Moonshot: Why Cole Sprouse & Lana Condor's Kiss At The End Was Awkward

Warning: the following contains SPOILERS for Moonshot.

Moonshot ends with a fated but awkward kiss between Walt and Sophie, played respectively by Riverdale's Cole Sprouse and To All the Boys' Lana Condor. Despite the fact that these are two of the most well-known young actors in the rom-com genre, their first and final kiss in the very last scenes of Moonshot is surprisingly awkward. However, there's actually an in-universe explanation for this clumsy interaction.

Moonshot is set in the spacefaring age of 2049, a time when Earth has colonized Mars, and the red planet has become a symbol of humanity's hopes and dreams. This is reflected in the fashion, production design, soundtrack, and overall look and feel of the movie. However, despite Moonshot's glossy and fantastical sci-fi setting, its narratives about love and relationships are very grounded.

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Moonshot's awkward finale kiss, in turn, is a reflection of this grounded perspective on romance. It's simply a realistic depiction of a first kiss between two genuine friends who really didn't think that they would end up with each other. Amid Moonshot's sentimental soundtrack and dreamy lighting, the kiss between Walt and Sophie, as well as the way that their relationship develops, are awkward because they're grounded in reality. Their earlier interactions are stilted because the characters don't really want to be with each other–yet. Indeed, the only thing that's not realistic about the kiss is that it didn't happen sooner. That said, in the rom-com genre, a bit of plot magic goes a long way in setting up the perfect first kiss.

Moonshot's realistic perspective isn't just limited to its core love story. In the periphery, the high-tech Mars colony is a shining example of human achievement. However, upon closer inspection, it's also a billionaire vanity project that's enabling scientists and rich people to abandon Earth. Although these aspects of Moonshot aren't fully explored in the movie, the sociopolitical and economic conditions of the time are what inform and drive the decisions of Moonshot's cast of characters. For instance, the only reason Walt isn't already on Mars at the start of the movie is that he's poor. Meanwhile, during the ending of Moonshot, Sophie's decision to go back to Earth isn't because of Walt, but because she still wants to work toward saving and not abandoning the planet.

Moonshot might seem like an ordinary rom-com movie, but it's actually a subtle criticism of how billionaires are abandoning Earth. But with this backdrop, it's a simple story about two platonic friends slowly developing feelings for one another. This realistic perspective is what set the stage for Moonshot's awkward finale kiss. By rooting its most crucial elements in reality, Moonshot succeeds as a rom-com fantasy.

More: Netflix's Stowaway Revives The Oldest Sci-Fi Story Debate

Moonshot is streaming now on HBO Max.

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