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Never Been Kissed

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Subject: Drew Barrymore, Romantic comedy film, Transister, Emo, Jimmy Eat World, Cannabis foods, 1999 in film, Leelee Sobieski, Blind Melon, 2006 in film
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Never Been Kissed

This article is about the 1999 film. For the Glee episode, see Never Been Kissed (Glee). For other uses, see Never Been Kissed (disambiguation).
Never Been Kissed
File:Never been kissed.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Raja Gosnell
Produced by Sandy Isaac
Nancy Juvonen
Written by Abby Kohn
Marc Silverstein
Starring Drew Barrymore
David Arquette
Michael Vartan
Leelee Sobieski
Jeremy Jordan
Molly Shannon
Garry Marshall
John C. Reilly
Jessica Alba
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Alex Nepomniaschy
Editing by Debra Chiate
Marcel Sansevieri
Studio Fox 2000 Pictures
Flower Films
Bushwood Pictures
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) April 9, 1999
Running time 107 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million[1]
Box office $84,565,230[1]

Never Been Kissed is a 1999 romantic comedy film produced by 20th Century Fox and Drew Barrymore's production company, Flower Films, directed by Raja Gosnell and starring Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, Michael Vartan, Leelee Sobieski, Jeremy Jordan, Molly Shannon, Garry Marshall, and John C. Reilly.


Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) is a copy editor for the Chicago Sun-Times who has never had a real relationship. One day, her editor-in-chief, Rigfort (Garry Marshall) assigns her to report undercover at a high school to help parents become more aware of their children's lives.

Her first day at South Glen South High School is miserable. Josie reverts to the old geek persona that ruined her first high school career. She also has an unfortunate run-in with three mean, popular girls (Jordan Ladd, Jessica Alba, and Marley Shelton), and Guy Perkins (Jeremy Jordan), the most attractive, popular student at South Glen South. Josie loses hope, but is reassured when a kind-hearted, intelligent girl named Aldys (Leelee Sobieski) befriends her. Aldys dislikes Guy and his gang, who view her as an uncool geek and call her "Alpo" after the brand of dog food. Aldys invites Josie to join The Denominators, a group of intelligent students. Josie does, but fails to get her story.

Josie develops a crush on her English teacher, Sam Coulson (Michael Vartan), and she becomes the top student in his class. After reciting a romantic excerpt from Shakespeare to Sam, Josie has horrible flashbacks to where she read a romantic poem aloud in class to her high school crush, a popular boy named Billy Prince (Denny Kirkwood), who made fun of her for it.

One night while out driving with Aldys, Josie encounters Guy and his gang at a local hangout called "The Court" where promiscuity and underage drinking take place. Her managing editor Augustus "Gus" Strauss (John C. Reilly) loses patience with Josie after a rival paper scoops The Court story, and orders Josie to become friends with the popular kids. He arranges for her to wear a hidden camera, and soon the whole office becomes obsessed with Josie's story. Josie's co-worker Anita (Molly Shannon) grows unhappy with her promiscuous lifestyle and develops an attraction towards Gus, which he reciprocates.

Josie confides in her brother Rob (David Arquette) about her fears. Rob, who was the most popular guy in school in his youth, urges her to let go of her old self and start anew. To help her, Rob enrolls as a new student and becomes an instant hit with the trendy kids, and uses his influence to spread incredible stories about Josie, convincing them that she is not a loser. Much to the dismay of Aldys, Josie becomes popular and hangs out with the cool crowd.

Sam and Josie grow closer, but Sam struggles with his feelings as he thinks that she is a student and therefore off-limits. Guy and Josie attend the prom as Rosalind and Orlando from Shakespeare's As You Like It. Anita, Gus and Josie's other co-workers watch through the camera and are overjoyed as she is voted prom queen. As Guy dances with Aldys as an alleged act of friendship, the mean girls attempt to dump dog food over Aldys. Outraged, Josie throws her crown away and reveals her true age and occupation. She praises Aldys for her kindness and warns the students that one's persona in high school means nothing in the real world. Sam is hurt by her lies and states he wants nothing to do with her. Also angry is Rob, who as a phony student received a second chance to play baseball and be scouted for the major leagues.

Josie vows to give Gus a story and writes the story of her own high school career. She admits she has never been kissed, and describes the students of South Glen South and her love for Sam. The entire city is moved by her story. She writes she will stand in the middle of the baseball field and wait for Sam to come and kiss her, if he really loves her. She also makes amends with Rob by using her influence at the paper to secure Rob an assistant coaching job with the South Central High team. Josie waits, but the clock runs out with no sign of Sam. Fighting tears, she hears cheers rising from the bleachers seconds later as Sam rushes to the pitcher's mound. Sam apologizes for being late and kisses Josie for the very first time.



  • During the scene where Josie and Aldys are talking to each other on the football field, the band plays the theme song from The Simpsons.
  • During a scene where Josie is remembering her bullying in high school, Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop" is played.
  • "(I Just) Died In Your Arms" by Cutting Crew plays when Josie first sees Guy entering the classroom.
  • American ska band Spring Heeled Jack U.S.A. submitted a song named "Josie" for the film's soundtrack. The band had previously released a single titled "Jolene" which was about their tour van, but when given the opportunity to submit a song for the soundtrack, they simply replaced the name Jolene with Josie to make it relevant to Barrymore's character in the film. It was later rejected.
  • The morning after Josie's experience with marijuana, "Me, Myself and I" by De La Soul is heard playing.
  • When Josie is remembering her first senior prom, Madonna's song "Like a Prayer", from her album Like a Prayer, can be heard in the background.
  • The single "Seventeen" by Jimmy Eat World is featured in the film's soundtrack. The version used in the film differs from the version released commercially.
  • A significant amount of the song "Heaven Tonight" by Hole appears in the film.
  • The Latin funk band Ozomatli makes a cameo.
  • During the climax, in the scene when Josie receives her first kiss from Sam on the baseball field, the song "Don't Worry Baby" by The Beach Boys is played.
  • While Josie and Sam are dancing, the song "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" from the 1984 album "Hatful Of Hollow" by The Smiths can be heard in the background.
  • The song "Erase/Rewind" by The Cardigans is played,in the background, towards the end of the movie, at the prom night when the prom king and queen dance.
  • The song Watching the Wheels by John Lennon appears in the movie.
  • Kottonmouth Kings' "Suburban Life" plays when Josie pulls up to the school and her car backfires

Filming locations

  • South Glen High School was filmed at John Burroughs Middle School located in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles at 600 South McCadden Place
  • Josie's childhood home is located at 368 North Ridgewood Place in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles.
  • Nana's coffee shop where Josie and Aldys have lunch is the Monrovia Coffee Company located at 425 South Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia, CA.
  • The Tiki Post where Rob worked is now a Cold Stone Creamery located at 408 South Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia, Ca.
  • The exterior scenes for the prom were filmed at 4526 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA. The interiors were filmed at the Ebell located at 743 South Lucerne Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA.
  • Josie's office and job scenes were filmed in Chicago and readers of the Chicago Sun-Times were shot on the Chicago Avenue stop on the CTA Brown Line.

Critical reception

Critics gave mixed reviews to the film, with a "Rotten" score of 56% on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, and its consensus reading: "[An] unoriginal and unremarkable high school satire [that] adds little to the genre." However the audience (70% from 117,000 voters) liked it. [2]


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • AllRovi
  • Box Office Mojo
  • Rotten Tomatoes
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