may not be heavy-handed, or worth a full-blown article, but you have to appreciate the commentary provided on society seeing a girl’s innocence and time as something to be monitored and controlled in a way.

On The Fence

Lee’s Issues with Noah

Lee accusing Noah of hitting Elle.
Lee – Joel Courtney | Noah: “You really think I’d hit her?” | Lee: “I wouldn’t put it past you.”

There are certain elements of this movie which go beyond the corniness of the romance between Elle and Noah. Of which include Elle slightly dealing with her mom’s death and Lee and Noah’s issues. Something which can be contributed to Lee’s jealousy of Noah, but considering it is so deep he’d think Noah would hurt Elle just to mess with him that took things to a new level. However, and maybe this is my memory failing me, I didn’t find myself understanding how Lee could think that.

Granted, for a good portion of Noah’s scenes, he is probably fighting someone. He even admits going to counseling for his anger issues. However, fighting dudes, seemingly mostly to defend Lee and Elle, to thinking he would hit Elle are two different things. So it makes you wonder not just why the way Noah is wired makes him so fight-prone but what’s with Lee and his need to have Elle to himself?

I mean, it is said he wanted one thing to himself that wasn’t Noah’s but, it isn’t even like he saw Elle as a potential girlfriend. So, what gives?

Overall: Mixed (Divisive)

The movie is certainly likable and by no means terrible. Yet, at the same time, there isn’t anything strong enough in terms of writing or performances to say you must see this movie. It’s just something to watch if you have an abundance of spare time and nothing better to do. Hence the mixed label.

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  1. I love this movie, it is hard to understand but it is cute and makes you melt a little. I would watch this movie on repeat!!! I absolutely love it

  2. Well, as Krissnamartin said, you have to factor in that Noah got everything he wanted in terms of time, attention, girls, and this sense of being cool. Plus, he was dating someone and seemed pretty happy about it. Also, let’s not forget, in a way, Elle was his twin. Born the same day, raised together, shared similar interest, and whose families are deeply intertwined. In my mind, the truth coming out and him not knowing didn’t hurt because he liked her romantically but because he was lied to by the one person who he thought shared everything with him as he did them.

    Like, in a way, you can see his relationship with Elle as something to compensate for the lack of a relationship he had with Noah.

  3. Don’t you think that Lee loves her as well? When the truth came out, his reaction was pretty strong, more than just a best friend…

  4. “I mean, it is said he wanted one thing to himself that wasn’t Noah’s but, it isn’t even like he saw Elle as a potential girlfriend. So, what gives?“

    I understood this though. If your sibling can have anything and anyone he wants then you would want your friend all to yourself. There would be competition between you and your sibling in the sense that your friend would have to choose who she wants to hang out with more. With the knowledge that Noah gets what he wants, guess who she chooses.

  5. I thought it had something to say about the responsibility of boys towards the girls in their family circle. Elle’s right to autonomy notwithstanding, much as we would like it to not be reality rape culture exists, especially when alcohol and crowds of teen boys gather. I’m not sure that Noah’s protective attitude towards Elle, whom he admits he sees as a little sister type at least at first, and has an awareness that his mother would expect him to look out for her, is wrong. This could be seen as exposing the tension between a young, inexperienced girl wanting her freedom to experiment and a young, experienced boy knowing what that could entail. I think the real dilemma here is for Noah.

  6. I took it as, because Noah is in college, across the country, it might just be they were each other’s first love but not who they were meant to be with – in a soul mate way. Plus, in a way, being with Noah was as much about breaking all the rules and just living as it was Elle having many firsts with him.

  7. Probably my new favorite romcom movie for teens, however my question is, is Noah and Elle still dating. If yes, why was it so open ended.

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