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I spend way too much time at the theaters.
I'm a slave to the Hollywood Visionaries.  God help me.

NEVER BEEN KISSED

Directed by Raja Gosnell

Written by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein

Starring: Drew Barrymore; David Arquette, Michael Vartan,
Leelee Sobieski, Jeremy Jordan, Molly Shannon,
Garry Marshall and John C. Reilly

My advice: Go and take your older kids with you

Rating:  out of

Does anyone really want to travel back to the days of yore, when platforms were in and toesocks were all the rage? If you were, like I was, just another Josie Grossie who disappeared into the frenetic highschool backdrop, the answer could very well be no. I implore you to think it over movie-goer, because this movie does not disappoint.

I actually saw this quite by accident. Always a Barrymore fan (I think she is the Sandra Bullock of her age group) I just was really not in a hurry to see this one. I had actually taken my preteen daughter to another movie, Shakespeare in Love, to be exact. Fifteen minutes into the film I realized that as much as I sought to enlighten her there would be no way in Hell for her to follow the prose of this fine man, so we slipped into the movie next door as the previews started. It was the best movie move I ever made.

This is the story of 25 year old Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore). Josie says she's never been kissed. What she means by that is she's never been kissed in the way where your feel your heart pound and the bells ring and you know that this is the man you should kiss for the rest of your life. Now a copy editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, Josie's publisher (Marshall) gets a harebrained idea that an in depth expose on highschool is in order and he sends Josie in on her first undercover assigment.

The problem is this. Do you remember those kids in school who, God bless them, were even geekier than you? The kids at the very bottom of the ladder who passed by you almost unnoticed? The ones who were stuffed into their lockers during class passes, the kids with the masking tape tight around the nose of their glasses? Well, this is who Josie Gellar was. In flashback, with stringy hair and braces, Geller is exactly that. Gross.

This is her second chance. It's her chance to fit in and be that popular kid! Peppered with flashbacks of the humiliations of her younger years, your heart really goes out to her.  You root for her success. You want her there with the cheerleaders and the popular guys. You want her to have all of those things that you yourself might never have had.

I'm not offering any spoilers here. I want this to be a total surprise from the "crunching" to the "brownies", but the beauty of this flick is not in the humor itself. It lends a great moral lesson and I'm so glad I took my daughter along.

It shows us former Josie Grossies that we were the most appealing kids all along. We had the heart and the passion.  We cared about the people around us and took a stand when taking a stand was a passe thing to do.  We were the "in" kids. It's just that no one took the time to notice. Thanks, Drew, for pioneering this film and showing the youth of today that heart is where it's at. That's priceless.

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