With so many films coming out in theatres and streaming, it’s hard to get to everything when it’s released. So here’s our first of three catch-up posts on some of the Netflix Original comedy films released in 2018. These are rapid-fire reviews of Irreplaceable You, Candy Jar and The Kissing Booth.
Synopsis: When Abbie is diagnosed with cancer, she embarks on a humorous mission to find a new love for Sam, her fiancé and best friend since childhood. (Netflix)
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michiel Huisman and Steve Coogan
Writer: Bess Wohl
Director: Stephanie Laing
Running Time: 96 mins
Irreplaceable You is a tear-jerking romantic drama that looks at the very real issue of mourning a terminally ill loved one when time with them becomes finite. While the themes are gut-wrenching, the score is solemn and its all-star cast delivers some strong performances, the messy tone that jumps between a heartbreaking drama and dark comedy mixed with its safe storytelling makes for an adequately moving story for those who have struggled with loss or want to understand the pain that others around them may have endured. It may not break any ground in its genre, but it works as the PS I Love You of Netflix dramedies.
Synopsis: Dueling high school debate champs who are at odds on just about everything forge ahead with ambitious plans to get into the colleges of their dreams. (Netflix)
Starring: Jacob Latimore, Sami Gayle and Helen Hunt
Writer: Chad Klitzman
Director: Ben Shelton
Running Time: 92 mins
Candy Jar is a generic teen rom-com that tries to debate its way to the finish line, but stumbles on its own words. While the story tries to deliver a great message and the lighthearted moments are manageable, the inability to follow through on its themes mixed with its average characters and lack of jokes makes for a dull look at two private school students learning that sometimes life doesn’t go your way. It takes an overdone teen story and adds a long list of annoying aspects that take away from any way to connect with this film or its characters.
THE KISSING BOOTH
Synopsis: A high school student is forced to confront her secret crush at a kissing booth. (Netflix)
Starring: Joey King, Joel Courtney and Jacob Elordi
Writer: Vince Marcello
Director: Vince Marcello
Running Time: 105 mins
The Kissing Booth is a slightly outdated, but still enjoyable teen rom-com that has a good heart, but sends some mixed messages. While the premise is fun and some of the acting is alright, the somewhat sexist themes, manipulative characters and cliched storytelling make this high school romance one that may not be worth lining up for. It is a cheap knockoff of all the teen flicks before it, but if you turn off your brain it can quench that campy craving.
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