Movie Review: ‘Naomi And Ely’s No Kiss List’

Review by Lauryn Angel

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List centers on life-long neighbors Naomi and Ely. Naomi (Victoria Justice) is more than a little in love with Ely (Pierson Fode), who is gay. The No Kiss List is their attempt to prevent them from fighting over guys. If the two of them find a man attractive, he goes on the list; neither of them is allowed to approach. The arrangement served them well throughout high school, but now that they are in college, navigating the list has become tricky. When Ely kisses someone on the No Kiss List, trouble, predictably, ensues.

The first flaw with this film is almost insurmountable: The character of Naomi is vastly unpleasant. Naomi is a girl who is used to manipulating boys in order to get what she wants. Or when she’s bored. She strings along one of the other residents of the building, Bruce 1, while dating another young man she met in one of her college classes, Bruce 2 (we’ll get to the names in a minute). On the surface, Naomi is the spoiled, beautiful girl who dresses like a layout in a fashion magazine. The movie attempts to give her depth by giving her a background story of a father who commits adultery (with one of Ely’s mothers, as it happens) and a mother who has lost purpose in life. The attempt might have worked if it didn’t seem like an afterthought.

Another flaw with the film is the character names. In addition to two characters named Bruce, called Bruce 1 and Bruce 2, there are two characters named Robin. The first Robin is a classmate of Naomi’s, whom she refers to as a “back-up friend,” because Naomi only needs one friend, Ely. The other Robin is a male classmate, whom the first Robin has a crush on. Naomi dubs them He-Robin and She-Robin for matters of clarity. It would be easy to attribute this to laziness, but writers Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer seem to be having some fun with the names, as Bruce 2 is Robin (as in “Batman and”) for Halloween, while She-Robin wears a bird costume (not a robin, but the visual cue is still there).

The movie redeems itself somewhat at the end, when Naomi has to re-align her priorities, but it’s too little, too late. This movie might do well for the teen audience it seems intended for, but is unlikely to appeal to adults.


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