Meet the squad of The Kissing Booth 2.

The Kissing Booth 2, or How to Make a Netflix Rom-Com

Dept. of Supererogatory Sequels


Watching the sequel to 2018’s The Kissing Booth, I couldn’t help but feel like there’s an internal document, on some shared drive, somewhere in Los Gatos, that outlines the key elements that need to be in every Netflix rom-com. I feel like every director they hire to make one of these “originals” is presented with this how-to guide.

Now, I haven’t seen this template. I don’t know if it even exists. But if it did (and I’m not saying it does), you might find that it contains the following necessary conditions.

  1. If the film’s protagonist is female, a narrative voiceover is absolutely necessary. The audience needs to be aware of her every thought and all of her motivations at all times.
  1. In YA rom-coms and teen dramedies, the parent/s of the protagonist must be positively delightful. (See: Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons in Juno. Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci in Easy A.)
Check out that Dance Dance chemistry between Elle and Marco.
  1. Single dads should almost always be depicted as sorrowful but not unhappy. They are tragic figures, struggling to cope with the loss of their wives, but deeply supportive of their daughters and sons. The line, “You remind me so much of your mother,” or some version of it, must be included in the third act of your movie.
  1. All male leads must be shirtless and sweaty (or swimming pool wet) at least once.
  1. If this movie is part of a franchise, and the first instalment was overwhelmingly white, please correct this by referring to our ever expanding diversity database. These characters need not affect the overall arc of the story, but they may be included to create the kind of completely contrived conflict that’s necessary for an unnecessary sequel.
  1. Not to belabour the point, but we’d really prefer it if any potential new love interest you introduce be not white. (See: To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.)
Elle and Noah reunite in Boston.
  1. With that in mind, you should ensure that all secondary characters are as diverse as possible. This includes race, religion, and sexual orientation. They don’t need to have backstories. People just like to see themselves represented on screen. (Do try your best to give them all names. Instead of listing a character in the credits simply as, say, “British Beauty,” maybe call her Vivian. Or something.)
  1. That being said, don’t try to be “too” woke. Republicans (and people in the third world) watch movies too.
Elle and Lee be best friends for life!
  1. Don’t forget that you have an enormous archive of movies by Nancy Myers, Howard Deutch, Billy Wilder, Richard Curtis, John Hughes, Norman Jewison, Judd Apatow, Garry Marshall, James L. Brooks, Amy Heckerling, and (of course) Nora Ephron to crib from. You don’t have to cleverly wink at, or even pay loving homage, to them, just rehash the bits you like. They’ve already done all the hard work. You just need to pick the parts that will most likely incite a reaction.
  1. Once you’re done with your final edit of the film, please pass it along to Beth in accounting’s 13-year-old niece who will proceed to set it to her Spotify playlist. We genuinely love the work that you’ve done (or we wouldn’t have hired such a promising up-and-comer like yourself), but Josie (that’s Beth’s niece) really has a great ear for what’s hot right now. And, as you know, there can’t be a single moment in any of these movies that isn’t set to a pop song. (Or an emo Cindi Lauper cover.) How else will the audience know how to feel?
I don't know how this Kissing Booth thing will play out during this time of COVID-19.

The Kissing Booth 2
131 minutes
Director: Vince Marcello
Writer: Vince Marcello and Jay Arnold
Cast: Joey King, Joel Courtney, Jacob Elordi, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Taylor Perez, and Molly Ringwald

Uma has been reviewing things for most of his life: movies, television shows, books, video games, his mum's cooking, Bahir's fashion sense. He is a firm believer that the answer to most questions can be found within the cinematic canon. In fact, most of what he knows about life he learned from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He still hasn't forgiven Christopher Nolan for the travesties that are Interstellar and The Dark Knight Rises.

Previous Story

Doom Patrol Diary: Season 1, Episodes 3 and 4

Elle and Lee be best friends for life!
Next Story

The Kissing Booth 2: A Conversation with Joey King and Joel Courtney

Latest from Movie Reviews

Luca Review

Pixar's latest fish out of water tale, Luca, arrives on Disney+ to