The Kissing Booth 3 Parent Guide
At least the messaging is better than it was in the previous film. But it's still pretty mediocre.
Parent Movie Review
With high school graduation behind her, Elle Evans (Joey King) is planning the perfect summer. The parents of her best friend, Lee (Joel Courtney) and her boyfriend, Noah (Jacob Elordi) are selling their beach house but have agreed that their sons and girlfriends can stay there for the summer. With Lee’s girlfriend, Rachel (Meganne Young) in the mix, the four are prepared for months of non-stop fun. And when Elle and Lee find an old “beach bucket list” they made as children, it becomes the road map for their last weeks together.
Unfortunately, even in a Pacific paradise, life can still be full of challenges. The biggest one facing Elle is that she can no longer procrastinate making a big decision: Does she go to Berkeley with Lee, as they have planned for years, or does she go to Harvard and move in with Noah? As she agonizes over her decision and tries not to hurt the two guys she loves, all of her relationships suffer and her perfect summer looks like it might be out of reach…
For many parents, the plot synopsis alone will send up red flags. Elle is barely out of high school but she has been having a sexual relationship with Noah for a couple of years (in which time they have never discussed contraception) and is now moving in with him for the entire summer – and both sets of parents seem fine with this. Thankfully, this movie has less on screen sex and conversation than did The Kissing Booth 2, but parents will want to be aware that the movie implicitly advocates adolescent sexual activity.
Another issue that will likely float right over the heads of the young teens to whom this film is unfortunately aimed, is that of money. Although Elle has a summer job as a waitress, the harsh economic realities of the world rarely intrude into the summer idyll. And Noah and Lee don’t have jobs. Money seems to fall from heaven because they are able to buy anything they want, without ever working for it. Romance movies have a terrible track record of giving viewers unrealistic expectations about relationships, but this film also provides grossly unrealistic expectations of how all that fun is going to be financed.
On the bright side, The Kissing Booth 3 manages to get one thing right – and that’s giving Elle more agency over her own life. Elle is a pleaser, and her desire not to hurt Lee or Noah imposes huge costs on her. Over the course of the story she finally realizes that the purpose of her life isn’t to please the men around her: it’s to find and follow her dreams. This is a great lesson for teenage girls and might be worth sitting through the rest of the film.
This flick can also open up conversations about relationships. I can’t be the only viewer who thinks that Elle and Lee are far better suited than are Elle and Noah. The BFFs have an emotional closeness and shared love of crazy adventures which serves as a foundation for a lasting relationship. Elle and Noah, in contrast, seem drawn together by sexual attraction but otherwise driven apart by poor communication skills and plenty of petulance. If nothing else, this movie can provide an example of “how not to have a relationship” and that’s got to be worth something. But maybe not 113 minutes of your life.Directed by Vince Marcello. Starring Joey King, Joel Courtney, Jacob Elordi, Taylor Zakhar Perez, Meganne Young. Running time: 112 minutes. Theatrical release August 11, 2021. Updated August 13, 2021
Watch the trailer for The Kissing Booth 3
The Kissing Booth 3
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Kissing Booth 3 rated TV-14? The Kissing Booth 3 is rated TV-14 by the MPAA
Violence: During a go-kart race, people throw things at other drivers. A man punches another in the face.
Sexual Content: There are frequent scenes of men and women kissing. Sex between unmarried young adults is implied. There are many scenes of young adults in swimwear, including bikinis. A topless man embraces a young woman in bed: there is no graphic nudity but sex is clearly implied.
Profanity: There are almost two dozen terms of deity in the movie along with a half dozen scatological curses. A smattering of minor curse words and anatomical terms are used. A crude term for women is used on a couple of occasions. Someone says “eff” instead of a sexual expletive.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A group of young adults drink wine but they’re underage since legal age is 21 in California. Teens throw a party where guests drink alcohol: inebriation is implied as is a hangover. Underage young adults drink shots.
Page last updated August 13, 2021
The Kissing Booth 3 Parents' Guide
What finally forces Elle to consider her decisions for the future? What has been guiding her decisions? How does her attitude shift? What decisions does she make instead?
How do you choose what you want to do with your life? What resources exist to help you make those important decisions? What matters to you? What do you really want to do with your life?
Related home video titles:
This is the final movie in the series that includes The Kissing Booth and The Kissing Booth 2.
Jacob Elordi can be seen playing a charming college freshman in 2 Hearts.
A much better film about a teenager trying to make decisions about his future is Blinded by the Light. Set in England in the 1980s, it follows Javed as he tries to follow his dreams while dealing with his stubborn father.