In May 2018, The Kissing Booth, a Netflix original film was introduced. A few months later in August, another original film To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was debuted. Both were two of the most popular movies for young teens in 2018. They blew up on social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, VSCO and Snapchat. Some prefer The Kissing Booth while others prefer To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Riverside students are equally divided regarding their preference.
The Kissing Booth is about a 16-year-old girl named Elle Evans (Joey King). She was born on the same day, and at the same time as her best friend Lee Flynn (Joel Courtney). Their moms were best friends, so they practically grew up as siblings. Noah Flynn (Jacob Eldori) is Lee’s older brother and Elle’s crush since they were little. The problem started when Elle and Lee needed to make a kissing booth for their school carnival. It ended up being a success, what Elle didn’t know however, was that Noah was going to be there. Noah kissed Elle at the kissing booth and a relationship starts. They have to hide their relationship from everyone, but at what cost?
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is also about a 16-year-old girl, named Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor). She had written five love letters for the five boys she’s loved before. However, she didn’t send them out. Two of the five boys were the most important, Josh Sanderson (Israel Broussard) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo). They were the most important because Josh was her first crush, and Peter was her first kiss. Her relationship with the two changed though, because her love letters got out and each of the five boys received them.
The Kissing Booth has had many reviews, but one stood out. “The Kissing Booth is a disaster—especially for the target audience TV-14 at. Suffice to say it’s not appropriate for 14-year-olds … or, really, anyone else, for that matter,” said online critic Kristin Smith.
The Kissing Booth triggered an opinion with grade nine Riverside student Kyla Smith. “The Kissing Booth is not realistic enough for me. It seems that there are certain things that happen in that movie that don’t happen in real life.” She definitely preferred To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. “I honestly have re-watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before many times because it’s so much more relatable. The character, Lara Jean, acts just how high school girls or boys act when they’re around someone they like,” said Smith.
Students also preferred the roles that were played from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Grade 10 Riverside student Cole Haaksma said, “The acting seems much more genuine when it came to the relationships. When Peter wrote daily notes for Lara Jean during their fake relationship, it made him seem like he cared about the relationship, even if it was fake. However, in The Kissing Booth, she (Elle Evans), just wanted a boyfriend and would just settle with anyone.” said Haaksma.
There was discussion about who would be the new breakout actor, Jacob Eldori or Noah Centineo. Also grade nine Burnaby Central student Alyssa Jakubec had an opinion about who the breakout actor should be. “Noah Centineo should definitely be the new breakout actor because his fan base is crazy, and he seems like he has more experience,” said Jakubec. She also thought that Eldori had somewhat a bad attitude and acted. “It seems like Jacob just came out of nowhere and thought he was the new top actor, but we’ve seen Noah in other movies and shows in the past, even if they were smaller roles; we were familiar with him,” said Jakubec.
There was also more of a discussion on social media about why Centineo should be the new breakout actor. He’s done more in the public eye than Eldori. He doesn’t keep everything he does personal. Nobody’s seen Eldori post about his daily life too much; therefore, people are thinking that he’s “overrated.” Fans are completely obsessed with Centineo by making fan accounts, video edits, quizzes and fan fiction, but only because they’re more familiar with him and he does more in the public eye.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before seems like the better movie according to students. Even if it came out a few months after The Kissing Booth. However, if To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before had been released before The Kissing Booth, would opinions of young teens be any different?