Back in the ‘80s, Molly Ringwald was a big deal. It started with Sixteen Candles and rose from there. Now, in what may represent a full circle for the actress, Ringwald is back in the rom-com business in more of a “mentor” role with a film sitting at #1 on the Netflix streaming service.
The Kissing Booth 3 (yes, there are three of them) stars Molly Ringwald as Mrs. Flynn, a role that she played in the previous two films. This particular rom-com doesn’t feature Ringwald in the lead, though her presence is felt, but instead brings back the cast from the previous two films (The Kissing Booth and The Kissing Booth 2) to finish up what they started. Along with Molly Ringwald, Joey King returns as Elle Evans, as does Jacob Elordi (King’s real-life ex-boyfriend) as Noah, Joel Courtney as Lee, and Meganne Young as Rachel.
To know where we are at in The Kissing Booth 3, one must know where we came from. In The Kissing Booth, Elle falls for high school senior “bad boy” Noah, who happens to be Lee’s older brother. Their relationship puts to the test Elle and Lee’s, the pair being lifelong friends. Sound familiar to Molly Ringwald fans?
Working through all their trials and tribulations, Elle finds herself in The Kissing Booth 2, now as a senior trying to deal with her long-distance relationship with Noah, who has gone off to Harvard. Making matters even more trying for Elle is the fact that Noah has started a friendship with an attractive British student named Chloe.
As The Kissing Booth 3 begins, Elle has recently graduated high school and is stuck trying to decide if Berkeley or Harvard is the college for her. Harvard most definitely has its benefits as that is where Noah is going to school, but Berkeley also has its upside as well.
Noah, thinking it’s a no-brainer that Elle will follow him to Harvard, has already scoped out an off-campus apartment for the two of them to share. Meanwhile, Lee is trying to figure out how to spend more time with Rachel, who will also be going to a different college.
When Noah and Lee’s parents (Molly Ringwald and Morné Visser) announce that they are selling the beach house where the boys spent their childhood, the foursome offers to spend the summer there to help with the sale. At the beach house, things begin to get complicated when Chole, the girl Elle thought Noah was having an affair with, arrives with Marco, a young man who has feelings for Elle. Noah and Marco get into a tiff causing Noah to call Elle “embarrassing” for not seeing that Marco was into her.
Although Marco does admit to Elle that he has feelings for her, she turns him down, instead going off to find Noah. What she doesn’t realize is that Noah has seen her acceptance letter to Berkeley and now feels Elle is turning down a great opportunity just to be with him at Harvard.
Complications continue to mount when Elle misses an opportunity to hang out with Lee. Lee expresses his hurt feelings to Elle, telling her he’s never mattered to her when compared to Noah. Elle counters by telling him to grow up.
Mrs. Flynn (Molly Ringwald) arrives to give Elle some “motherly” rom-com advice, putting things into better perspective for Elle. She also informs the kids that she and Mr. Flynn have decided to keep the beach house. Do Elle and Noah work things out? What about Lee and Elle? As this is the end of a trilogy, one would think the storylines are wrapped up neatly. One would think.
The Kissing Booth trilogy was based on a series of three novels – The Kissing Booth, The Kissing Booth 2: Going the Distance, and The Kissing Booth: One Last Time – written by Beth Reekles. Vincent Marcello took on the role of writer/director for all three films for Netflix.
As for Molly Ringwald, she’s been relegated to a background character for the three films. While she does have a few important scenes throughout the series, Ringwald doesn’t carry the star power she did back in her heyday.
Molly Ringwald ruled the ’80. She was an immediate hit when John Hughes tabbed her to play Samantha on the teen comedy Sixteen Candles. Hughes brought her back the following year for another smash hit, The Breakfast Club, and continued the tradition of working with Ringwald with Pretty in Pink.
With her star on the rise, Molly Ringwald had offers galore. In fact, looking back, there are two roles that Ringwald turned down that perhaps she wishes she could rethink her decision. Ringwald was up for the lead roles in Pretty Woman and Ghost, two huge movies that she passed on.
Unfortunately for Molly Ringwald, she was unable to match the success she had with Hughes. She went on to other, fairly popular films like The Pick-Up Artist, For Keeps?, Strike it Rich, and Betsy’s Wedding, but nothing came close to her Hughes collaborations.
Molly Ringwald’s career took a downturn when she went from A-lister to starring in mostly forgettable B-movies. With projects becoming scarcer, Ringwald stepped away from Hollywood for a number of years.
Molly Ringwald jumped back into the spotlight, this time on the small screen when she joined the TV series The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Since that time, Ringwald has found time on other TV shows like Raising Expectations and more recently on the popular CW series, Riverdale.
She continues to also grab small roles in feature films. Over the past few years, Ringwald has shown up in All These Small Moments and Siberia. While she continues to star in Riverdale, Ringwald has a couple of other projects lined up including Pursued and Montauk. While it may not be the Molly Ringwald of the past, you can still catch her in The Kissing Booth 3 (as well as the previous two Kissing Booth films), all of which can be found on Netflix.