The Kissing Booth 2 Gets Mixed Reviews as It Debuts on Netflix: 'Very Predictable But Still Fun'
The Kissing Booth 2 is currently streaming on Netflix
The follow-up to the popular 2018 original finds actress Joey King reuniting with her original costars Joel Courtney and Jacob Elordi and is based on the novel The Kissing Booth 2: Going the Distance by Beth Reekles, who also penned the first novel the first film is based on.
The movie follows Elle (King) juggling her long-distance romance with Noah (Elordi), changing relationship with best friend Lee (Courtney) and her feelings for a new classmate, all as college decisions continue to loom.
Adam Graham of the Detroit News gave the film a B+ and playfully wrote, "Go ahead, give it a smooch," while Robyn Bahr of the Hollywood Reporter said that the film was "Frothy and puttering, but its attention to female sexuality distinguishes it."
Mama's Geeky writer Tessa Smith wrote that the movie "is very predictable but still fun," and added that it is "better than the first and with a bit more depth, but they could have easily cut 30-45 minutes out."
Meanwhile, IndieWire's Kate Erbland said that while the film "offers some necessary growth for all of its characters," she added that "The Kissing Booth 2 can never resist looking and acting like dozens of other offerings of its genre ilk, unable to grow beyond basic complications and done-to-death dramas."
Associated Press film writer Lindsay Bahr panned the movie but did praise King as "the one saving grace" of the film and as a "genuinely delightful young actor who manages to hold your attention and empathy even if her underwritten character barely deserves it."
In the original film, Courtney and King played life-long best friends who are tested by Elle’s secret relationship with Lee’s older brother Noah — even though it’s against the rules of their friendship. But after Noah and Elle inadvertently kiss at a kissing booth Elle set up for the school, the two are forced to reckon with their feelings while trying not to hurt Lee.
The sweet teen comedy left off with Noah and Elle confessing their feelings for each other before Noah moves away to go to college at Harvard, with their relationship ambiguous.
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The trailer for the sequel sets up the drama that unfolds as Noah and Elle attempt a long-distance romance. With Noah studying at Harvard, Elle is busy completing her senior year at high school where she meets a handsome and charismatic new classmate named Marco (Taylor Zakhar Perez). As the preview teases, Elle isn't the only one tempted by an attractive stranger, with Noah seen growing close to a fellow college student, played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers.
The Kissing Booth 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.