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Never Been Kissed

Poster for the film
Directed by Raja Gosnell
Produced by Sandy Isaac
Nancy Juvonen
Written by Marc Silverstein
Abby Kohn
Starring Drew Barrymore
David Arquette
Molly Shannon
Marley Shelton
Michael Vartan
John C. Reilly
Garry Marshall
Leelee Sobieski
Jessica Alba
Jeremy Jordan
James Franco
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Alex Nepomniaschy
Editing by Debra Chiate
Marcel Sansevieri
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) April 9, 1999
Running time 107 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25,000,000[1]
Gross revenue $84,565,230[1]

Never Been Kissed is a 1999 comedy directed by Raja Gosnell and starring Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, Michael Vartan, Molly Shannon, Leelee Sobieski, John C. Reilly, Jessica Alba, Marley Shelton, James Franco (in his film debut), Giuseppe Andrews, Jeremy Jordan and Garry Marshall. Never Been Kissed was produced by Drew Barrymore's production company, Flower Films.



Barrymore plays 25-year-old Josie Geller, a one-time high school misfit turned pedantic and lonely copy-editor for the Chicago Sun-Times. Josie desperately wants to be a reporter, and constantly sends story ideas to her boss, Gus (John C. Reilly). 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, having been inspired by the discovery that he was unaware of his son's allergies. At first, despite her best efforts and the support of her best friend at the paper, Anita (Molly Shannon), Josie reverts back to her geeky, misfit, high school persona, and becomes friends with fellow geek Aldys (Leelee Sobieski). However, after counselling by her brother, Rob (and with the benefit of hindsight of her original high school career), Josie learns how to let go of who she was in high school.

A subplot involving the attraction between Josie (who has never had a romance) and young English teacher Sam Coulson is complicated by the fact that Sam thinks Josie is 17-years-old and a student, and therefore out of bounds.

Josie becomes popular and hangs out with the cool crowd while secretly wearing a hidden camera and reporting back information to Gus. In school, the most popular guy likes her and Josie becomes more and more in tune with the generation of high school students that came after her.

The premise of the film is loosely based on the real-life undercover work of Shann Nix, a San Francisco Chronicle reporter who posed as a high school student to uncover the conditions in inner-city schools in San Francisco.[2] Unlike the fictional character, Nix did not describe herself as unpopular in high school, and never had a romantic connection with a teacher when she went undercover.


The main characters include:

  • Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) - A 25-year-old copy editor who works for the Chicago Sun-Times; and who is assigned to go undercover at a local high school for her first story. Unfortunately, Josie's high school years were marked with cruelty from other students and the scar of her nickname "Josie-Grossie". At first, she becomes a Denominator and she is considered a geek. When her brother Rob (who has decided to pretend to be a high school student as well) tells everyone that she is actually amazing, everyone starts to like her.
  • Sam Coulson (Michael Vartan) - A young, attractive English teacher at the high school in which Josie enrolls. He develops feelings for her throughout the movie, but cannot act on them because he is her teacher. He kisses Josie in the end, after he reads the article she wrote about him.
  • Rob Geller (David Arquette) - Josie's younger brother; who, in contrast to Josie, was popular during his high school years and uses what he knows about popularity to help Josie in her assignment.
  • Augustus "Gus" Strauss (John C. Reilly) - Josie's superior who only really seems to care about his career, but learns to let Anita in when she shows an interest.
  • Aldys Martin (Leelee Sobieski) - One of Josie's only friends at the high school when she starts. She is considered by most of the popular people a "Math Geek." At the prom, she almost gets dog food thrown at her as a prank.
  • Guy Perkins (Jeremy Jordan) - The most popular guy in school. He is at first very rude to Josie, but then when she gets popular, he is very nice to her. He later asks her to the prom.
  • Gibby, Kirsten, and Kristen (Jordan Ladd, Jessica Alba, Marley Shelton) - The three most popular girls in the school who are very conceited and only think of themselves. They all dress up as Barbie for the prom.
  • Anita (Molly Shannon) - Josie's friend who works with her at the paper. She loves sleeping with men even if she doesn't like them. However, as Josie's story progresses, she begins to reconsider her reputation and takes a genuine interest in Gus, even going so far as to help him work late one strings attached.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When the main character is remembering her old ages in the school, 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 the teacher are dancing, the song "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" from the 1984 album "Hatful Of Hallow" 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

  • The high school called South Glen High in the movie was filmed at John Burroughs Middle School located in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles at 600 South McCadden Place
  • Drew Barrymore’s childhood home is located at 368 North Ridgewood Place in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles.
  • Nana's coffee shop where Drew Barrymore and Leelee Sobieski have lunch is the Monrovia Coffee Company located at 425 South Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia, CA.
  • The Tiki Post where David Arquette worked in the movie is now a Cold Stone Creamery located at 408 South Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia, Ca.
  • The exterior scenes for the South Glen South High School 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.

Drew'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.


External links


Simple English

Never Been Kissed is a 1999 comedy directed by Raja Gosnell and starring Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, Michael Vartan, Molly Shannon, Leelee Sobieski, John C. Reilly, Jessica Alba, Marley Shelton, James Franco, Giuseppe Andrews, Jeremy Jordan and Garry Marshall. Never Been Kissed was produced by Drew Barrymore's production company, Flower Films.


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