Beautiful, Awkward, Realism in “Never Been Kissed”

“Never Been Kissed”

Drew Barrymore plays an ex-geek turned copy editor who is forced to relive her horrid high school days for the sake of a cover story in this lovable 90’s classic. All the cliche chic flick elements are in this film: the geek made over, the lovable build up between the two leads, and (sorry to spoil) the atypical happy ending. But why is it that this film seems to be so much better than its later counterparts? What is it about Never Been Kissed that makes it special, iconic… classic? Simple. The casting.

Instead of making the obviously stupid decision of casting Jessica Alba as Josie Geller, Barrymore takes the lead role, and plays it with every inch of awkward realism. It is this realism that makes us connect with her, that makes us root for her. After all, chic flicks are reserved for ladies in general, right? Another thing that adds to the mix is her unconventional beauty. Drew is no cookie cutter Hollywood geeky good girl: she’s every bit the real woman… and we couldn’t be happier.

The kilig moments in the film are well-timed, genuine and awfully realistic. In short, everything about this movie is real: save for the overly Hollywood-like ending that looks like it came right out of a football fan’s fantasy.

Never Been Kissed has become a chic flick staple because it caters to the awkward: a feeling so timeless and so real that every girl will never stop feeling it a thousand or so years from now. Another reason the film’s a classic is romantic innocence: yes people may get married and get into relationships here and there, but a handful of women are still NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth). These are the type of girls who’ve grown up on chic flicks and never gone on dates before; idealistic, innocent females who are unaware of what true romance feels like (an example of such: yours truly). The story of Josie Geller is a story these women can relate to at that point in their lives and eventually look back on once they’ve finally found the one. It’s a lovely tale oozing with sweetness and heart, a story that still resonates even until now.

 

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