Valentine’s Marathon: Never Been Kissed (1999)

Its taken me all day to finish writing up these posts but apparently after a whole day of meds, water and losing my voice then watching Superbowl, I finally feel a little more energy to get this finished up.  I promised a review to kick off the Valentine’s Marathon and we are starting with two consecutive days of Drew Barrymore movies. Its all coincidence because Netflix decided to expire those two movies.

The first of the two to kick off this marathon is Never Been Kissed. I’ve never seen this (or the other one for that matter). Let’s check it out!

NEVER BEEN KISSED (1999)

never been kissed

Director: Raja Gosnell

Cast: Drew Barrymore, Michael Vartan, David Arquette, Jessica Alba, Molly Shannon, John C. Reilly, Jeremy Jordan, Leelee Sobieski

 25 year old Josie Gellar (Drew Barrymore) is the youngest copywriter at the Chicago Sun Times.  However, her dream is to become a reporter.  A chance presents itself when she is sent to do a undercover report posing as a high school student in her old high school South Glen South.  Having to face her nerdy unpopular high school past, she tries to get along with the popular kids with the help of her brother, Rob (David Arquette).  At the same time, she realizes that her feelings for her English teacher, Mr. Coulson  (Michael Vartan) are growing at the same time.

never been kissed

 First of all, let me confess that I’ve never been much of a Drew Barrymore fan.  I’ve never seemed to like the roles she plays or maybe just how she portrays them but then, I haven’t seen all that much either.  To be fair, I actually watched Never Been Kissed and then rewatched it a few days later and my second viewing yielded a lot more love for it than the first viewing.  I’m not exactly sure what that says but one of the best parts was all the younger versions of actors/actresses that I’ve noticed like Leelee Sobieski and Jessica Alba both as students.  Oh, and there’s also a very young James Franco.

never been kissed

Never Been Kissed is an okay romantic comedy. I’m not going to remember it or want to add it to my movie collection any time soon but there’s something really sweet about it also.  I’m not such a huge fan of it exaggerating the whole nerdy student thing because trust me, I’ve known nerds in high school and I wasn’t a popular kid and its never that absurd.  Sometimes, I’m not a huge fan of stereotypical portrayals of certain roles and I think that’s really what didn’t work as well for me the first time. But, on the second viewing, I think I got used to it a little more and actually found that what really worked was the whole message about adolescence and high school and just how no matter what generation, it really doesn’t change all that much as far as the student population goes and just the whole popularity thing.

never been kissed

Now, we’re talking about a romantic comedy so our main stars here is Drew Barrymore’s Josie and Michael Vartan’s Sam/Mr. Coulson.  Now, there is two people which really has some amazing chemistry.  Oh, and what makes this movie awesome also was that Mr. Coulson totally is an accurate portrayal of that young good-looking teacher in high school that the girls like to go to their class.  In this case, its English class but for my high school, it was French.  Thats just my way of saying that I think Michael Vartan is really handsome and totally adds to why I would watch this again.

never been kissed

Other than that, what makes Drew Barrymore’s character Josie pretty good was that although she is totally awkward and nerdy at times, she has this really passionate regard of finding that person that she loves and would give her first “real” kiss.  I mean, its also one of the parts that made me fall in love with her character a little. Here’s the quote:

never been kissed

Never Been Kissed is not a perfect romantic comedy and its just about average with a few good and bad points to level itself off.  Drew Barrymore carries her role well as the nerdy Josie looking for her career break but finding more than she imagined in her love interest, Michael Vartan.  Their chemistry in every scene together is pretty fun to watch.  Also, there’s an enjoyable element of watching a younger Jessica Alba, James Franco and Leelee Sobieski on screeen.  With a few memorable quotes to add to the mix, this could be a decent choice with a few laughs at the absurd and awkward situations that happen.  It probably wont’ be memorable but there are a few sweet moments to enjoy. 🙂

Christmas Marathon: Home Alone 3 (1997)

home alone 3 posterDirector: Raja Gosnell

Cast: Alex D. Linz, Olek Krupa, Rya Kihlstedt, Lenny von Dohlen, David Thornton, Haviland Morris, Kevin Kilner, Marian Seldes, Seth Smith, Scarlett Johansson

Four international spies are attempting to ship a computer chip stolen from the US air force that can activate a missile to the terrorist organization.  However, at the airport, they hide it in a remote-controlled car that ends up in Chicago due to a mix-up in baggage at security clearance with a grumpy Mrs. Hess (Marian Seldes).  Mrs. She in turn gives it to her neighbor and the little boy across street, Alex (Alex D. Linz).  The spies follow the trail to Chicago and end up on the Alex’s street and decide to search all the houses until they find it.  But, Alex takes matter into his own hands to protect his own house and his neighbors.

Seeing as my expectations were pretty low and I had no idea what this was in advance, it wasn’t as bad as say the 3.9 IMDB score or the 20+% RT score.  I’ve seen much worse movies and this one did grow on me as it progresses to the final act when Alex beats the bad guys up with his booby traps.  There was a few laughs.  Sure, there was a lot of predictable moments and some pretty stupid lines and the acting was pretty meh, so no, its not better than the first two (unlike what the poster says).

home alone 3 scarlett johansson

I knew no one in this one except for two.  The father was played by Kevin Kilner which is super familiar and I’m sure I’ve seen him somewhere else but where? I didn’t check that out.  AND, well, you see it up there listed in the cast but in case you missed it, Scarlett Johansson plays Alex’s older sister.  Yeah, seriously! When she was way  younger than now.  She had a little role and a few scenes.

home alone 3 bad guys

I really can’t help but to give a hard time to whoever chose these guys.  I wanted them to get hurt so bad.  I mean, its sad to think that two burglars, Marv and Harry in the first one and made in 1990 was eons better than these four combined together.  For one, if I lost my luggage, as in there was a mix-up, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to figure out that its the first plane that is boarding.  I get the logic behind it but hmm, maybe I’m just dumb.  Still, that probably doesn’t go with the villains but a lot of what they did and said was just dumb so yeah, they weren’t really convincing.

home alone 3

In any Home Alone movie, there has to be the main little kid.  Alex D. Linz who plays Alex, the little boy in this one is actually pretty adorable also.  Its when you follow something as epic as the original Home Alone and Macauley Culkin’s Kevin, its hard to not be compared.  However, he does a decent job.  Plus, they gave him some nice tricks.  But, this movie is definitely just a winter movie and not a Christmas one.

Overall, Home Alone 3 is really just an average movie.  There’s some parts of the plot that doesn’t make sense and the cast aren’t really all that fantastic but the main kid does a decent enough job.  Regardless, there are still some fun moments but pretty much underwhelming.  Plus, you can see Scarlett Johansson when she was young.  Maybe that interests you?

I just wonder why they would continue this? Was there even a point to it? Either way, have you seen Home Alone 3? What did you think of it?