Never Been Kissed
|Never Been Kissed|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Raja Gosnell|
|Produced by||Sandy Isaac
|Written by||Abby Kohn
John C. Reilly
|Music by||David Newman|
|Editing by||Debra Chiate
|Studio||Fox 2000 Pictures
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)||April 9, 1999|
|Running time||107 minutes|
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.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (November 2010)|
Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) is a copy editor for the Chicago Sun-Times who has never had a real relationship. One day during a staff meeting, the tyrannical 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 that ruined her first high school career. She also has an unfortunate run-in with Gibby, Kirsten, and Kristen (Jordan Ladd, Jessica Alba, and Marley Shelton), three mean, popular girls, and Guy Perkins (Jeremy Jordan), the most attractive, popular student at South Glen South. Upon discovering that Guy and his friends have hidden her car, Josie loses hope, but is warmed when a kind-hearted, intelligent girl named Aldys (Leelee Sobieski) befriends her. Aldys dislikes Guy and his gang, referring to them as "lemmings", and they in turn view her as an uncool geek. Aldys suggests that Josie should join The Denominators, a group of intelligent students. Josie does but fails to get her story.
Josie becomes enamoured with her English teacher, Sam Coulson (Michael Vartan), who is a fan of Shakespeare, as is Josie, 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 Perkins and his gang at a local hangout called "The Court" where promiscuity and underage drinking takes place. Guy is nasty to Josie and Aldys, who claims that nothing exciting happens in Guy's court, but Josie knows from experience that Aldys secretly longs to be popular. Her superior Augustus "Gus" Strauss (John C. Reilly) loses patience with Josie after a rival paper exposes the truth on The Court, and orders Josie to become friends with the popular kids. He arranges for her to wear a hidden camera that will report back information to Gus, and soon the whole office becomes obsessed with Josie's story. Josie's co-worker Anita (Molly Shannon), after hearing Josie's recital of Shakespeare, grows unhappy with her promiscuous lifestyle and develops an attraction towards Gus, and he reciprocates.
Josie goes home and confides in Rob about her fears. She tearfully tells him that South Glen South is simply a repetition of her old high school days and all she wants is to be accepted and not abused. Rob - who was the most popular guy in school in his youth - insists that if Josie can get one cool person to like her, then no one will dare question her. He urges her to let go of her old self and start anew. Determined, Josie goes to school the next day and overhears Guy telling his group about a cool band that are playing in a bar that night. Josie follows and meets Sam and his uptight girlfriend, Lara (Maya McLaughlin). However, she is tricked into eating a hash brownie and makes a fool of herself onstage by dancing wildly in front of Guy, the girls, and Sam.
The next day, Josie oversleeps and is late for school. As her hand was stamped "loser" the night before at the club, the ink prints the word "loser" on her forehead, unknown to her. She merrily goes to school and is horrified to find everyone mocking her. She runs to the bathroom, sees the mark on her face and vomits in the toilet. She breaks down in tears and remembers the night of her prom. She was overjoyed at the thought of Billy Prince taking her to the prom and waits outside for him in her prom gown. But when Billy arrives in his limo, he has another girl with him and the both of them hurl eggs and insults at Josie, who collapses in tears. As she runs through the school hall, she encounters Rob who has enrolled as a new student and schemes to help her be popular. He becomes an instant hit with Guy Perkins and the other trendy kids, and spreads incredible stories about Josie, convincing the others that she is not a loser. Much to the anger 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. Josie begins dating Guy and she recommends that the theme for the senior prom should be "Meant for Each Other", famous couples throughout history. This idea is met with approval and Guy and Josie attend the prom as Rosalind and Orlando from Shakespeare's As You Like It. Anita, Gus and Josie's various 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, Josie dances with Sam and watches, horrified, as Gibby, Kirsten and Kristen nearly pour dog food over Aldys as revenge for her insulting them. Josie knocks the can away from Aldys and spills dog food over the three girls, who turn on her and denounce her as a loser. Infuriated, Josie throws her crown away and reveals her true age and occupation, and that she is disgusted by them. She angrily states how shallow the popular girls are, and praises Aldys for her kindness. Josie warns the students that who one was in high school means nothing outside in the real world and urges them to be themselves. She flees and leaves the students appalled. 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 pros. He tells Josie that he "taught those kids something" and that she totally ruined things for him and the team.
Josie vows to give Gus a story and write her story of her own high school career. She admits she has never been kissed, and also mentions the students of South Glen South, kindly remarking on Guy's confidence, Gibby, Kirsten and Kristen's beauty, and Aldys's intelligence, and her love for Sam. The entire city is moved by her story and the pain she suffered in her teens. She says 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 team, something he proves to be successful doing. Josie waits but Sam has not heard as he is moving to New York. She waits with encouragement from Anita, Aldys, Gus, Guy and the girls.
The clock runs out with no sign of Sam. A heartbroken Josie drops the microphone she's been holding to the ground. 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.
- Drew Barrymore as Josie Geller
- David Arquette as Rob Geller
- Michael Vartan as Sam Coulson
- Leelee Sobieski as Aldys
- Molly Shannon as Anita
- John C. Reilly as Augustus "Gus" Strauss
- Jeremy Jordan as Guy Perkins
- Jessica Alba as Kirsten
- Jordan Ladd as Gibby
- Marley Shelton as Kristen
- James Franco as Jason
- Denny Kirkwood as Billy Prince
- Marissa Jaret Winokur as Sheila
- Maya McLaughlin as Lara
- Giuseppe Andrews as Denominator
- Octavia Spencer as Cynthia
- Branden Williams as Tommy
- Cress Williams as George
- Garry Marshall as Rigfort
- Sean Whalen as Merkin
- Martha Hackett as Mrs. Knox
- Jenny Bicks as Miss Haskell
- Katie Lansdale as Tracy
- 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. 
- Never Been Kissed at the Internet Movie Database
- Never Been Kissed at AllRovi
- Never Been Kissed at Box Office Mojo
- Never Been Kissed at Rotten Tomatoes