We’ll let it slide… it was, after all, the 90s.
Directed by: Raja Gosnell
Written by: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein
Starring: Drew Barrymore, David Arquette and Michael Vartan
High school can be a nightmarish experience for the fat, nerdy loser-girl who has braces and a big crush on the school’s most popular boy. But once you leave high school, get a job and find that you’re life hasn’t changed all too much from when you were seventeen, would you do it all over again? If it was in the ’90s, and the storyline is going to follow through to a predictable ending and a pretty cheesy message, then HELLS YES. Even if it’s just for the sake of wearing the outrageous fashion and bad make up.
Never Been Kissed stars a goofy Drew Barrymore who is given her first undercover journalist role in a high school. Having been bullied as ‘Josie Grosie’ in her last high school, Josie (Barrymore) must befriend the popular kids in order to dish out an exciting story.
While the film is fun to watch, purely because of it’s ’90s feel-good conventions and jokes, it feels a little artificial and bland for the tastes we’ve acquired with the comedy genre today. The storyline fails to have consistency or direction when Josie continues to fail digging up an exciting story for her undercover assignment, making us wonder what the paper had in mind in the first place. On top of this, the romance that she begins to develop with her English teacher is a little distrubing considering he has no idea that she is actually twenty-five, giving her intimate details about his own rocky love life with a long-term girlfriend and paying extra affectionate attention on her… which, I’d like to remind, is ILLEGAL and very CREEPY.
But if you overlook these minor glitches, Never Been Kissed is a good flashback to our own experiences of high school as we relive it through Josie’s uncertain but increasingly confident navigation of adolescent desires, dreams and experiences. Plus, since it was the ’90s, I think we can let the fashion and the chessiness slide.