The first time I watched Never Been Kissed was with Ashleigh, my gap pal from Year 8. She had free tickets to see a movie, so along we went. I declared, during the rolling of the credits, that it was the best movie ever.
Okay, so maybe my opinion has changed a little over time, and I think having watched it now over fifty viewings, I have a pretty decent understanding of the *ahem* timeless classic. It does bring up a lot of questions though.
Was South Glen South actually Josie's high school?
It wasn't until rewatching the movie last week that I realised that South Glen South probably wasn't Josie's school, but to be clear, it is never confirmed nor denied. One would assume that it wasn't because at least some of the teachers would recognise Josie.
What about ethics in journalism?
Undercover reporters are not a new thing, and an undercover high school student has been done before too. I guess it was 1999, but my issue is that they are 'investigating' people who are underage, and also setting up a teacher for a possible affair. Did anyone consider the legal ramifications? Then again, Gus's boss seems to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
Who is paying for all this?!
So the CEO demanded that this would happen, but a heap of money needs to be paid to make it a reality. Say Josie is in school for three months, they are down a copy editor who isn't replaced, but still has an assistant working there.... Doing what? The manned surveillance van would also cost a pretty packet, and the idea is that Gus, Josie's boss will 'review the tapes'. So, four people are being paid to work on Josie's 'scoop'. Except, poor Josie gets scooped by their rival newspaper. twice.
Surely Rob had to register with a last name at the school.
At the prom, Rob is announced as "Mr Rob", because no one knows his last name. Good Madonna throwback. Rob does make his ID from help at the Tiki Post, so he must have a last name. Someone has to know what it is!
Rob and that 16 year old gymnast?
Was Josie into Guy at all?
The premise of Guy's character is that he is like Billy Prince, Josie's high school crush. Billy is an awful guy who sets Josie up for a cruel prank on prom night. Guy seems cool, but enough of his words, actions, and the fact that he only asks Josie to the prom because she is popular points to the fact the guy is a complete dud. I think there was supposed to be a 'love triangle' there, but actually, Guy just bridges Josie's past and future together nicely. Also, the writers callled him 'Guy', which, while being a name, is an awful generic term for young people.
Did Guy and Aldys actually like each other?
I am still so confused about their dance. He asks her to dance to 'put all this shit behind us' (okay, if you want to get technical about the dog food...) after there has been no tension at all between the two, other than the nerds and popular people slagging each other off the whole movie because they can, but no actual beef between Guy and Aldys.
I think it never was a thing though, because at the end of the movie, when all the 'meant to be couples' kiss, these two don't.
Who showed Josie how to dress appropriately?
Josie's dress sense became a lot more, well, common sense, after a few weeks in high school. Essentially I think she really did give herself her own make over. Several times.
How long was Josie in school for?
It is pretty unclear.
Here's what we know: she had been on the job for three weeks when Gus told her she needed to get to know the popular kids.
She also seems to study 'As You Like It' the entire time.
I think it probably is about three months, but those montage scenes make it really hard to know.
After all the time she invested in being 'a reporter', Josie ended up writing a feature article, or as we like to call it, 'life writing'.
No, really. Josie is so determined to prove herself as a reporter who can 'grab a bull by its balls', and in the end her story is picked up by a rival newspaper and she never writes the stories she was there to investigate.
How did Rob get a job after being so creepy and with only one week OR one week and three days left before the big game?
It seemed just a little too easy.
So I get how the 'Loser' stamp on Josie's head could be funny, but there is no way ANY of the people who commented on it in the hallway could read it from any sort of distance.
You know I am right.
Did South Glen South administration really fall to notice there was a creepy looking van parked outside their school every single day?
Yes, because it is NEVER mentioned.
Josie is so smart, and yet she falls for stupid idiots like Billy Prince. She even says in her feature article of the popular and pretty boys, 'High school would not have been the same without him. I would not have been the same without him.' Josie, do you realise that you would have been a lot better off without him?
But then, the movie loses half of it's story line. It makes me sad that after all this time and the rubbish ways Billy and his friends, and Guy and his groupies, treat people that she still honours them with moving paragraphs about her life.
I have always loved Pygmalion stories. Always.
Anything in which an ugly duckling, or a wannabe or a dorky high school student is turned into some kind of princess everyone loves, I have been all over that. That's why I love the movie Sabrina. The thing is that both Sabrina and Never Been Kissed have a big thing in common- a sister doing it for herself.
Josie doesn't really go from copy editor to cool girl over night. She has some 'help', but very little, in the way to dress and act. She talks to absolutely no one about how to function in the world as an adult, or a wannabe-teenager. The thing that is awesome about this movie is that Josie is the only one who saves herself. She writes the feature article about her failures and disappointments and comes on on top. And that is really the best power-packed punch of all. Thanks Josie for being a roundabout role model for the past 17 years.