A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Kissing Booth is a teen romcom adapted from a popular ebook of the same name written by a 15-year-old. It definitely delivers on the title's promise: There's lots of kissing, some brief making out, undressing, and implied sex. Main character Elle (Joey King) also appears in bra and underwear several times. It offers a good chance to talk to teens about Noah's bad-boy appeal and how violent, controlling behavior is a serious red flag in real life, as well as the wisdom of basing a relationship on a promise that someone will change. Fighting and bullying violence includes punches, body slams, wedgies, and a few bloody injuries. Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," and "d--k." Teens drink to excess at parties, indulging in multiple shots, keg stands, and a relay race that includes chugging beer. Expect plenty of high school stereotypes and an idealized, wealthy, mostly white, LA lifestyle.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Best friends Elle (Joey King) and Lee (Joel Courtney) decide to put up THE KISSING BOOTH at their school's fundraising carnival their junior year. Lately Elle's been more and more attracted to Lee's bad-boy older brother, Noah (Jacob Elordi), who's strictly off limits thanks to Elle and Lee's friendship rules. When Elle takes a turn in the kissing booth, her first customer is none other than Noah, and the two quickly realize that they're falling for each other. How long can they keep their romance a secret?
Is it any good?
An appealing cast, idyllic setting, and of course, forbidden romance, provide lots of teen appeal in this quirky romantic comedy. The Kissing Booth keeps the tone light thanks to Elle's engaging narration, which also provides a few laughs along the way. There are some problems with pace, like taking way too long to get to the main conflict, some gaps in the story, and a pretty predictable resolution. But teen romance fans who can handle the edgy content and who can see past the stereotypes will enjoy watching events unfold to the refreshingly not-melodramatic but satisfying end.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the romantic lead in The Kissing Booth is a "bad boy." Why is that appealing? What other movie bad boys have you seen, and which is your favorite? Why?
Do you believe that Noah will stop being violent and controlling? Why or why not? Have you ever tried to change for someone, or has someone tried to change for you? What happened?
Did you read the book this movie is based on? If so, do you like the book or the movie better? If not, would you like to now?
What did you think of the teen drinking? Was it realistic? Were there any consequences?
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