These questions and more are ceremoniously wrapped up in the last entry in its namesake saga, “The Kissing Booth 3.” To Marcello and and co-author Jay S. Arnold’s credit, there are a handful of surprises that defy some of the more anticipated youthful rom-com tropes. But the rest are many of the same teenage romantic troubles we’ve seen before. If “The Kissing Booth 2” was crowded with high school drama, when its sequel to get the most out of old thrills during the summer holidays. Noah is once again threatened by Marco, and Lee behaves like a child again because his best friend, who also keeps a job and takes care of his young brother, is not paying enough attention to him. It’s so boring that when Elle finally stands up for herself, it’s a far too short exposure from the boys’ antics.
More tiring are some of the shenanigans that these Gen Z kids get into. The annoying list of friendship rules is back with an add-on: a list of random summer activities that are essentially prepared by Elle to make Lee happy. For reasons I can not explain, this includes a contest on who can drink the most frozen drinks the fastest and survive the ensuing brain freeze, a helium-induced karaoke number that somehow brings the house down and orchestrates a choreographed flash mob , which feels like an explosion from the last decade — which could be said of many of the film’s needle drops. The only set piece that manages to be more creative than exhausting is a go-kart race based on the video game “Mario Kart”, but only if you’re okay with the fact that the kids, as they do in the game, throw objects to get their competitors to go down. Gentlemen, it was right there to learn a TikTok dance.
King, who usually does his best to sell Elle’s growing pains of young love, looks a little more checked this time. She has left the wide-eyed optimism in the previous chapters to an Elle who seems so tired of it all, she can do no more than cry or snatch at the new woman dating her father. Elordi’s cool hot girlfriend shtick also seems tired in the same way. His character’s macho attitude is less about connecting with Elle than being too insecure with her. Courtney seems to be the only one who is fully committed to his character, which unfortunately did not seem to have matured much from when he first protested his best friend dating his brother. Even the perennial stage saver Molly Ringwald, as the boys’ mother, Mrs. Flynn, is not present in most of the film to smooth over ruffled feathers and bruised egos.
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