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Never Been Kissed

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Never Been Kissed

Starring: Drew Barrymore, David Arquette
Director: Raja Gosnell
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 107 Minutes
Release Date: April 1999
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Carmen Lee, Molly Shannon, Michael Vartan, Leelee Sobieski, Jeremy Jordan, Jessica Alba, John C. Reilly, Garry Marshall

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Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

How deep are your teenage emotional scars? Anyone who has ever experienced an awkward, horrible humiliation in high school will relate to Drew Barrymore's dilemma as she is forced to negotiate the social and emotional land mines of adolescence - not once but twice. As mousy, 25 year-old Josie Geller, an incurable romantic and the youngest copy editor at the "Chicago Sun Times," she's assigned to go undercover to report on today's teenagers. But Josie was a brainy nerd in high school, a gawky geek to the core, nicknamed "Josie Grossie," and her re-visit promises to be a repeat. "All I wanted was to be accepted, and they just tortured me," she wails to her younger brother (David Arquette), a self-styled "loser," who decides to lend support, catapulting her from "outcast" to "instant popularity." And, of course, she finds romance with an English literature teacher (Michael Vartan) who finds himself uncomfortably attracted to one of his "students." Drew Barrymore has a dazzling comic flair; her saucy performance is hilarious. One of the newer trends in the motion picture business is targeting a specific audience - in this case, teenage girls, who are all to familiar with the cattiness, cruelty, and clique-mentality. This romantic comedy has all the hallmarks of vintage John Hughes - think "Pretty in Pink" and "Sixteen Candles" - as director Raja Gosnell coaxes freshness out of Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein's formulaic script, which delivers the message: "Find out who you are and try not to be afraid of it." On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Never Been Kissed" is a lively if sophomoric 7 - but, for its target audience, it's a captivating, totally cool teenage chick's flick.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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