Kissed [1996]

Let's get this straight: Drew Barrymore started a production company to develop original scripts outside of Hollywood and the first project she chose to produce was this, a romantic comedy written by USC grads Abby Kohn and Mark Silverstein about a nerdy, virginal woman who returns to high school as an undercover reporter, finally gets to be popular, and falls in love. And Barrymore decided, as producer, that the perfect actress to play this virtuous, clean-cut, and downright annoying geek would be... Drew Barrymore? It's hard to believe that after The Wedding Singer Barrymore's not getting enough dopey, formulaic, predictable romantic comedies coming across her desk. The complete inability to buy Barrymore as unattractive, awkward, and unpopular ruins Never Been Kissed from the start, but it's doubtful a better actress could have saved it. The jokes fall flat, the romance between Barrymore and her English teacher (played by Michael Vartan) lacks chemistry, and the portrayals of high school and the newspaper newsroom is clich├ęd and uninspired (big surprise here: the director, Raja Gosnell, previously made Home Alone 3). Gosnell can't even give the gifted character actor, John C. Reilly, anything to do. Only David Arquette, who plays Barrymore's out-of-control brother, brings any energy to the film. --Dave McCoy

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