‘Tis almost the season for bad Hallmark and Netflix holiday films to flood the market and provide diametrically opposed counterprogramming to the Oscar-bait films in theaters. But to all of those who say “Bah humbug!” to even mentioning winter holidays before Thanksgiving has passed, we say that you can watch bad Netflix movies regardless of the season! A high school girl who falls in love with her best friend’s brother who looks 25 but is supposed to be 18? A tall girl who espouses the excruciating struggles of being too tall and underrepresented in society? Noah Centineo as a PG version of a gigolo? Netflix has got you covered!
“The Kissing Booth”
This movie started off as a Wattpad story, which is truly all you need to know about it to watch. Starring Emmy-nominated Joey King and quintessential Abercrombie & Fitch model Jacob Elordi, the film revolves around high school junior Elle (King), who has grown up crushing on her best friend’s bad boy brother (Elordi). The pair inexplicably get together after a wacky mishap at their high school carnival’s kissing booth, and conflict ensues. So quirky, right! This movie has it all: house parties at unreasonably extravagant Los Angeles mansions, 30-year-olds trying to play teenagers and depictions of underaged kids blatantly drinking in public! Forget suspension of disbelief, you need to hold your disbelief hostage to watch this film.
“The Perfect Date”
Noah Centineo might possibly have sold his soul to Netflix after his breakout in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” but at least we’ve gotten a solid Centineo cinematic universe out of it. One of the more forgettable ones in his canon? “The Perfect Date,” which is justifiably forgettable and had the unfortunate timing of coming out a few months before another Centineo classic, “Swiped,” made its debut on the streaming platform. Although the two films have similar premises of coding teenagers making wildly successful dating apps (without even taking CS 61B), “The Perfect Date” revolves around high school senior Brooks Rattigan (yes, that is his actual name in the film). Poor Brooks is just a downtown man trying to impress an uptown girl (Camila Mendes) and decides to make money by renting himself out as “the perfect date” on an app he designs. What could go wrong? (Spoiler alert: everything!)
Decades from now, critics will still be waxing poetic on the cultural impact of “Tall Girl,” which is now an iconic film in cinematic history, groundbreakingly centered around a teenage girl’s struggle of being tall in high school. That’s right media scholars, whip out your notebooks and begin your discourse on the underrepresentation of tall girls in media. Choice quote: “You think life is hard? I’m a high school junior wearing size 13 Nikes. Men’s size 13 Nikes.” That’s right — step back, Civil Rights Movement. Get out of here, LGBTQ+ activists. The true struggling minority in the United States right now is being a tall, skinny, blonde white girl in a sea of small-minded (and statured) peers. Not having any height-appropriate eligible suitors in high school except the new Swedish exchange student? Life is rough for the movie’s resident tall girl Jodi Kreyman (Ava Michelle of “Dance Moms” fame).
How is it possible that each movie gets more and more ridiculous? It’s a mystery only Netflix can crack. But you can crack open a cold one this weekend and turn this weekend binge into a drinking game in which you take a swig every time something is so campy that you need to drink to forget it. Fair warning: You may blackout before you even get through the first movie.
Julie Lim covers film. Contact her at [email protected].