It’s the end of an era, and it’s never easy to say goodbye.
Netflix’s original romantic comedies The Kissing Booth and To All the Boys were popular since they began in 2018, but both high-school rom-coms closed out their adventures this year.
Based on teenage writer Beth Reekle’s novels, The Kissing Booth franchise has been a hit. In the first two Netflix films, we watched Noah and Elle’s secret love affair and how they dealt with long-distance when tempted with other crushes.
In The Kissing Booth 3, Elle Evans made one of the hardest decisions of her life and chose where to attend college and broke one of the Flynn brothers’ hearts.
Picking up around two months after The Kissing Booth 2, a series of romantic montages caught us up on the lives of Noah and Elle and Lee and Rachel before heading into the film’s main arc.
Similar to the third film for the All the Boys franchise, Netflix made their teenage female lead be torn between following a guy to college and selecting what’s best for her.
It seems to be a trope of theirs, only this time Elle was torn between not only herself and one guy but herself and two brothers.
This time, the stakes seemed higher with one Flynn brother, Noah, as her boyfriend, and one, Lee as her long-time best friend. No matter where she chose to go to college, someone was going to get hurt.
Each of the three Kissing Booth movies explored Elle’s relationships with her favorite boys.
The Kissing Booth focused on Noah and Elle’s forbidden romance, especially when dating your BFF’s older brother. The Kissing Booth 2 explored the idiosyncrasies of her relationship with Noah by throwing a new crush, Marco, at her.
The Kissing Booth 3 explored Lee and Elle’s friendship and how imperative that friendship was to Elle’s very being.
Elle struggled to decide on a college and even leave home because the Flynns were like a family to her.
This was the first time we’d seen the depth of Elle and Lee’s friendship since many fandoms consider couples more important than male and female friendships.
It was such a delight to see! We saw so many flashbacks of Elle and Lee as kids and even learned about their “beach bucket list.”
Lee brings out a different side of Elle, her fun and silly side. Through a series of montages, we saw how much fun Elle and Lee had completing their dares as they went skydiving, cliff diving, and won a sandcastle-building contest.
My favorite bucket list dare was watching them lead a flash mob dance to Shut Up and Dance With Me.
Neither of them ever counted on that friendship changing. The summer between senior year and college is one of the hardest because you realize you need to let go of your bestie.
There was also the subplot of the tired triangle of Noah, Elle, and Marco.
Noah still possessed the same jealous tendencies he’d had in the second movie, making this triangle cringeworthy to watch.
Numerous times throughout The Kissing Booth 3, Noah acted as if he didn’t trust Elle or want to be bothered with Elle and Lee’s childish dares, yet he was furious when Marco dressed in costume to help them.
He acted like a total jerk when he finally decided to join the event, but he only did it so he could try to beat Marco.
Everything was always so competitive between the two of them.
Noah also appeared as a hypocrite since he couldn’t stand Marco, but he had the nerve to ask Elle if his college buddy, Chloe, could bunk at the beach house with them.
This triangle became even more tedious as Elle grew overwhelmed with all the pressure on her.
She turned to Marco for comfort the same night Noah and Chloe confided in each other about their respective lives.
These couples had so much potential as Elle (Joey King), and Marco (Taylor Zakhar Perez) oozed chemistry, and so did Noah (Jacob Elordi) and Chloe (Maisie Richardson-Sellers). They were never fully explored, which makes me sad.
It seemed like we watched Noah make big romantic gestures to try and win Elle back, but was it too little, too late?
The Kissing Booth 3 also dealt with the theme of realizing who your “real” family is and accepting change.
Like many teenagers, Elle hates change and didn’t react well when her dad started dating again.
That explained why she blew up his new girlfriend, Linda, saying she’d never be her mom.
Elle felt like everything was changing, and she was losing the only home she really loved in the Flynns’ beach house. Elle became so overwhelmed; she was blowing up at everyone.
She needed an objective and caring person, and luckily, Mrs. Flynn arrived with motherly advice.
She’d treated Elle like her own for so long that it was the loving advice Elle craved.
The Kissing Booth 3 is about growing up, finding yourself, and learning who your “real” family is.
Unlike the To All the Boys franchise, I think The Kissing Booth is done.
With how the trilogy ended, I don’t see another movie or a spin-off that could work.
While I enjoyed all three The Kissing Booth movies, the second will always be my favorite, followed by this one.
Both The Kissing Booth 2 and The Kissing Booth 3 feature more fun and comedic moments that allowed Joey King to really shine, and it lightened some of the more angsty moments.
The Kissing Booth 3 is streaming now on Netflix.