The Kissing Booth 3 (USA, 2021)

It’s the summer before college and Elle must make a very tough decision in the final installment of the teen rom-com franchise.

Best friends Elle Evans and Lee Flynn have graduated from high school. Elle finds herself with a major dilemma. She must choose where she plans to go to college. On the one hand, she could keep a promise to Lee and go to Berkeley. On the other hand, she could go to Harvard to be with her boyfriend Noah, Lee’s brother. However, while she decides, she is shocked to learn that Lee and Noah’s mother plan to sell the family’s beach house to redevelopment. Elle, Lee, Noah, and Lee’s girlfriend Rachel convince Mrs. Flynn to let them have one final summer at the beach house.

Elle finds it the perfect opportunity to do something she had been wanting to do with Lee. And that is their beach “bucket list”. However, a few complications arise. First, Lee meets a new friend in Ashton, who is a Berkley student and comic geek like him. Noah’s friend Chloe has arrived in town as well, fueling Elle’s jealousy again. That is, until Marco, Elle’s former classmate also is back in the picture as he has a job at the local water park. That combined with Elle’s big decision for college will make this a summer anyone will forget.

The saying “all good things come to an end” is the epitome of this final installment of the romantic comedy franchise. Where the first two films are set during the school years, this final installment is set during the summer before best friends Elle and Lee head off to college. Basically it picks up one week after the end of The Kissing Booth 2 with Elle giving a quick narrative of what happened during that one week.

Once again, Joey King, Joel Courtney, and Jacob Elordi pull off wonderful performances as Elle, Lee, and Noah. The complications from the previous film return but it becomes more about Elle, as she not only struggles with what college she will go to. She also learns her father has began dating again after six years and it causes Elle to be consumed with anger with the old notion that a new girlfriend is “replacing her mother”. However, the new woman in her dad’s life Linda, played by Bianca Amato, is also an old friend of Elle’s mother and only wants Elle to accept her.

The aforementioned complications that have returned are in the forms of Marco, reprised by Taylor Zarkah Perez; and Chloe, reprised by Maisie Richardson-Sellers. Marco, who was involved in a very pivotal twist in the previous film, works at the water part and still has feelings for Elle. Meanwhile, Chloe, who Elle is still a bit jealous of but comes to realize that she and Noah are just friends, finds herself in complete shock over something and she turns to Noah as a much-needed shoulder to cry on.

The return of these two risks putting a massive wedge in the relationship between Elle and Noah. All while temporarily, Lee and Elle’s friendship seems to have been put on the test when Lee meets fellow Berkley student and comic geek buddy Ashton, played by Triggered and Ring of Beasts star Cameron Scott, who brings a geekiness to the character where he could be Lee’s twin. And once again, Molly Ringwald attempts to help Elle see the light but this time, she makes one of the most valid points that will change Elle’s life forever. And look out for the epilogue, which gives us a six-year jump as to what has happened since that fateful summer.

The Kissing Booth 3 puts the stamp as a fitting end of the franchise. All good things do come to an end and this couldn’t have ended better for the most complicated triangle of friendship and romance for our core trio.

WFG RATING: A

Netflix presents a Komixx Entertainment production in association with Picture Loom and Clearblack Films. Director: Vince Marcello. Producers: Vince Marcello, Andrew Cole-Bulgin, Ed Glauser, and Michele Weisler. Writers: Vince Marcello and Jay S. Arnold; based on the novel by Beth Reekles. Cineamtography: Anastas N. Michos. Editing: Paul Millspaugh.

Cast: Joey King, Joel Courtney, Jacob Elordi, Molly Ringwald, Stephen Jennings, Taylor Zarkah Perez, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Meganne Young, Bianca Amato, Carson White, Cameron Scott, Judd Krok.

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