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Pooey makes a stinker

Are the bad movies of today really this bad??

Is this it? Are the bad movies of today, the standard Hollywood schlock that everyone moans about, really this bad?? I am appalled. And ripped off. "Never Been Kissed" spells justifiable homicide against Drew Barrymore. It is possibly even more horrifying than the other NBK, and a far more legitimate excuse for censorship. Ban crap movies now! Drew Barrymore was in E.T., right? I am now firmly convinced she is a fucking extraterrestrial carrying out some evil experiment on the human race by subjecting them to insane and unearthly romantic comedies.

Here's a plot rundown: Drew Barrymore plays Josie Geller, a successful but incredibly anal copyeditor for a newspaper. On a whim of the proprietor (who apparently invites lowly copyeditors to all the top editorial meetings), she gets the chance to go undercover as a high school student, presumably to expose stories of gay locker room sex scandals, black trenchcoated psychopaths and cokeheads running the canteen. Unfortunately for them, and us, the assignment triggers a crisis based on her own original schooldays, when she was "Josie Grossie". Based on this tired old rubbish, I hope Ms Barrymore is forevermore plagued by cries of "Pooey Drewey".

Anyway, she falls in with the nerd crowd, whose ringleader is not only square as a badly designed wheel but an intellectual snob to boot. She takes a liking to the school's coolest guy, a fey young poseur called Guy, seemingly played by Paul Draper from Mansun. (Yeah, I think Draper is one of the coolest people to walk the planet, along with Chad, but it's worth remembering that Draper had the crap kicked out of him and his guitar during his own schooldays.) The school only seems to have two teachers (I guess education cutbacks occur in the U.S. too), a nutty one who teaches Latin dancing or something equally unexplained, and Mr Coulson, the "sexy, boyish" English teacher who, of course, fancies Josie on sight. The perv.

Josie's brother Rob then has to enrol so he can get her in with the groovy crowd and try to recapture his glory days on the baseball pitch. Purely thanks to his gossip, which oddly everyone believes despite every stick of evidence being strongly stacked against her, Josie becomes popular. Then at the prom she reveals all, hectors the kids about growing up, refuses to drop Coulson in the shit for attempting to corrupt a minor and runs off to deliver what must be the world's most tedious, self-pitying, eminently mockable newspaper article about her dull little life.

Guy, seemingly played by Paul Draper from Mansun

The whole cinema cheered each yolk exploding against her

Give me a break! For starters, I had unhappy schooldays but all I wanted to do was return and machine-gun down every last one of the little arseholes responsible for the torment. And if I ever filmed it, as far as I am concerned, it would be a comedy. A funny one, Drew. (N.B. I have never owned a black trenchcoat.) Here, Barrymore plays Josie as the most squirmingly nerdy little wallflower, who actually cringes when she sniggers. To gain some idea of how annoying she was in the part, check the flashback where her old "prom date" pelts her with eggs during a regrettably weak parody of a driveby. Aw, poor ickle Josie, right? Actually, the whole cinema cheered each yolk exploding against her. That's how much sympathy Pooey had managed to gather for her character by this point, and I'm talking way too far into the film.

You wanna say "unrealistic and far-fetched"? Where do we begin? Nobody's on drugs. All the tearaways hang out at "The Court", a vacant lot where they dance around burning tyres, the young scalliwags. During a party (at Josie's house? Rob's house? their parents? the writers were too lazy to make this clear), Guy hustles Josie upstairs to an empty bedroom, whips out his pork dagger and gives her a good seeing-to...um wait, different movie. No, he ... asks her to be his prom date. Yeah, right! At the prom, they are crowned king & queen, he tells her she "rocks his world" (which is odd because she nauseates my planet), then he patches things up with the nerdy girl and asks her to dance while Josie is busy pulling Mr. English hunk. Huh? I know, it makes no sense but then this picture derides tired notions like "sense" as an ingredient of plot development at all levels.

Anyway, Coulson blows her off when he discovers how close she came to revealing his predilection for shagging his students - something which is apparently OK within the morals of the story - and Josie goes home to write her piece. Oddly, it turns out to be a circulation winner (see "unrealistic and far-fetched" above), despite containing little more than a lament that she had a tough time at school but had now learnt so much about herself (although why she would savour this knowledge is another unexplained mystery). She also asks Coulson to forgive her and turn up at the school ballgame five minutes before the match for her first snog (loser).

At the climax, Josie stands in the middle of the ballpark surrounded by cheering crowds, including all her colleagues and, bizarrely, all the enemies she made during her tantrum at the prom. The clock ticks down, Coulson doesn't show. At this point, if the writers had any imagination, if there were any justice, if this was real life and if the audience were to be appeased, the crowd would pelt Josie Grossie with eggs or, failing that, grenades. After all, Pooey Drewey must be made to pay. But no, just as it looks like the audience will finally get to laugh like drains, Coulson shows up to spoil it all with Hollywood's most richly undeserved happy ending.

Still, if anything, at least this movie filled me with a powerful urge to finally see "Scream". That's the one in which Drew Barrymore is brutally slaughtered in the first ten minutes, right?

The crowd would pelt Josie Grossie with eggs or, failing that, grenades

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