By Megan Ruge Asst. living and arts editor
This week’s film comes to you from the Netflix archives but is not a Netflix original film. The film is from director Kristin Hanggi and is titled “Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List.”
The film was released at the 2015 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival. Though the film had audiences raving, many critics believed the film was made to be seen and enjoyed one time only.
“Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List” is a film about a couple of Manhattan natives embarking on their journey from high school neighbors to NYU freshmen.
Naomi is a wild child with the need for constant new experiences and her best friend Ely is a bold gay beauty who has had her heart as long as she has known him.
Naomi and Ely create a list of boys called the “no kiss list,” which marks boys off-limits to both of them so as not to chance their friendship. The logic behind the “no kiss list” is challenged when Naomi and Ely develop real feelings for the same boy.
This film presents the idea of the way the world changes and how friendships can be challenged when the stakes are higher than a simple fight. In the film, the two friends experience many things: family issues, boyfriend trouble and even challenges with sexual orientation.
Throughout the film, the main characters are presented with different pressures and moments of tough decisions that cause them to challenge all of the different ideals they hold to be true.
Every philosophy that they brought to college is skewed when they realize everything they considered constant truth in their lives is no longer so certain.
The film shows the viewer what college in the city is like. The parties, the Halloween costumes and the drama of college life is given a beautiful air of constant glamour in this film. The themes of friendship, love and trust all come to life in this glamourous setting.
The theme of friendship is explored in many ways throughout the film. This is seen in the relationship between Naomi and Ely, which changes throughout the film as they discover differences between themselves they never before realized existed.
The theme is also seen when they go their separate ways and find other friendships. This proves how important these relationships are and how they shape a transition. The ability to be amongst people who want to connect with you will help with a smooth transition.
The theme of love is pretty constant throughout the film. It is seen when Naomi’s character expresses the importance of her best friend, Ely, and how she could never see herself without love for him.
Throughout the film, the idea of love evolves and takes on several different meanings and faces, showing that love is more than an intimate bond between two people.
The posed theme of trust is more than just trusting others. Throughout the film, Naomi must decide what trust means to her and how much she values it. She must also evaluate what lying means to her and how often a lie deserves her effort.
The film evaluates all of those things that are encompassed within the theme, but it also explores the idea of trusting oneself: to trust your personal instinct, to trust personal judgement and to evaluate the meaning of simply being self-aware.
This film is definitely a coming of age piece. The change the viewer witnesses in this instance is college and friendships. The film lacks much atmosphere and the depth is established too quickly.
Some things in the film will be hard to follow, but overall, I recommend giving this film a watch. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars.