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Overall Rating
3.13

Awesome: 16.67%
Worth A Look34.21%
Average: 16.67%
Pretty Bad: 10.53%
Total Crap: 21.93%

7 reviews, 72 user ratings


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Never Been Kissed
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by Chris Parry

"Calling a Drew film Never Been Kissed is like Madonna singing Like A Virgin"
1 stars

The teen movie is a delicate creature. It takes intense knowledge of style, language, culture and issues to put together a work that really gets into the high school experience like The Breakfast Club did nearly twenty years ago. But as most teenage trends just barely outlast the average box office run of a John Travolta film, how is a writer who hasn't set foot in high school since striped jeans were in supposed to have the first clue about what high school today is really like? Talk to the kids who escaped Columbine with a mere flesh wound, talk so a kid who gets his face flushed daily, those are some kids who could let you know what's what. But aside from the few rare successes, such as Ten Things I Hate About You, Heathers and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, most teen movies aren't worth the crayons they're scripted with, and Never Been Kissed is right amongst the bottom end of the genre.

Fortunately for script rookies Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, the average studio executive knows even less about high school life than they do, so they simply started with an ugly duckling plotline, threw in three bitchy popular kids, a sugar-sweet ending and a few catchy buzzwords ("Totally Rufus"? Who says that?), and hey presto, some moron in a suit is cutting a cheque in the low seven figures. I'm clearly in the wrong line of work.

So Drew Barrymore is a copy editor so socially defunct that she points out grammar errors whenever anyone talks to her. Her boss, the kind of borderline senile old guy that always makes for an easy way out of an improbable plot set-up, decides to send Drew undercover to a local high school for like, oh, only a semester, to report from up close on what kids get up to these days. Now, putting aside the obvious improbabilities here, like any modern day newspaper spending three days on an investigation, let alone an entire semester, or the unlikelihood of the task going to a 25 year old whose main job at the paper is telling people where a semi-colon goes, this could have been the start of an interesting look at teenage tribes and how school today is a much different experience than it was in the bad old 80's. Instead we're treated to the most stereotypical, miscast mess since She's All That.

So Barrymore hits high school in the most ridiculous looking outfit in cinema history, setting off a general 'new girl nerd' vibe that harks back to her past when she was egged on prom night. Woe is her. Hollywood has a bad history when it comes to casting girls to play nerds. They usually look one step down from gorgeous, such as when Rachel Leigh Cook was supposed to be soooooooo disgusting in She's All That, and then we're supposed to be all shocked when she makes the transition to cool-ass. It's ridiculous, and the only time any nerd-girl character has been properly cast in recent years was when Allison Hannigan nerded the house down in American Pie. Hannigan played the role to perfection because she can actually act and doesn't look like your average cookie-cutter Hollywood teenager. In a similar role here, Barrymore hams it up to such a heavy extent that it damages the realism of the film itself. She doesn't play a nerd, she plays the nerdiest nerd since Neville Nerdberger won the 1912 National Nerd Championships with a double overtime pocket-protector from three point range. Pick a cast member from Revenge Of The Nerds and whoever you pick was cooler than Barrymore is here. Steve Urkle would look like a young Lee Marvin next to this terrible character. You could scour chess-clubs across America in search of the most asthmatic, socially retarded, obese, sweaty, pimply, manic-depressive 15-year-old boy and you'd still be struggling to match the ridiculous nerd that Barrymore has created.

Cliché # 1: When the new kid comes to school, the only people who will talk to them are the uber-nerds.
Cinema Crime # 1: Leelee Sobieski, who could school Drew Barrymore any day of the week in the acting and looks stakes, is assigned 'nerd who will talk to the new girl when nobody else will' responsibilities. That Sobieski is totally hot is irrelevant. She wears glasses and can count without using her fingers, kick that nerd's ass! What a waste of talent. She should fire her agent immediately. Out of a cannon.

So Drew's nerdiness causes problems at work because her boss wants her to get in with the cool kids. Why? Because the cool kids get drunk. Obviously, so do screenwriters.

Cliché # 2: The geek will always somehow find a way to become popular and shun those uncool types who once befriended them.
Cinema Crime # 2: In this case, Drew becomes popular because David "Blinky" Arquette tells people she's cool. Gee, why didn't I think of that when I was in school? "Oz is cool? Are you serious? Well, better take off my underpants and stick my knees behind my ears then…"

Blinky Arquette must be retarded. I mean, look at the guy. Other actors emote. He blinks and stutters and scratches his armpit and flinches like the Nazis are shining bright lights in his face. What the hell is that? Can you really make a career out of playing a basket case? Hey, if CarrotTop can swing a production deal...

Anyway, in this film Blinky plays Drew's older brother who decides to help her with her job by also going back to school and pretending to be a teenager, so he can play in the big baseball game and maybe get spotted by a big league scout. Jesus H. Crap, if this story was any less realistic, they'd be fashioning intergalactic communication devices out of Happy Meal toys, saran wrap and earwax.

But perhaps the most disturbing side to this already heavily disturbing story is how easily these old farts 'fall into bed' with the young 'uns. I mean, Drew is 'supposed' to be 17 (and a nerd), but her teacher is practically sticking singles down her cleavage. Of course, rather than his behavior disgusting her, she falls in love with the guy. Similarly, Blinky is supposed to be 23, but when he gets to high school he starts to date a 16 year old, and when he's interrupted getting freaky with her, we're supposed to feel sorry for skanky-boy because his cover is blown. Say what? Excuse me? If he has sex with my mom, should I high-five him on the way out?

Never Been Kissed is ridiculous. Full of tame humor, lame set pieces, miscast characters, ridiculous dialogue and a theme that was original about four hundred years ago, the only thing that could save it would be some smart directing and star power. Unfortunately, director Raja Gosnell is the same talentless hack that brought us Home Alone 3, Big Momma's House and is about to helm the upcoming Scooby Doo remake starring the repulsive pairing of (go on, guess) Freddie Prinze Jr and Matthew Lillard. Seriously. After those two starred together in Wing Commander, She's All That and now Scooby Doo, you've got to start asking who's pitching and who's catching.

But I digress, if you ever see a set of burning film cans marked "Never Been Kissed", let them burn. Society will be better off.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1556&reviewer=1
originally posted: 03/08/01 15:00:20
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User Comments

6/22/10 PAUL SHORTT MILDLY AMUSING BUT MUDDLED 2 stars
1/10/09 Anonymous. a cute little movie that alot of us can relate to, in one way or another. :] 4 stars
11/27/08 little Red I love this movie 5 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner This ones ok. 3 stars
11/13/06 cody a pretty cool movie that remains everbody how bad highschool was. 3/5 3 stars
8/02/05 love not realistic, but still adorable, love you drew 4 stars
10/23/04 Hilary Adamson What planet can Chris Parry be from,hating this&liking 10 things I hate about you? 5 stars
6/03/04 Jim Main characters are sad sacks; their mooning over teenagers is just creepy. 1 stars
4/09/04 phoenix I so want Jessica Alba to suck my cock bone dry. 4 stars
2/21/04 Santa Monica Yu Mora 387.St,Kentucky Locations 5 stars
3/23/03 Santa Monica Yu Mora 387.St,Kentucky Locations 4 stars
2/26/03 R.W. Welch Pretty familiar routine teen stuff which nonetheless made mucho $$ 3 stars
2/08/03 Alyssa Young I loved the movie. Drew Barrymore was awesome. 5 stars
1/04/03 Matt Leblanc & Monica Yu Mora 387.St,Kentucky Locations 5 stars
12/22/02 Pigwidgeon Mainly a showcase for the eternal Drew Barrymore. Excellent music. The rest, so-so. 4 stars
8/25/02 Retarded Homo Yeah Jessica Alba is fuckalicious! I wanna take a shit in her mouth, yeah, chow my turds! 5 stars
6/05/02 hassan zafar good 5 stars
5/24/02 Kristen great fun 4 stars
5/22/02 Professor Shithead True Hollywood shit in the grand tradition 1 stars
5/20/02 siro Why do chicks dig Drew Barrymore so much??? Let's be honest -- she SUCKS!!! 1 stars
4/30/02 Phoenix Jessica Alba is so fuckable. Damn I want to fuck her in the ass, and have her suck my cock. 4 stars
4/27/02 esfse SUCKS! 1 stars
4/03/02 hannah fun, light, and happy ending. Loved it! Loved it! 5 stars
3/28/02 Sery I thought this movie was really cute. 4 stars
3/24/02 verbina King of the Bros: You are an IDIOT. WORST REVIEW EVER 4 stars
3/22/02 chris Jesus this movie fucking sucks so much ass Drew sucks ass 1 stars
1/30/02 Jessica Davis I'd be a Drew Barrymore fan if she were always like this! Charming! Hope casters take note. 4 stars
7/26/01 moviegoer Full of heart and humor. While it had it's umm... strange moments, I found it wonderful. 4 stars
4/16/01 LiL This was great, funny and had Drew Barrymore in it 4 stars
4/11/01 totally contrived, better than it should be thanks to Drew Barrymore's charm. 3 stars
4/09/01 Gary This is a really good movie. Drew Barrymore's best I think! 4 stars
3/28/01 saucy terrible!!! terrible!!! terrible!!! 1 stars
3/12/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Okay, kill me if you must, but I really loved this movie. I even RELATED to it!! 5 stars
2/21/01 Rocket Boy Horrible, Drew Barrymore at her worst, which--is pretty bad. 1 stars
9/29/00 The King of the Bros You want informative? How's this, YOU SUCK! 1 stars
9/10/00 Bob Fugate As a reviewer you are neither informative nor funny, what you are is a loser. 4 stars
9/03/00 Bill McNeal Some embarassing jokes, but it's incredibly sweet & Drew is very charismatic 5 stars
8/11/00 Bender Decent teeny bopper fluff. 3 stars
8/03/00 Elvisfan so awful that i am amazed it got released to the public at all 1 stars
6/07/00 Alma Marquez Man the guy who said that this movie is fuckig rufus is fucking right thi movie sucks 1 stars
6/06/00 Michael Grimm average entertainment, few laughs 3 stars
5/31/00 natasha disturbing-- even if she was 25, he was her teacher and didn't know it 3 stars
4/09/00 Amber Marie Schubert The movie was awesome and the teacher was hot 5 stars
3/19/00 Jed OK teenie flick 3 stars
3/12/00 Richard Wright Tries to be charming and sweet, but instead is manipulative and thoughily irritating. Yuck. 2 stars
1/21/00 kmk i love drew barrymore, but this movie is pitiful 1 stars
9/17/99 strike The flashbacks were truthful, but still this is formulaic and the finale was childish. 2 stars
8/14/99 Mac Barrymore is excellent 5 stars
7/23/99 John Lyons Trite & predictable 3 stars
7/19/99 TOMB AMAZING 5 stars
7/09/99 MRHOLLYWOOD !! Will strike a chord with some. Overall a very sweet and depressing film. 3 stars
7/06/99 Angie Drew Barrymore is the queen of teen stardom...absolutely adorable movie w/ real moral value 5 stars
7/03/99 Daria Absolutely contrived and predictable, but Drew made it a fantastic experience. 5 stars
6/15/99 David Drew makes this one watchable; without her, the lame predictable story would suck all ass. 2 stars
5/27/99 darren Ack. Ptui. I walked out after 20 minutes and got my money back. 1 stars
5/15/99 Javachik Drew looked horrid, plot was totally incapable of happening, end was kinda nice 2 stars
5/10/99 Murrieta Man Possibly the worst film I have every seen. 1 stars
4/30/99 Sentaia E Very nice, but it kinda scared me... 5 stars
4/30/99 Goddess It was pretty good. Rufus! 4 stars
4/30/99 Angie Adorable movie!! Drew was a gem!! 5 stars
4/26/99 Mr Showbiz Who knew Drew Barrymore was a world class prat-faller? 5 stars
4/25/99 aoakely13 chick flick but okay 3 stars
4/22/99 Jessica THIS WAS THE BEST MOVIE!!!! MICHEAL VARTAN IS SOOO HHHHOOOOOTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/19/99 Malbert Who is this Michael Vartan guy? he was great, as was Drew B. 4 stars
4/18/99 ladyace a mishmash of the truman show & every other teen movie; the cool cast is wasted! 2 stars
4/16/99 Dave Drew kicks ass! 3 stars
4/10/99 mara funny movie. drew stirs your empathetic nature. dave arq. VERY cute in tightie whities. 4 stars
4/07/99 Hannah Leach It's really interesting 4 stars
4/07/99 Michael Grimm good beginning and middle, but the end? 4 stars
4/03/99 E Essentially an ensemble piece, with Arquette as another high-school drop in. 3 stars
4/02/99 Rodger Fun film. Moves well. Drew is great. But the wheels fall off at the end. 4 stars
3/31/99 The Graduate A sweet, entertaining flick--Drew is very watchable 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  09-Apr-1999 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  01-Jul-1999 (M)




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