Never Been Kissed – Drew Barrymore, David Arquette1:22:54

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Published on September 2, 2016

Never Been Kissed

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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
Never Been Kissed film poster.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
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Alex Nepomniaschy
Edited by Debra Chiate
Fox 2000 Pictures
Flower Films
Bushwood Pictures
Never Been Kissed Productions
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
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 directed by Raja Gosnell, and stars Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, Michael Vartan, Leelee Sobieski, Jeremy Jordan, Molly Shannon, Garry Marshall, John C. Reilly and James Franco in his film debut.


Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) is an insecure 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 obnoxious popular girls (Jordan Ladd, Jessica Alba, andMarley Shelton), and Guy Perkins (Jeremy Jordan), the school’s most attractive, popular student. Josie loses hope, but is reassured when a kind-hearted nerd named Aldys (Leelee Sobieski) befriends her. Aldys, who loathes Guy and his gang, invites Josie to join The Denominators, a group of intelligent students.

Josie develops a crush on her English teacher, Sam Coulson (Michael Vartan), and becomes the top student in his class. After reciting a romantic excerpt from Shakespeare to Sam, Josie has horrible flashbacks to when she read a romantic poem aloud in class to her high school crush, a popular boy named Billy Prince (Denny Kirkwood), who later asked her to their senior prom, making her dream come true. However, on the night of the prom, Billy arrives with another girl and both of them hurl eggs and insults at Josie, humiliating her and breaking her heart.

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 her story.

Josie confides in her brother Rob (David Arquette) about her fears. Rob, who was their high school’s most popular boy in his teens, urges her to let go of her old self and start anew. To help her, Rob enrolls as a student and becomes an instant hit. He then uses his influence to draw Josie into the cool crowd, much to the dismay of Aldys.

Sam and Josie grow closer, but Sam struggles with his feelings as he thinks she’s a student. 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 identity. 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 angered is Rob, who as a phony student received a second chance at baseball. Josie, ultimately making amends, secures him a coaching job.

Josie vows to give Gus a story and writes an account of her experience. In it, she admits she’s never been kissed, describes the students of South Glen South, and avows her love for Sam; the entire city is moved by it. She writes she will stand in the middle of the baseball field and wait for Sam to come and kiss her. Josie waits, but the clock runs out with no sign of Sam. On the verge of giving up… cheers, then a booming roar, as Sam emerges to give her a romantic kiss.



  • 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 “Lucky Denver Mint” by Jimmy Eat World is featured in the film’s soundtrack, and was the only single from their album Clarity to consequently gain airplay on popular American radio.
  • 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.
  • The song “Peppyrock” by BTK is featured in the movie.

Filming locations[edit]

  • 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[citation needed]
  • Josie’s childhood home is located at 368 North Ridgewood Place in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles.[citation needed]
  • Nana’s coffee shop where Josie and Aldys have lunch is the Monrovia Coffee Company located at 425 South Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia, CA.[citation needed]
  • The Tiki Post where Rob worked is now a Cold Stone Creamery located at 408 South Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia, Ca.[citation needed]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • 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[edit]

Critics gave mixed reviews to the film, with a “Rotten” score of 57% on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, and its consensus reading: “Unoriginal and unremarkable high school satire adds little to the genre.”[2]


The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b “Never Been Kissed”. Retrieved 2006-11-13.
  2. Jump up^ “Never Been Kissed”. Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  3. Jump up^ “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Passions Nominees” (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-19.

External links[edit]

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