The Kissing Booth 2 Review: Joey King & Jacob Elordi's rom com is what To All The Boys 2 should have been

The Kissing Booth 2 is miles ahead of its predecessor as the storyline focused more on Elle's (Joey King) journey of self-introspection rather than choosing between Team Noah (Jacob Elordi) and Team Marco (Taylor Zakhar Perez). Read below for the full review.
Also starring Joel Courtney and Taylor Zakhar Perez, The Kissing Booth 2 released today, i.e. July 24, 2020.
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The Kissing Booth 2

The Kissing Booth 2 Cast: Joey King, Jacob Elordi, Joel Courtney, Taylor Zakhar Perez

The Kissing Booth 2 Director: Vince Marcello

The Kissing Booth 2 Stars: 3/5

Second-lead syndrome has become the more prominent go-to trope when it comes to teenage romantic comedies, with To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You being a recent example. In case you're wondering why I'm bringing the Lara Jean/Peter Kavinsky/John Ambrose love triangle to the equation, it's because The Kissing Booth 2 falls into the same category. Only this time, there are way too many people involved in this love infinite-trupal (Yup, I just invented a word!)

If you're expecting an Oscar-worthy script from the sequel of a clearly 'guilty pleasure' driven franchise, you've got another thing coming. I'll admit, the first part was a bit of a cringe-fest even for a rom-com sucker like me. Hence, I entered with zero expectations and have mercy, because the sequel actually made sense. This time, more attention was given to the storyline than bikinis and six-pack abs! Just to give you a quick recap, we see how Elle (Joey King) and Noah (Jacob Elordi) are holding up while in a long-distance relationship. As one would expect, jealousy plays a lead role as we get not one but two 'perfect' counterparts to juice things up between the imperfect couple.

While Noah finds a friend in the gorgeous Chloe (Maisie Richardson-Sellers), Elle is treated with a literal snacck going by the name of Marco (Taylor Zakhar Perez). Let's not forget Lee (Joel Courtney), who is having problems of his own with his GF Rachel (Meganne Young) because of his closeness with his childhood bestie. Rounding up the plot is the fact that Elle needs to choose between her lifelong dream of going to Berkeley with Lee or change her plans and choose Harvard instead to be with Noah. Because getting into either college is so damn easy... not!

Joey is back to her awkwardly delightful self after her scene-stealing performance in The Act and still manages to hold the ship from completely sinking into the typical romantic comedy cliche. She breathes new life into Elle in a more independent fashion than just being a girl with a ton of boy problems. On the other hand, it's really hard to hate Joel's best friend act and his equation with King is unblemished. Their sequences together are constant callbacks to the original, especially their competitive streak when it comes to The Dance Dance Mania. It was always about their friendship rather than the love story and the sequel respected that.

We know that Jacob has moved on from his 'Kissing Booth' teenage heartthrob phase, especially after the dramatically deep Euphoria. Surprisingly, the actor didn't half bake his performance in the sequel. Moreover, their real-life breakup tended to aide the conflicted chemistry between Elle and Noah and had you rooting for him. On the other hand, Taylor's God-like physique and delectable vocals failed to deliver as much as we would have liked from a second lead. Rather, it was Maisie who left a deeper impression. Molly Ringwald as Noah and Lee's mom will always be a welcome presence in any teenage film while Meganne shined with limited screentime.

ALSO READ: Joey King is hopeful that The Kissing Booth 3 will happen: Our fingers are crossed

A special mention to the soundtrack because Netflix romantic comedies never fail to increase the number of songs on our playlist. Like I said earlier about the callbacks, it was rather nostalgic to have the 'Kissing Booth' come towards the climax and having the high school storyline come full circle. A special shoutout to the cutest couple to come out of The Kissing Booth 2 and that's Ollie (Judd Krok) and Miles (Evan Hengst), who literally are to be blamed for the tears.

The Kissing Booth 2 has its faults no doubt and even is a 'classic romantic comedy' that we're used to seeing but still secretly adore. However, there's something innocently charming about Elle's journey, especially the conclusion she comes to. The journey of self-inspection was given more leverage rather than choosing between Team Noah or Team Marco. There was a clear indication of a possible The Kissing Booth 3 and quite frankly, bring it on!


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