02 February 2014

Never been Kissed (starring Drew Barrymore)

As so often happens, I don't recall why this DVD ended up on my wishlist. Perhaps it was because of the genre; perhaps it was recommending Drew Barrymore films. In any case, I was given it for Christmas - at the end of 2012! It sat on the ever-increasing to-be-watched shelf, and we finally saw it last night.

'Never been kissed' is firmly in the rom-com genre, produced in 1999. Romantic comedies were somehow lighter and cleaner in the 1990s, although it didn't feel that way at the time. Drew Barrymore was in her 20s when she starred in this, as Josie, a pedantic copy writer who longs to be a journalist. She is finally given an undercover assignment to find a story at a local high school. So she has to behave as if she were 17, and enroll as a student, something that brings some quite painful flashbacks of her own rather nerdy high school days.

The story, it has to be said, is somewhat unlikely. The script a bit tired; while it was undoubtedly light, there weren't any laugh-aloud moments, and although the climax was a bit unexpected, the ending was (happily) predictable, if unlikely. Nevertheless, this is a nicely done film, with some good acting, and some rather shocking insights into American high schools, albeit (I assume) rather caricatured. At the point where Josie talks about how high school really hasn't changed, I can imagine some teens in this situation feeling quite challenged.

The 'love interest' is underplayed; not that this is necessarily a bad thing, and the scenes in the newspaper office seemed exaggerated, even silly at times. Perhaps the most interesting character in the film is Josie's brother Rob, ably portrayed by David Arquette.

Still, despite its flawed, we enjoyed this film. I would recommend it for anyone who likes this genre, and wants a fluffy hour and a half that's a bit different from the average rom-com. Rated 12, which I think is about right - there's no violence, no nudity, no intimacy, and I didn't even notice any bad language. However, there are many discussions about sex, including one mildly humorous scene in the classroom... to say more would be a spoiler. I doubt if this would be of any interest to anyone under the age of about 14 in any case.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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