Thursday, March 26, 2020

I watched this: The Kissing Booth

With some us maybe spending a little more time than usual streaming shows/movies I'm here to help you decide what to watch by providing some completely unsolicited commentary on Netflix originals. Just doing my part.

There's so many options, so I did spend 30-45 seconds deciding which to start with. While I love both "To All the Boys" movies, I feel like starting with either of those is a little too predictable.

Instead, we're getting this party started with "The Kissing Booth," which coincidentally enough is another movie that I *begged* people to watch, but not for the same reasons as the "To All the Boys" movies. Rather, I'm trying to gather witnesses of this atrocity. And I say that as the Mayor of Enjoys-Bad-Movies Town! It is, hands down, the worst movie I've seen in the last decade. So let's dive in!

The basics
Duration: This movie is 1 hour and 45 minutes of nonstop crap. There is no break. But on the flipside, by watching all of it, you get to join me in this wondrous land of regret, which is terrible but there's cookies in the back.

Netflix's plot summary: "When teenager Elle's first kiss leads to a forbidden romance with the hottest boy in high school, she risks her relationship with her best friend." I love how this summary begins like a Shakespearean tragedy by using "forbidden" but then quickly detours to crap town with  "hottest boy in school."

My complete plot summary: With visuals!
Elle and Lee grew up together. Lee's older brother Flynn has always seen Elle has a younger sister until her boobs come in. He then realizes he's in love with her.  Elle and Flynn's relationship progresses from nothing to Noah and Allie in "The Notebook" in 5 minutes. Drama ensues because Lee gets to decide who Elle dates and his brother is forbidden fruit. Elle is like "Guess what I'm Eve and I'm bout to eat this forbidden fruit." Ultimately, things end happily for everyone except for me who looks like a clown for watching this entire movie.

Things I hated
1) Well, the entire thing
From start to finish. But I guess I can outline the worst parts....

2) The idea that puberty only equals boobs
Off the bat, they're really emphasizing that Elle has "matured" between the summer of her sophomore and junior year, which the producers think mostly includes getting boobs. Or well sorry, they also want to point out it affects your butt and thighs as is referenced when Elle rips her one and only pair of pants available. This leaves her with a skirt from Baby Gap as her only option. HER ONLY OPTION. SOMEHOW ALL OF HER BOTTOMS ARE AT THE DRY CLEANERS?? Can someone please let me know if this is something rich white people do? Send all of their bottoms to the dry cleaners at once? It just seems very inefficient.
Throughout this movie, scenes look like they are shot from the lens of a teenage boy finding a peep hole in the girl's bathroom.

Exhibit A (above): When she shows up to school, we get this artistically shot (lololol) slo-mo of everyone staring and pointing at her "new body" as if she is some sort of Transformer emerging from a transformation never before seen on Earth.   

This is the point when I tell you this movie's screenplay was written by a 48-year-old white man. Ah yes, no one understands how a woman matures quite like a middle aged man, making this is all very non-creepy.

3) Literally all of the dialogue
Some examples for your consideration:
  • "I don't start fights, I only finish them."
  • "If he can't see how completely baller you are, he's not the right guy for you."
  • "No boobs are worth a broken nose."
You just can't teach natural writing abilities like this. Where is the Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.

4) The popular girls trope
In this movie, they're creatively called the "OMG Girls," after their names Olivia, Mia and Gwyneth. There is absolutely no way the girl in the middle is not 35. I don't even mean that as an insult, I just mean it as fact.

In a depiction that is more overdone than my baked chicken (I literally have no idea how long to cook it except for "to death"), the "popular girls" are rude, ditzy cheerleaders who eat like birds and are only interested in football players.  This combo of prerequisites for popularity has always confused me, because when has it been "cool" to be.....mean AND stupid? Like you can only be one, max.

The whole thing with them only eating bananas and drinking water is problematic for a long list of reasons, but I'll just address the pure inaccuracy of it. I can't speak for every girl, but when I was a teenager (just a few reboots of Spider Man ago), there was never a point in the day I was not hungry. My mom made me eat breakfast in the morning, then I'd literally have two lunches during the day, one of those giant Otis Spunkmeyer muffins before soccer practice, maybe a Taco Bell quesadilla on the way home after practice, then 18 servings of whatever my mom made for dinner. My point here is: Presenting some world where girls don't also need to eat a shit ton like boys do while they're growing is so tired and uninformed.

5) Elle running in cleats on the street
Aside from the fact that everyone over the age of fetus knows you shouldn't wear cleats off the field, walking around in them on a hard surface is sort of uncomfortable? Yet "soccer star" Elle decides to run 5 miles home in them?????? PLOT HOLE.

6) This appearance by Satan
So while the middle aged dude who wrote this script is oversexualizing the girls, he's also presenting all of the boys as predatory creeps. This scene had literally no point except to elicit a violent response from the hot violent football player from Euphoria. Well that, and to ensure this man's facial expression haunts our dreams forever.

7) Putting this girl into every scene of the movie to remind us that it's about teenagers because we've def forgotten since half of the cast looks like a bunch of 30-year-old narcs masquerading as teens:
I'm pretty sure they stopped making mouth gear like this in 2005, like you can't even ask for it. But this Oscar-winning writer's room probably thought "Oh yes, mouth gear, that is what the youths will relate to."

8) The lack of budget for brushes on set????
They somehow got through an entire movie without brushing the main girl's hair once???? Baffling.

Things I liked
This cameo by an In-n-Out double double burger:
That's it. Absolutely nothing else.

So should you watch this?
Okay here's the confusing part — yes, I want you to watch because misery really does love company. While this movie is shittier than the port-a-potties at a rainy music festival, it also presents a great opportunity to unite us with an activity that has united people for centuries — talking crap about something crappy.

And that's it! Will likely cover a TV show that rhymes with Dove Flyland next week. Til then, find me searching for Zac Efron's house on Google Earth and also on Twitter (@cocoakristis) and Instagram (@kristimac9).

No comments:

Post a Comment