Released: 27th August
Seen: 5th September
Sometimes I genuinely worry for Netflix, I really do. In their desperate need to fill up their library with films that can’t be taken away by competing studios who want to start their own awful streaming service (Tangent: The Paramount Plus streaming service is crap and they should delete it now before they hurt themselves) they just greenlight everything that’s remotely in their price range. Sure this led to the recent trilogy of Fear Street films that were absolutely amazing, but it also led to the series The Kissing Booth which culminates in The Kissing Booth 3, a film which makes me hate the concept of kissing, booths and the word “The”.
The Kissing Booth 3 returns us to the boringly conflict-free life of Ellie (Joey King) and her totes hard decision about if she’s going to go to Berkeley or Harvard because one of them has the man she’s dating, Noah (Jacob Elordi) and one of them has her childhood friend Lee (Joel Courtney).
Because this is such a hard decision it naturally causes her to split her time between her partner and her friend which causes both men to act like jealous assholes in moments The Kissing Booth 3 assumes we will find interesting. Of course, this comes to a head when Ellie must actually make a goddamn decision like an actual adult and possibly slightly annoy one of the two people who claim to care about her.
Fuck I hate this movie.
You thought The Kissing Booth 2 was straining desperately for conflict, this one’s bending over backwards in order to try and find anything that might cause a rift between them. Fortunately for The Kissing Booth 3, the entire franchise revolves around a series of characters who have never had any serious issues in their entire lives and don’t know how to have basic human conversations so it’s really easy to piss them all off. Seriously, these are the exact people who grow up to claim wearing a facemask is a form of oppression, and I hate them.
The central conflict of The Kissing Booth 3 (and we’re calling it a conflict because I can’t bring myself to write “Pathetic bullshit childish arguments” about 40 times) is that the list of rules that Ellie and Lee wrote when they were children state that the two of them have to do everything together and Lee refuses to grow the fuck up and accept that he’s a goddamn adult and should stop acting the same way he did when he was 5. That’s it, that’s the conflict and maybe I’ve turned into an old man but if your central conflict makes me go “Oh grow the hell up you goddamn toddlers”, you have a problem.
Also doesn’t really help that Ellie is still, shocker of all shocks, a nothing character who can’t make a single decision no matter how trivial. Well, unless that decision is “Would I like to screw up the relationships of every person I know”, that she can do with ease. See, one of the many subplots that The Kissing Booth 3 has (Carrying on from The Kissing Booth 2’s legacy of never-ending bullshit subplots) is that Ellie’s dad is finally dating someone else but Ellie doesn’t like her because of reasons that no one else gives a damn about so she keeps trying to ruin that relationship… this character is literally about to head to college, GROW THE FUCK UP!
Speaking of grow the fuck up, Noah’s entire character for The Kissing Booth 3 seems to be “We could get Jacob Elordi for about two weeks when he’s not filming the actually good show Euphoria so let’s just have him exist and that’ll do”. I swear he has nothing to do, which makes him the least hateable member of this incredibly hateful cast of characters.
Note that I hate the CHARACTERS, the actors seem like great people and if the blooper reel at the end of The Kissing Booth 3 is any indication they had a great time on set, no hate to them… they just all got tasked to play complete wastes of oxygen.
Nothing about The Kissing Booth 3 means anything, it’s seriously all just fluff. Not even good fluff or interesting fluff, this is fluff pulled out of the filthiest ass crack you’ve ever seen in your life and sprayed with air freshener in an attempt to disguise it. There’s a lot of moments where The Kissing Booth 3 tries to trick you into believing there’s something worthwhile going on thanks to heavy stylism and in a good film these might be cute fun moments… but this isn’t a good film, in this film those moments of stylism just make me feel bad for the poor souls who worked on it knowing they were going to put their name to garbage but they still gave it their all because damnit, their part of this garbage was going to look great.
Every minute of The Kissing Booth 3 felt like a chore. Filled with characters who have nothing of value to offer, no chemistry, nothing even mildly funny to say and are basically just there to remind me to buy hemorrhoid cream (because they’re all pains in the ass… at this point I’ve forgotten how jokes work, it’s been so long since I heard one).
When The Kissing Booth 3 isn’t dull it’s actively annoying and when it’s not actively annoying it’s because I’ve paused the film and played a bit of Stardew Valley in desperate hopes that I can calm myself down enough to finish the damn film. Thank the lord that this is the last movie of this franchise… though saying that, they’ve stretched this franchise far enough that I won’t be shocked if in two years we get a film that’s just these three chuckleheads doing their taxes and it will probably be the funniest film of the lot, it’s not like it’d be hard to be funnier than the awful thing I just sat through.