The Kissing Booth

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The Kissing Booth
The Kissing Booth.png
Film release poster
Directed byVince Marcello
Produced by
  • Ed Glauser
  • Andrew Cole-Bulgin
  • Vince Marcello
  • Michele Weisler
Screenplay byVince Marcello
Based onThe Kissing Booth
by Beth Reekles
Music byPatrick Kirst
Edited byPaul Millspaugh
Komixx Entertainment
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • May 11, 2018 (2018-05-11)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Kissing Booth is a 2018 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Vince Marcello, based on the novel of the same name by Beth Reekles. It stars Joey King, Jacob Elordi, Joel Courtney and Molly Ringwald. The film follows Los Angeles teenager Elle (King), whose budding romance with high school senior and bad boy Noah (Elordi) puts her lifelong friendship with Noah's younger brother Lee (Courtney) in jeopardy.

The Kissing Booth was released on Netflix on May 11, 2018. Despite receiving largely negative reviews from critics, who deemed its storyline and themes to be clichéd and misogynistic, the film was dubbed a commercial success by Netflix due to being widely consumed by viewers.


Born on the same day and time in the same hospital in Los Angeles, Elle Evans and Lee Flynn have been best friends all their lives. To maintain their friendship, the pair create a set of rules; the most prominent of these forbids them from dating each other's relatives, specifically Lee's older brother Noah.

On the first day of school due to unforeseen circumstances, Elle is forced to go to school wearing a skirt that is too small. Another student touches her butt which almost gets Lee into a fight but Noah instead jumps into the fight. Elle violates the dress code so she has to serve detention. Tuppen, the student who touched Elle inappropriately, later apologizes. Lee and Elle chat and he approves of her going on a date with Tuppen, however, Elle is stood up. He goes to see her later that night to let her know that he was threatened by Noah not to go out with her. And finds out that, Noah has told other guys besides Tuppen not to date Elle.

Elle and Lee decide to create a kissing booth for the school carnival. The two have difficulty finding people to participate but get a group of popular girls called the OMGs to participate by lying to them about Noah's participation.

Angered about Elle's lie, the other girls set up Elle to kiss a nerdy kid. However, Noah interferes causing him to kiss Elle. After cleaning up, Elle sees Noah flirting with another girl. While on her way it starts to rain and Noah offers her a ride on his motorcycle. The rain gets heavier and they take shelter in a nearby glass 'bandstand’ in a park. Elle kisses Noah again and he pulls away. Elle tells him she can't be another one of his conquests. He’s hurt by her response but tells Elle why he likes her. They kiss again but are interrupted by a security guard who recognizes Noah and tells him to stop bringing girls there. Elle gets upset and leaves.

The next day at a school party Elle undresses to make Noah jealous. Elle is harassed by Warren but Noah trucks him. This causes Elle to storm off but Noah instead drives her to the Hollywood Sign. They admit to liking each other and decide to come up with rules for their relationship, one being that Lee never finds out. The two share a kiss and then they have sex.

Elle and Noah start to see each other secretly. While in Noah's room, his mom almost walks in on them and Elle has to hide. She overhears her say that he had been accepted to an Ivy League school. Soon after he reveals to her that he is going to Harvard. An altercation leads to Lee asking Elle about her and Noah but she denies any involvement with him. She ends up feeling guilty about lying to Lee and goes back to Noah and they agree to come clean. As they kiss, Lee walks in on them. Elle tries to talk to Lee but the brothers get into a fight and Elle asks Noah to leave her alone.

Lee starts giving Elle the silent treatment and Noah goes missing. While at the arcade one day Lee invites Elle over to play a game and they make up. Before prom, Noah finally returns but to talk to Elle's dad who says he does not approve but it is her decision.

Elle goes to prom with Lee and his girlfriend Rachel and has a good time until a replica of their kissing booth is revealed. Noah comes out from behind the curtains to tell Elle that he loves her. Elle explains she cannot keep seeing him due to hurting those she loves and runs away.

The next day at their costume themed birthday party, Elle begins missing Noah and decides to leave. Lee stops her and Elle tells him that if he cannot accept her and Noah, he should not be a part of her life. Lee accepts them and agrees to help Elle find Noah. She starts sharing her true feelings for Noah to Lee and then it is revealed that all this time in the car it was Noah in Lee's costume. Elle is surprised to see Noah and admits to him that she loves him.

During the next few weeks, Elle and Noah spend every day together before he has to leave for college. After watching him leave, she drives off on Noah's motorcycle saying that she does not know if they will be together forever but a part of her heart will always belong to him.



In June 2014, Vince Marcello was hired to write the film adaptation of teenage author Beth Reekles' young adult novel The Kissing Booth, which was originally published on Wattpad.[1] In November 2016, it was announced that Netflix had purchased rights to the film, with Marcello now set to helm his screenplay.[2] In January 2017, Joey King and Molly Ringwald signed on to star in the film.[3]

The filming took place in Los Angeles, California, and in Cape Town, South Africa, with scenes shot at the University of Cape Town (UCT) between January and April 2017.[3]


The film was released on May 11, 2018 on Netflix.[4] According to Netflix, one in three viewers of the film have re-watched it, "which is 30 percent higher than the average movie re-watch rate on the [streaming service]."[5] Deeming the film a huge success for the service, CCO Ted Sarandos called the film "one of the most-watched movies in the country, and maybe in the world."[6]


The Kissing Booth was panned by critics.[7] On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 18% based on 11 reviews, an average rating of 4.12/10, and a critic's consensus which reads "The Kissing Booth deploys every rom-com cliché in the book with little care given to achieving any real sentiment".[8]

IndieWire's Kate Erbland gave the film a "D" grade, adding that "Unfortunately, the high school-set rom-com is a sexist and regressive look at relationships that highlights the worst impulses of the genre."[9] Ani Bundel of NBCNews criticized the film's "problematic stereotyping of masculinity and relationships" and lack of original ideas. "It feels like it was written by someone who simply digested everything she was told 'romance' was supposed to be by the patriarchy, and vomited back at us. Nearly every cliché in the film feels cribbed from another movie, like a song made completely of samples from better-known hits."[7]

Despite being deemed "sexist"[9][10] and "objectively bad"[11][12] by several critics, The Kissing Booth was widely consumed among audiences. Netflix's Ted Sarandos, CCO affirmed the film's success as a "hugely popular original movie" for the streaming service.[11] Factors that have been cited as reasons for The Kissing Booth's success among audiences include the original novel's popularity on Wattpad, the relative lack of romantic comedies on the platform, and the publicization of actors King and Elordi's off-screen relationship during the film's production.[11]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref(s)
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 23 March 2019 Favorite Movie The Kissing Booth Nominated [13]
Favorite Actress Joey King Won


On February 14, 2019, a sequel was announced, titled The Kissing Booth 2.[14]


  1. ^ Kemp, Stuart (June 10, 2014). "'Zombie Prom' Scribe Hired To Pen Teenage Publishing Sensation Beth Reekles' 'The Kissing Booth'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  2. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (November 30, 2016). "Netflix Orders 'The Kissing Booth'; YA Adaptation To Be Produced By Komixx". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  3. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (January 30, 2017). "Joey King & Molly Ringwald To Pucker Up In 'The Kissing Booth'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  4. ^ Hemmert, Kylie (May 1, 2018). "The Kissing Booth Official Trailer Released". Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  5. ^ Galuppo, Mia (June 20, 2018). "'Set It Up' and the Rise of the Non-Studio Rom-Com". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  6. ^ Adalian, Josef (June 10, 2018). "Netflix Binge Factory". Vulture. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Bundel, Ani (July 3, 2018). "Netflix's 'The Kissing Booth' is a runaway teen phenomenon that critics hate and adults have never heard of". NBCNews. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  8. ^ "The Kissing Booth (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Erbland, Kate (May 31, 2018). "'The Kissing Booth': Netflix's Teen Comedy Sensation Is Sexist and Outdated — Review". IndieWire. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  10. ^ Cagle, Tess (May 14, 2018). "Netflix celebrates the male gaze with puzzlingly sexist teen flick, 'The Kissing Booth'". The Daily Dot. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Rowles, Dustin (June 21, 2018). "Why Is The Objectively Bad Netflix Movie 'The Kissing Booth' So Insanely Popular?". Uproxx. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  12. ^ Foreman, Alison (June 15, 2018). "'The Kissing Booth' is the problematic, lazy dumpster fire dominating Netflix". Mashable. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  13. ^ "Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2019 Nominees: The Complete List". Billboard. 26 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  14. ^ Hipes, Patrick (February 14, 2019). "'The Kissing Booth' Getting Netflix Sequel". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 14, 2019.

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