Never Been Kissed (1999)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Teen Movie  |   Release Date - Apr 9, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Jason Clark

It's hard to argue the considerable charms of star/producer Drew Barrymore, but pretty easy to argue against a romantic comedy that provides absolutely nothing new and just about every cliché a teen picture has to offer. The terrain is the tried-and-true, nerds-versus-cool-people shtick, with Barrymore cheerfully playing both, but the story is so muddled and familiar that even her adorability cannot save it. An ideal film for a budding high-schooler, Never Been Kissed has nevertheless been eclipsed by more acerbic and far wittier outings that test the same waters, especially Amy Heckerling's magnificent 1995 picture Clueless, which managed the seemingly impossible assignment of being both a satire of teenage romantic comedies and a pretty nifty one itself, while still seeming wholly original and sensitively rendered. The material here is cruder and less polished, and tells a seasoned viewer nothing he or she hasn't heard before. Despite its au courant nature, the film was a fairly sizable hit for Twentieth Century Fox in a very weak year for them, before their blockbuster Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.