Volume 92, Issue 99

Wednesday, April 7, 1999


Never been kissed puckers for nothin'

OTC breeds American pop

Barker transcends genres

Blur escapes to a sonic masterpiece

Likable cast saves teen comedy

Never been kissed puckers for nothin'

Photo by Suzanne Hanover

KISS ME YOU FOOL, BEFORE I BURST. David Arquette stars in the romantic comedy Never Been Kissed opening in theatres this Friday.

Photo by Suzanne Hanover

SWEETIE I'M ALREADY BUSTING...I MEAN BURSTING. Drew Barrymore goes back to high school to prove her coolness in her latest flick, Never Been Kissed.

By Sarah Duda
Gazette Staff

It begins as an average movie and gets progressively worse from there. It is the latest addition to the overly exploited teen genre.

Never Been Kissed proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that today's youth-oriented movies have nothing even remotely new or exciting to offer viewers. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight to this incessant stream of teen-oriented garbage.

Why can't another John Hughes come along and save us from this madness? Where have all the Breakfast Clubs gone? Why is it so difficult to make an intelligent movie?

In Never Been Kissed, 25-year-old reporter Josie Gellar (Drew Barrymore) is assigned to do an undercover feature for the Chicago Sun Times. Her assignment involves masquerading as a 17-year-old and returning to high school to get the inside scoop on the youth of America.

Josie, who wasn't very cool the first time she had to endure high school, does not fare much better the second time around. Josie's boss tells her to write about the habits of the cool crowd, but they refuse to hang out with a dork like Josie. Luckily for Josie, her hip brother Rob (David Arquette, Scream) also returns to high school to help his sister fit in.

Eventually, the caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly and Josie Gellar manages to shed her "Josie Grossi" nickname, as she becomes the prom queen. The popular kids embrace her and it looks like she can finally write her story.

There is a silly sub-plot in this sea of stupidity and it revolves around Josie and her attractive English teacher. The two develop a mutual crush on each other and their improbable flirting succeeds in making a painful movie even more hurting.

Viewers will have no trouble seeing every twist and turn in this story coming from a mile away and they will find themselves hoping for something – anything – unpredictable to happen, but it won't.

There is one pretty funny scene, in which Josie gets high (unknowingly) and makes a complete ass of herself. Obviously, this one brief scene is not reason enough to run out and see this movie. If you are in the mood for this brand of humour, rent Dazed and Confused.

As for the acting, while Molly Shannon and David Arquette give mediocre supporting performances, Barrymore at least distinguishes herself by giving a completely unselfconscious and energetic performance. Her willingness to appear convincingly unattractive on the big screen is commendable. If Barrymore would stick exclusively to acting, then this review would not be critical of her in the slightest. Unfortunately, Barrymore is also the executive producer of this disaster and it is obvious she lacks the talent to do this job well.

The high school where most of the action unfolds is supposed to remind viewers of their own high school, but it does not. Unless of course you went to a high school where the girls were all so ultra-skinny that next to them someone like Drew Barrymore would appear obese.

In the end, this movie is just plain bad. One is left longing for a really great high school movie like Fast Times at Ridgemont High or Say Anything.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999