Monday, May 17, 2010

Never Been Kissed

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I feel that I must preface this recap by saying that I love this movie to pieces. It is one of the best of the unusually awesome crop of teen movies that sprung up in the late 90s/early 00s (see: Bring It On, 10 Things I Hate About You, etc.), only to be replaced by anemic and/or offensively bad romcoms (see: P.S. I Love You, Made of Honor, etc.) later in the decade. That said, I am about to rip this movie apart. But understand that I do it with love!



The movie starts at the end, with Drew Barrymore standing on the pitcher’s mound wearing a pretty pink dress. She VO’s that this is not one of those dream sequences that you think is real and then turns out to be a dream sequence. She was just trying to do her job, and then things happened. LIFE happened. And now she’s here, doing god knows what.

Anyhow, flash to the past! Or the present? Or whatever. The point is, Drew Barrymore is a dweeb. You can tell because she is wearing an unfortunate skirt suit and has brown hair. She exposits that she was the youngest copy editor at the Chicago Sun Times and nobody would ever pick her out of a crowd.

Drew’s assistant is some kind of weird 80s throwback yuppie d-bag who could only exist in the movies. Like, I think this guy might be Patrick Bateman’s weird Canadian cousin. He completely ignores her because she is frumpy and therefore does not deserve respect.

Drew’s slutty friend Molly Shannon bursts into her office to tell her about the latest guy she “did it” with. This is what I love about romantic comedies from this time period. They say things like “did it” instead of fucked and the whole movie is leading up to a kiss. Ah, innocence! If this movie were made today, it would be called The 25-Year-Old Virgin, the Molly Shannon character would be topless for 64% of the movie, and the John C. Reilly character would be a perv who propositions Drew twelve times per scene. I miss the 90s :(

So John C. Reilly comes in to boss Drew around because he’s her boss, and she corrects his grammar. He gives her a great face which says “If I look even slightly like I give a fuck, it is because I am barely containing my urge to stab you in the eye with a pencil, but since I think you might have Asperger’s I am contractually obligated to let it slide. Also, fuck my life.”

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Drew chases JCR through the newsroom blabbing about how she has so many great ideas and he should just let her be a reporter already, but he doesn’t think that she can grab a bull’s balls (agreed). If this movie were made today, she would at some point actually have to grab a bull’s balls.

Molly Shannon tries to get Drew to go on a double date with some loser from the office, or at the very least, buy some colored underwear. Drew then reveals that she’s never had a REAL kiss. Their token sassy black coworker is here for the conversation so that she can make sassy comments. Drew goes on to describe what the kind of kiss she’s waiting for is and the music gets really sappy and there’s like, a glowing light around her. Meanwhile, I’m wondering howtf she would know what it’s like to get a great kiss if she hasn’t had one. Is this some kind of a priori knowledge I missed out on somehow? And do you think she might just get that kiss by the end of this movie? Maybe on a baseball field somewhere? Nah, I know; it’s too farfetched! Anyhow, at the end of her moving speech, Sassy Black Coworker says “Damn, girl; you are a writer!” Yeah, a writer of really bad romance novels for young adults, apparently.

And now, it’s time for a trip into Why Drew’s Life Is Empty and Meaningless.

A. She embroiders pillows in her spare time.
B. She has pet turtles.
C. She talks to her pet turtles
D. She lets her pet turtles tell her where to put the aforementioned embroidered pillows when she finishes them.

I personally don’t find that at all pathetic. It just seems like she has very useful and possibly magical pets.

The next day, Drew is at a big staff meeting. Garry Marshall is a very finely drawn and totally non-cliché newspaper boss dude. On opposite day. He starts the meeting by firing somebody just for LOLs. He then shares with the room that because he almost killed his child by feeding him peanuts, he thinks Drew should go undercover at a high school so that the world can learn what kids today are like.

Drew is pants-peeingly excited, but Molly Shannon and JCR think she is an incompetent loser and they basically shit all over her dreams. So she rubs it in their face that she taught them to speak Spanish and knit, respectively, so they should give her a chance. Apparently this argument is a lot better than it seems, because they’re like “Oh, I guess you’re right. You can do it!”

Drew is afraid that she won’t be able to fit in with the hep cats at her new high school unless she drives a shitty deathtrap like her brother David Arquette’s car, so she makes him trade cars with her.

And now, it’s time for a trip into Why David Arquette’s Life is Empty and Meaningless!

A. He works at a luau-themed packing supply store
B. He lives with his parents
C. Apparently going to community college is way too intense for him
D. He gave up playing baseball forever because he got mono once

I say fair enough on that one.

To get back at her for pointing out how pathetic his life is, he reminds her that she was a big fat loser in high school who people called “Josie Grossie.” This trip down memory lane makes her feel the need to puke, but she manages to correct his grammar on her way to the toilet. He kind of deserved it, though.

Flashback time! If you thought Drew was a nerd in the present, just wait until you see her in the 80s! Hey, wait a second! She is supposed to be 25 years old, and this is taking place in 1999. Which would mean that the oldest she could have been in the 80s was 15. But, as we learn later, these flashbacks are taking place her senior year. So either:

A. Drew can bend time and space
B. She graduated three years early, or
C. She went to high school in Canada, where the 90s just looked like the 80s

Seriously, they’re playing “She Bop” in this scene and that shit is from the first half of the 80s. But I digress. Drew in the 80s not only has brown hair, but she has FRIZZY brown hair and BRACES. You can’t get much dweebier than that.

In the past, she had a crush on some blonde d-bag named Billy who looks like he’s graduating at least five years late. She goes up to him, giggling, to offer him math notes, but some meanies have poured some product placement into her backpack to make it looks like she’s peeing her pants. Which, despite their camera tricks, it really doesn’t at all.

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Back in the present, Drew is thinking that this is a very bad idea.

She, like any sensible girl in the late 90s, consults Cosmopolitan Virtual Makeover to discover her inner diva! CVM tells her that she would look hot if only she had blonde hair, lots of makeup and fashionable clothes straight from the runway. She heads off to her first day wearing some heinous matchy-matchy white on white monstrosity with a built in feather boa. Even worse, she’s wearing FROSTED LIPSTICK. WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA, DREW? KILL THEM! SERIOUSLY!

It’s Drew’s first day, and she’s already managed to look like a total spazz by showing up in David Arquette’s shitty car and her crazy outfit. Everybody has to walk through a metal detector on their way in to school. Unforunately, Drew is too busy thinking about turtles or pocket protectors or something to notice, so she walks right into Andrew Wilson who is basically playing a slightly sterner version of Coach Beck from Rushmore here. He searches her bag and finds, among other things, her top secret spy dictaphone:

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Because it’s her first day and she doesn’t know where she’s going, Drew is late to her first class. Her wacky, menopausal teacher cannot grasp the logic behind this and forces her to put on the “late sombrero” and then makes her introduce herself to the class. The popular girls waste no time in mocking her outfit, which, fair enough. Also mockable is the fact that in the middle of telling the class where she’s from, she hallucinates that the d-bag of her high school dreams walks in and therefore says she’s from “Billy.” The guy is actually Guy, who looks absolutely nothing like Billy but apparently is “hot.” Drew covers up her mistake by telling everybody that she’s from Bali, which is totally believable because of her tan. Or not.

After class, “Cool Magnet” by Local H plays in the background which is awesome because that song rules and is like, appropriate to the situation or whatever. Totally unrelated side note: whenever I make a girly cocktail I get this song in my head because that album came out when I was 13 and I didn’t know anything about the demon alcohol, and it was therefore the first time I heard of Triple Sec. I digress! Drew tapes over her bulls’ balls affirmation with a sombrero death threat.

It’s time for English class! And guess what, guys? Her teacher is a stone fox. Like, off the charts hot.

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His name’s Mr. Coulson, but you can call him Sam because he is hip and young and wants to defy authority with their silly, arbitrary rules about appropriate relationships between teachers and students. And you’ll never believe what they’re studying this semester: Shakespeare’s As You Like It! Do you think there might be some like, thematic parallels about disguise or something? Nah, too farfetched. Also, I think I just realized why teen movies were so much better in the 90s. They were all secretly based off of classic literature (see also: Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You)!

I have to warn you guys, you’re going to be shocked by how nerdy the girl who offers to share her book with Drew is. She’s tall, thin and beautiful, but GASP! She’s wearing GLASSES and a HEADBAND (actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Blair Waldorf wearing that very same headband; my how times change!) and her hair is in a dowdy PONYTAIL. It’s making me sick just to look at her.

Mr. Coulson asks if anybody knows what “pastoral comedy” means, and this chick who is apparently on the low end of being functionally retarded answers “Oh, yeah, that’s what they do to milk!” and when told that she is thinking of “pasteurized,” desperately responds “PARAKEET?!?”

Being a top notch undercover reporter, Drew has no qualms about reciting the entire Oxford English Dictionary entry on “pastoral” which totally gives Mr. Coulson a strange feeling in his pants, because he's a nerd like that. Knowing how stupid kids today are, Mr. Coulson asks Drew if she’s sure she’s 17. I mean, maybe she doesn’t know! It’s not at all a stupid question.


Drew goes to lunch and is appalled by the cafeteria food. Like, I’m so sure that they were serving gourmet cuisine at her Canadian high school in 1992.

She bravely decides to dive right into the lions’ den and sits herself down at a table with Jessica Alba, Marley Shelton and some brunette chick who never did anything else with her life. Being ever so slick (not to mention fantastic at investigative journalism), she asks them what their hopes and dreams are, and she finds the question so exciting that she manages to spill chocolate milk all over her white pants. Now, that doesn’t need any fancy camera tricks to be embarrassing!

Guy comes up to the table and because apparently 17 year old boys are supposed to be attractive to 25 year old women, Drew completely loses her shit and says some accidental rhyme about what a babe he is, or something. It’s just wrong. He asks if she’s in special ed, to which I say if Parakeet Girl isn’t in special ed, they probably don’t have it at this school. Anyhow, everybody indulges a hearty chuckle at this accidental hilarity and Drew sheds a single solitary tear, in her mind. If this movie were made today, she would have somehow ended up accidentally topless in front of the whole school.

She tries to make a dignified exit, but some dork ruins it by answering her rhetorical “HOW OLD AM I?!?” He gets a D+ for accuracy, and somewhere Mr. Coulson is saying “See, I knew she didn’t know!”

Because this is movie world, and everything that could possibly go wrong always goes wrong in the course of one day, Drew leaves school only to find that David Arquette’s shitty-ass car was stolen. She of the Dorky Headband and book-sharing tendencies, Aldys, tells her that the cool kids stage reenactments of Gone in 60 Seconds during passing period or some totally unbelievable shit. Even more unbelievable is the fact that we’re meant to believe that high school kids in the late 90s have never heard of Josie and the Pussycats, which we discover when Drew tells Aldys what she was named after. Please! They made an entire popular feature film about it like one year later. Get your topical references in order, writers!

Drew practically weeps with gratitude when Aldys offers to go get some coffee with her. But seriously, can’t you console yourself by remembering that you are a grown-ass woman with a sweet job? Get it together, Drew!

Aldys is such a dork that she doesn’t find Drew’s non sequitur questions about her hopes and dreams at all strange. And she also has the most ludicrous, ADD hopes and dreams of all time: “I want to be a professor of medieval literature, I want to be a novelist, I want to be a weekend flautist, I want to be a potter, I want to be a painter, I want to be an architect… and I want to go to Northwestern!” I think she left off astronaut and racecar driver, but she pretty much covered everything else.

Drew gets a call from JCR, who is knitting while he talks to her. Apparently she thinks she’s found the story of the century: The Terrible Truth About Coleslaw. JCR wisely says that “unless some kid just killed himself because he was getting paid to have sex with the school mascot in a big vat of that coleslaw, you’ve got nothing!”


Drew and Aldys find David Arquette’s car in the middle of the football field. Great job hiding it, Guy & Co. How ever did they find it there? We get a better look at Aldys’s outfit: patterned leggings, some kind of plaid baggy strapless dress and a button down pinstripe shirt. Seriously, that shit is straight off the 2010 runways. Fashion pioneer!

Aldys invites Drew to join the Denominators (their school’s version of Mathletes), which is totally cheating. She’s a ringer! Although, howtf does she remember calculus after all these years? That disturbs me. But Drew is happy because she’s finally found a clique.

Back to Mr. Coulson’s class! Thank goodness! He gives a lecture about how being in costume is liberating. GET IT, DREW?!? Mickey from 2gether is humiliated because Mr. Coulson points out that he touches other guys’ butts on the football field. What a dick!

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But he says it’s ok, because of the uniform. According to Mr. Coulson’s very special story from his youth, it is also ok to assault people if you are wearing a special hockey helmet.

Mr. Coulson has Drew read a passage from As You Like It which causes her to have a spontaneous 80s flashback. Seriously, did she spend all of the early 90s on LSD or something? Anyway, she remembers reciting a really bad love poem about Billy in front of their class. Later, in the library, her dorky friend tells her that she heard Billy is going to ask her to prom. She thinks he liked the poem and basically shits herself.

Back in the present, the class president comes on the intercom and reminds everybody not to go to the library because of the “little asbestos problem” which is actually like, totally true to life. When I was in junior high in the late 90s, they had to cordon off a whole wing of the school because some punk kid spilled mercury in the hall and they had to pull up the tiles to get at it and they pulled up all of this asbestos. This movie is like my life!

Anyhow, she goes on to announce that the prom theme chosen by the students is the Millennium. Everybody goes nuts, and Aldys explains to Drew that their school competes with some other school for best prom every year, so the theme has to be totally unique. So that’s a big fail on their part. I’m sure no other school could possibly think of the Millennium as a theme in the year 1999. I’m beginning to think this whole school is special ed.

Guy declares that the prom is going to be “totally Rufus,” which is his new hip word. Stop trying to make Rufus happen, Guy!

That night, Drew and Aldys are driving around with some random unidentified 11-year-old who I guess they must have picked up on the side of the road, listening to “Free to Be You and Me.”

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They pass the old drive-in, now called the Court where the cool kids hang out, boozing and schmoozing. They slow down to stare at it and Guy comes up to tell them that they’re not cool enough to hang out there. They drive away and call it lame about seven times and then start laughing hysterically.

Meanwhile, back at the office, JCR is pissed because the Tribune ran an expose about the Court which means that Drew is failing at her job. He tells her that she has to be friends with the popular kids because that’s where the stories are. He says something about her “getting jiggy” with them, but I think it might not be entirely professional to participate in a high school orgy, JCR. You might want to rethink that statement!

Drew is distressed because all she wants to do is hang out with her nerdy friends, never mind that they’re teenagers and she’s supposed to be actually doing a job.


Drew comes home to find that David Arquette has broken into her apartment to watch baseball. It’s perfect timing, though, because she’s in desperate need of a pep talk. He has her yell “I’m not Josie Grossie anymore!” and it seems to be very cathartic. He advises her that all she needs to do is get one person to think she’s cool, and then everybody will like her.

Because she is a total spazz and her coworkers rightfully don’t trust her to get the story herself, her employers have sent somebody to monitor her from a creepy kidnap van outside the school. From now on she has to wear a hidden camera so JCR can watch the tapes and tell her what her story is. Because her kidnap van coworker, George, is black and has dreadlocks, he gets to say fun things like “Damn! They didn’t look that good when I went to high school!” while Drew walks behind the popular girls.

Today in English class, Drew gets to read her essay on As You Like It out loud to the class. How long have they been studying this damn play anyway? And since when do they make you read your essay out loud in high school? Mr. Coulson gazes at her lovingly while she reads about how Rosalind can see through the disguises of others and fall in love and blah blah blah. It’s all very thematic.

Molly Shannon is watching back at the office and it gets her thinking that she wants to “do it” with JCR, apparently, because when he walks in she starts asking him leading questions about whether he’s ever been in love and if he wants her to stay late to help him with his work tonight. If this movie were made today, they would have sex on his desk and Drew would walk in on them.

In the hallway, Aldys gets on Drew’s case about not wearing her Denominators sweatshirt and Drew promises to meet up with her after school. But then Drew gets distracted by Guy talking about going to see some reggae band, which James Franco says will be “Rufalicious.” Because nothing says cool like a bunch of white teenagers going to a reggae show at an all ages club! Anyhow, Drew is like “Fuck my nerdy friends! I’m going to listen to some reggae!”

In one of the more labored and awkward setups for a future gag, Drew tells the door guy at the club that she won’t be drinking because she’s only 17, and he stamps “Delloser” on her hand, which is the name of the club. I’m not sure what kind of club stamps your hand when you’re NOT allowed to drink. I’ve sure never been to one. Side note: for years after seeing this movie, I though “delloser” was a word for somebody who didn’t drink.

Because this is a movie, not only are all of the cool kids from school there, but Drew’s creepy assistant and Mr. Coulson are there as well. Mr. Coulson’s bitch-ass girlfriend is also there, doing nothing but complaining about how gross the club is and shitting all over everything he likes. She tells Drew that Mr. Coulson will be moving to New York to be with her pretty soon and Mr. Coulson is like “Kill me now.” If one character deserves to have her grammar corrected by Drew, it’s this bitch, but for some reason it doesn’t happen. Drew does a jealous frowny face for one second before bopping around the room looking for someone to impress with her coolness.

Unfortunately the popular girls don’t respond well to her cloying compliments on their dancing, so she sits at a table full of Rastafarians and they feed her a pot brownie. The pot brownie causes her to get up on stage and do a humiliating dance involving spanking herself and doing the splits. James Franco is the only person making the appropriate face in reaction to this.

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Mr. Coulson watches from the balcony and chuckles to himself like “Oh, these kids!” but he’s totally into it.

At home that night, Drew eats an entire pie and gushes to David Arquette about how cool she was. She falls asleep with her face on her hand and wakes up with “loser” stamped on her forehead. Apparently she didn’t feel it was necessary to change her outfit for school, and walks down the hallway to jeers of “loser!” I think last night’s clothes were probably reason enough for the jeering on their own.

When she discovers the stamp on her head she feels the need to vomit again. Apparently vomiting makes her feel very sentimental because she has yet another flashback. It’s prom night and she’s wearing a ludicrous dress.

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Billy pulls up to her house in a limo and throws an egg at her head while his actual date cheers.

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She’s so upset by these memories that she literally runs down the hall crying and is stopped by a door opening in her face.

David Arquette is here! He’s decided to go back to high school too. He admits straight off that he just wants to play baseball. On a high school baseball team. At the age of 23. Apparently the Gellars have no qualms about being ringers. Anyway, he figures that as long as he’s around, he may as well help Drew become cool by becoming popular himself.

How does he accomplish this? By beating Mickey from 2gether in a cole slaw eating contest, of course. And because nothing says hot like being covered in cole slaw, a 16-year-old gymnast named Tracy immediately latches on to him. Because it wasn’t bad enough that we had a grown man falling for what he thinks is his 17-year-old student. We have to have this shit now. INNAPROPRIATE! If this movie were made today, though, this would all be gender reversed and it would be touted as a cougar comedy.

Aldys is like “Wheretf were you last night?!?!? You were supposed to do calculus with me!” and Drew is like “Dude I was tripping balls and slapping my ass on stage at a reggae show” and Aldys is like “Well, fuck you, then” and shuns her from the nerd table in the cafeteria.

It’s time for the senior carnival! Mr. Coulson throws a pie in Mickey from 2gether’s face to raise money for the prom. Drew get on the Ferris wheel and the operator, when he finds out she’s alone, starts yelling about there being a lonely ride in bucket five. Now comes the most problematic scene in this entire movie.

Mr. Coulson sees Drew sitting pathetically by herself and joins her. He is terrified of Ferris wheels, but he wants to fuck his apparently 17-YEAR-OLD STUDENT so much that he is willing to go on one just to be alone with her. You think that’s creepy? It’s about to get a whole lot worse. From the bucket in front of them, Jessica Alba’s douchey boyfriend, who has a ridiculous bouffant hairdo, then utters what is probably my favorite line in the whole movie for reasons I cannot fully explain: “If the bucket’s a rockin’, don’t come a kn-kn-kn-kn-knockin’! Mr. Coulson rocks my world!” It’s just so fun to say. Really. Try it.

Anyhow, Mr. Coulson is like “Boys!” all rolling his eyes and stuff, like he’s thinking “What you need is a MAN! Preferably one who likes hockey and Shakespeare.” He then segues into dishing about his relationship problems. TO HIS STUDENT. He’s all “My girlfriend of five years wants me to actually commit to her by living in the same state, but then how would I get away with hitting on my students all the time? She is trying to take my freedom away!” and Drew is like “What a bitch!” and then Mr. Coulson is like “Oh, LOL, I guess I probably shouldn’t be telling you this shit since it’s completely inappropriate” and Drew is like “It’s nice to have somebody to talk to!” and he’s like “LOL ME TOO!” and then I have to type this next part word for word so you know that I am not exaggerating the creepiness:

Mr. Coulson: Well, all I can tell you is that when you’re my age, guys will be lined up around the block for you!
Drew: You have to say that because you’re my teacher.
Mr. Coulson: Actually, I shouldn’t say that because I’m your teacher.

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Let me clarify that the first thing he said isn’t completely terrible. It’s probably inappropriate but on its own it’s harmless. But by saying he shouldn’t say that because he’s her teacher, he’s basically admitting that what he means by it is that he wants to fuck her. But of course it gives Drew one hundred warm fuzzies.

At school, David Arquette starts spreading ridiculous stories about Drew to make people think that she’s cool, one of which is that she used to date the drummer of the Big Bad Voodoo Daddies which is a hilariously dated reference. In science class, one of the popular girls stares at a skeleton and declares “Just water and Ex-Lax until prom.” David Arquette tells her that Drew’s dad invented Ex-Lax (at least he didn’t say Post-It Notes) and that she spends every summer in the south of France. Apparently these things are supposed to make her cool, but people aren’t totally convinced until David Arquette says that he and Drew used to date. Seriously, it’s like the writers tried to come up with the creepiest things possible to put in this movie.


Apparently South Glen South doesn’t have an actual health class, because Mr. Coulson is in charge of supervising sex-ed day. Molly Shannon has popped by to say hi to Drew and is mistaken for Pam, the speaker for the day. Hilarity ensues. I remember watching this movie on VHS with my parents after it came out and being SO embarrassed to watch this scene with them. I might have even fast-forwarded through it. Fast forward to my college years, and I started watching things like Entourage and Wedding Crashers with my mom without batting an eye. My, how times have changed!

Anyway, Molly Shannon actually does a passable job of teaching the kids to please not have sex, but wear a condom. Tracy tells Drew that she thinks she’s ready to have sex, despite the fact that she is failing miserably at putting a condom on a banana. Drew is understandably horrified and tells her about penguins who mate for life and then accidentally hits Mr. Coulson in the face with a condom. Drew wants to crawl in a hole and die, but Mr. Coulson is probably just turned on.

The class president comes on the intercom to announce the most shocking news of all time: East Glen East has chosen Millennium as their prom theme! OMG, do you think they have somebody undercover at South Glen South, too? There’s no possible way this could have happened otherwise! Everybody panics, except Mickey from 2gether who just happily eats his penis banana.

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Guy decides that to prove her coolness, Drew can choose a new theme. She suggests “Meant for Each Other: Famous Couples Throughout History” which is actually not a terrible idea, if you don’t mind prom being a costume party. Mr. Coulson is wondering whether he can convince Drew to go with him as Woody and Soon-Yi.

Drew is officially one of the Plastics now. She walks down the hall holding hands with Jessica Alba and Marley Shelton and brunette chick (actually, I just looked up the brunette chick on IMDB and she’s Cheryl Ladd’s daughter and has done a lot of acting since this movie, apparently; I just haven’t seen any of it!) and goes to the mall with them, which means they’re basically BFF.

For some reason Drew and Mr. Coulson are painting a sunset backdrop for something and they get super inappropriate with each other. Like if an actual teacher behaved this way with a student he would absolutely be fired. They giggle and flirtily dab paint on each other’s faces and shit. If this weren’t so creepy, it would be adorable. Back at the Sun Times, everybody is watching the live feed from JCR's office.

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At the mall, Drew tells JCR another stupid story idea and then suggests to her new BFFs that they all buy the same ugly cardigan. I have seen this movie probably at least 30 times, but this is the first time I ever noticed that the popular girls are now all wearing wing pins like the one Drew has her hidden camera in! When they pass by Aldys on the escalator, she (rightly) calls them all lemmings. Drew looks hurt, but the other girls are just trying to figure out if that’s an insult or not.

At baseball practice, Coach Oblivious tells David Arquette that he’ll be starting in the state championship and that there will be scouts there. Seriously, how has nobody noticed how old this guy is?!? The girls watch baseball practice from the bleachers and Guy sits nearby playing his acoustic guitar and gazing lovingly at Drew.

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The girls tell Drew that she has “transitioned” and that Guy is “totally crunching” on her. I’m pretty sure that that’s not something anybody actually ever said, even in the 90s.


Drew’s newfound popularity has turned her into even more of a weirdo than she already was. She wears stupid outfits to work, says Rufus in a staff meeting and basically has regressed which is apparently supposed to show us that she’s been liberated from her mundane existence as an intelligent and successful young woman. Buzzkill time! Garry Marshall says that he wants her story in two weeks or else she and JCR are both fired. SO not Rufus! I can’t believe what a hardass this guy is. He sends somebody to do an undercover piece and expects her to actually do something other than find herself? What a dick!

David Arquette decides to throw kegger at his parents’ house. Which is also his house. This guy is twice as pathetic as his sister. Even worse, Tracy tells Drew that David Arquette just asked her to prom. Drew points out that she’s 16, and he’s just like “I know; score! Plus she’s a gymnast so she’s going to be GREAT in the sack.” I swear, this movie is like, 20% romantic comedy and 80% cautionary tale about statutory rape.

Guy asks Drew to come upstairs with him so he can ask her to prom. She is really excited and says yes. I guess she and Mr. Coulson are perfect for each other; they are both going to end up on To Catch a Predator someday. Strangely, despite the fact that he just brought her into a bedroom at a keg party and asked her out, he doesn’t try to make a move, which is a relief. If this movie were made today, they probably would have “done it.”

The next day at school, Drew and David Arquette walk down the hall smiling like fools because they’ve both managed to achieve their dream: being a popular kid in high school. This is just depressingly pathetic, guys.

Mr. Coulson pulls Drew aside to tell her that he got her a meeting with the “admissions guy” from Dartmouth (because clearly, there’s only one for the whole school) and she’s like “Uh… I wasn’t going to go to college” and he’s like “But you have to; you’re so brilliant!” and she’s like “OMG, you believe in me! Swoon!”

JCR watches the tape of this conversation and finally picks up on the fact that Mr. Coulson is the most inappropriate teacher of all time. He tells Drew that this is her story: Pedos at Large in Our Education System. She’s all like “LOL JCR, you are sooooo wrong about us. Sam and I are just pals... I mean, teacher and student! I mean, he didn’t even respond to my ‘Do you like me? Check yes or no’ note!” JCR lays down the law. If she doesn’t write this story, they both get fired.

Prom night! Drew is wearing a boob-tastic Renaissance Faire-looking dress and David Arquette is dressed as Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Because the only thing that could make the 23-year-old taking a 16-year-old to prom thing even worse than it already is is to take pants out of the equation. But Drew just LOLs, because she clearly has no creepy radar.

Guy pulls up to the house and for a second Drew thinks she’s going to get egged again, but he’s holding a white carnation. You couldn’t spring for a rose, Guy? Somebody’s not getting laid tonight!

Prom is looking more like Halloween than prom, with Mickey from 2gether and Parakeet Girl dressed as the tortoise and the hare and all of the popular girls dressed as different iterations of Barbie. They are totally baffled by Drew and Guy’s costumes (Rosalind and Orlando) even though As You Like It is apparently the only thing they studied in the entire last semester of English. Guy tells them that he gets to carry a sword, and then they’re all on board.

Back at the office, apparently the presses have stopped as every employee of the Chicago Sun Times is watching the South Glen South prom from the point of view of Drew’s left breast.

David Arquette dances with his Jailbait Date who is clearly drunk. They sit down and she puts her leg over her head and propositions him. David Arquette finally realizes how inappropriate this entire situation is and gently shuts her down.

The Denominators arrive, and they’re dressed as DNA. Cheryl Ladd’s daughter is like “THEIR MERE PRESENCE HAS DESTROYED MY ENTIRE PROM!”

Mr. Coulson and Miss Knox (apparently the only two teachers at the entire school) get on stage to announce the prom court. I bet we’re all about to be really surprised in a minute. The prom “princesses” are Jessica Alba, Marley Shelton and Cheryl Ladd’s daughter. OMG, I wonder who the prom queen could be? I bet it’s Parakeet Girl. The prom “princes” are Bouffant Hairdo Guy, James Franco and David Arquette. BTW, James Franco is wearing a pink suit to prom, which is amazing. The prom king is Guy! Who would have guessed!

With a lascivious twinkle in his eye, Mr. Coulson announces that Drew is the prom queen! I guess she can probably die happy now. Everybody is very happy for her, though, and even Aldys claps which is sweet. As he gives her the crown, Mr. Coulson also checks out her rack.

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The prom king and queen have their first dance to “Erase/Rewind” by The Cardigans (which ended up on pretty much every mix CD I made for the two years after I saw this movie). Guy is like “LOL, Drew, U R so awesome. What R U thinking about?” and she like quotes an entire verse of Shakespeare and he’s like “I just lost my boner” and she’s like “What are you thinking about?” and he’s like “My sword.” She finally realizes that her high school paramour is a HIGH SCHOOL BOY and is like “LOL my bad.” Mr. Coulson watches them dancing and looks forlorn.

Drew goes to get some cake and is accosted by Mr. Coulson and he’s like “OMG, Drew, you make a beautiful prom queen” and she’s like “OMG, Mr. Coulson, you too! I mean you make a really beautiful sexual predator! I mean… cake?” So then Mr. Coulson is like “I feel like I’m at my own wedding in this suit. Wanna dance?” Meanwhile, Guy is asking Aldys to dance as a way to put aside their differences and be adults. Under her coverall, Aldys is wearing a skintight, electric blue catsuit. She is seriously better looking than any of the popular girls. Movies are so dumb, sometimes.

So anyway, “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths starts playing. Seriously, what kind of prom was playing any other Cardigans song than “Lovefool” or any Smiths song at all? I call bullshit.

Drew and Mr. Coulson are dancing and Mr. Coulson is like “Prom makes me sad because all of my hot students are leaving and I can’t sexually harass them anymore” and Drew is like “Is your GF here?” and he’s like “LOL no I dumped that bitch, she was too old” and Drew is like “LOL did you know ‘prom’ comes from ‘promenade’ and you totally can’t promenade alone!” and Mr. Coulson is like “OMG I could listen to you talk about stupid word origin shit for days.”

Then Drew is like “Oh, BTW, I have something I have to tell you” and she disconnects her camera and everybody in the office is like

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and Mr. Coulson is like “I have something to tell you too” and I’m like

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I mean, seriously, at least wait until after graduation, dude! AHHH! Luckily, Drew becomes distracted by the smell of dog food, which is about to be thrown onto Aldys by the popular kids. She has another flashback to getting egged and is like “NOT ON MY WATCH, BITCHES!” and runs away from Mr. Coulson before he can confess his love. She deflects the flying dog food in midair so that it falls all over the popular girls. They are like “AGHHHHHHHHHHHH! YOU ARE A LOSER DREW!!! YOU DON’T DESERVE TO BE PROM QUEEN!”

Drew takes off her crown and throws it on the ground, preparing to embark on a big motivational speech. She basically says “LOL, I don’t give a fuck about being prom queen you d-bags! I’m 25 and I’m an undercover reporter for the Chicago Sun Times!” and as soon as he hears the 25 years old part Mr. Coulson runs out of there like lightning. Then she’s like “You guys are dumb. You only liked me because my brother David Arquette told you to, BTW he is not a high school student. Also, you are all bitches and Aldys is cool and will be far more successful than you in life because you guys suck. Peace!”

David Arquette is like “Woah guys, that was just like Carrie” and everybody is just like “WTF dude, get out of here” and he leaves.

Outside, Mr. Coulson is sitting by himself looking emo. That’s what happens when you play The Smiths at prom! Anyway, he overhears Drew telling George that she didn’t get the story and he’s like “Please tell me you got something on Coulson!” and Mr. Coulson is like *tear* :(

Drew sees him and is like “Surprise!” Literally, she says that. And he’s like “Did you think that I would be happy that you’re legal? I’m only into underage girls!” She’s all like “But you were attracted to me?” and he’s like “YOU SET ME UP!!! EVERYTHING WE’VE BEEN THROUGH TOGETHER WAS A LIE! I DON’T KNOW YOU AT ALL!!!” Drew is all frowny face, like “But we can spend some time together and you can get to know me!” and he’s like “I can’t look at you the same way anymore, now that you aren’t a pure and innocent 17-year-old. Begone!”

David Arquette is waiting for Drew at home to bitch her out about ruining his stupid plans of becoming a pro baseball player through lies and deceit.


At the office the next day, JCR shows her a story the Tribune ran about her blowing her cover, but she’s like “We’re not screwed, JCR. I’m gonna write an amazing story!”

Drew goes back to South Glen South in a sensible pantsuit and brimming with confidence. She walks through the boys’ locker room and is like “Cover up your bits, boys; independent woman coming through! P.S. Remember how I was in your English class yesterday?” She goes up to Coach Oblivious and promises that she’ll get all the big shot reporters to cover the state championship in exchange for an unspecified favor.

Then she goes home to write her article, which is basically a recap of everything we’ve seen in the movie: she was a loser who got dissed by the cute boy in high school, she’s never really kissed a guy, and she went undercover at a high school and discovered that it’s exactly the same as the 80s/90s/whenever the fuck she was in high school. But OMG, she also hurt a certain teacher who she thinks she’s in love with, so could he please come give her her first real kiss on the pitcher’s mound at the state championship?

While we listen to Drew read her article aloud, we see that everybody in the entire city of Chicago is reading her article, except for Mr. Coulson who is packing up his apartment. He’s wrapping his old hockey trophies in newspaper… the very issue containing Drew’s article! OMG, what if he doesn’t see it? I’m on pins and needles :(

It’s the night of the game, and OMG, Drew is wearing the pink dress from the beginning of the movie. We’ve finally made it to the end. Molly Shannon and Aldys are like “You can do it! This is so romantic and not at all weird!” Coach Oblivious is like “Way to go, Drew! You got all the reporters to come! Now go out there and get ‘im!” and then he slaps her ass.

She takes the field and the crowd goes wild. The popular kids are like “Drew, we love you!” and I’m like WTF, I thought you hated her because she spilled dog food on you at prom and then told you you were a bunch of worthless bitches in front of the whole school. Whatevs. There are five minutes on the clock.

When it gets down to 15 seconds people are like “Oh crap, this is about to get awkward.”
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Time runs out and everybody’s like “Uh… that sucks.” Jessica Alba is like “That is so wrong!” I’m so glad somebody finally realized that this entire situation is creepy and wrong!

Drew is super bummed, but suddenly the crowd goes wild. Mr. Coulson comes bounding onto the field as “Don’t Worry Baby” by the Beach Boys starts playing which is really a great song choice for this scene. “Well it’s been building up inside of me for oh I don’t know how long” – 25 years, right Drew? So Mr. Coulson goes right up and kisses her and the crowd gets blurry and he’s like “Oh BTW, sorry I’m late. It took me forever to get here!” and Drew is like “Imagine how long it was for me; I was just humiliated in front of all these people!” but then he kisses her again and she is like “ILU 4ever.”

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Inspired by their love, everybody in the crowd starts making out with each other: JCR and Molly Shannon, Jessica Alba and Bouffant Hairdo Guy, Drew’s creepy assistant and some mousy chick from the office. David Arquette is in the dugout wearing an “Assistant Coach” jacket so I guess Drew decided to help make his life slightly less pathetic, although I strongly doubt he’s going to be able to leave the Tiki Post or move out of his parents’ house as result. Baby steps.

The team runs out on the field, but Drew and Mr. Coulson aren’t done making out. I sure wouldn’t want to be the one to shoo them off the field. Fade out, and the end.

And now, the more appropriate movie poster:

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4 comments:

Mélodie Cardin said...

Also in the preview for this movie, the last line is one of the popular girls saying "It's lather. RINSE. Repeat." which hints at some absolutely hilarious shampoo-related mishap probably involving someone in special ed. However this is never actually in the movie so it just becomes a line with absolutely no point whatsoever.

Liz said...

Good break down of this movie. I loved it, too. And like most movies, I love them but there's ALWAYS little things I have to nit pick about. It's kinda what comes with being a movie lover. Her teacher really was kind of perverted and none of the popular kids were really even that cool. =P

Katherine said...

I love reading your posts and I loved Never Been Kissed back when it first came out and still do, so I laughed a lot at this recap.
But guys, please stop it with the "perverted" and "creepy" teacher issues.
Yes, the student-teacher part of the relationship is problematic, but seriously, the age difference is not.
when I was 17, I had a boyfriend who was 25, and nobody made a huge deal about it. Maybe it's just different in Europe. Nobody freaks out about age difference, as long as the younger person is over 16. Here, people seem more interested in whether or not the boyfriend is smart and kind and all that...

Anonymous said...

It's funny, but I was actually thinking the same thing as you. Yes, in the movie, since we knew that Josie and Mr. Coulson would get together, it was cute, but in real life (or if this was any other student), this would be extremely creepy. I mean, he's thirty something. Can you imagine if your thirty something year old teacher that you were slightly friends with told you that he had something very important to tell you in the middle of prom? That's kind of perverted. Just saying.

But really, since it was a movie and we knew what would happen, I thought it was really great.