Photo Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage; Jason Merritt/Getty Images for GLAAD
Never Been Kissed, the 1999 film about an aspiring reporter who gets a second shot at high school and simultaneously her first kiss ever, may not have won awards, but it sure won our hearts. We give credit to the always affable Drew Barrymore, who played Josie, the budding journalist who has, well, never been kissed.
In a somewhat inappropriate plot, Josie gets a chance to change all that by going back to high school as an undercover reporter who develops a crush on her high school English teacher, played by Michael Vartan. (Okay, we get it. Who wouldn't want to make out with their teacher if he looked like Michael Vartan?) But while Barrymore and Vartan got top billing in the film, Kissed featured a bunch of bit parts from other now-familiar faces that, like any awkward high schooler, took some time to mature. (James Franco, anyone?)
What has the cast of Never Been Kissed been up to in the 14 years since the movie debuted? Let's find out...
Steve Granitz/WireImage; Jason Merritt/Getty Images for GLAAD
No matter how middling the film (Kissed included), Barrymore's star never seems to fade. The actress followed up this rom-com with the first installment of her Charlie's Angels trilogy and a small part in Donnie Darko, followed by numerous other romantic comedies. (In fact, prior to Never Been Kissed, Barrymore had only appeared in one other rom-com: 1998's The Wedding Singer.) But after the birth of her daughter Olive in 2012, Barrymore took a much-needed break from the film industry, branching out with the launch of a makeup line, Flower Beauty, as well as an eponymous wine collection inspired by her travels in Italy. But Barrymore always returns to her roots, and she'll soon be in South Africa filming Blended, set for release in 2014, which reunites her with her Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates co-star, Adam Sandler. And yes, it is a rom-com.
Brenda Chase/Online USA, Inc.; Tiffany Rose/WireImage
As Josie's older brother Rob, Arquette was the charming slacker you couldn't help but root for -- something that's been hard to do for the actor as of late. After separating from his wife of 11 years, Courteney Cox, in 2010, Arquette made a series of bizarre calls to Howard Stern to dish about his sex life. At this year's Oscars, the 41-year-old even served as a correspondent for Stern's Sirius Radio show, hanging out in the press room where he was eventually blocked -- but not booted -- for asking oddball questions of Academy Award-winners. But now it seems that, much like Rob, Arquette is trying for a second chance. He's got four films lined up for later this year, including the drama Sold, the comedy Hemlock Drive, and the TV movie Mile High.
Jim Smeal/WireImage; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
After the Alias star filmed Never Been Kissed, he landed a few heartthrob-esque leading roles in some high-profile Hollywood rom-coms. (Did anyone else wonder if Vartan and his Monster-in-Law co-star Jennifer Lopez ever swapped dirt about respective exes Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, who were dating at that time in 2004?) But ever since, it seems the 44-year-old actor has had trouble making a role stick, as evidenced by credits on canceled shows like Go On with Matthew Perry and HawthoRNe with Jada Pinkett Smith. Even so, a low-key existence seems to be just want Vartan wants. Speaking of his life with his new bride, Lauren Skaar, whom he married in 2011, he told People, “Our plans for the future are to live a happy, simple life, have kids, lots of dogs and go with the flow.”
It seems that just after you forget about Molly Shannon, she pops up in a cameo on the big or small screen. Since appearing in the 1999 film, Shannon left SNL, the show that made her famous, had two children, and appeared in bit parts on screens both big and small, most recently on TV shows like the comedy The Middle and the drama Hannibal. Up next is the big screen with the comedy Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant, which also stars Stanley Tucci, Rebecca Romijn and Henry Winkler. Molly, it will be nice to be reminded you exist again!
John C. Reilly
As the newspaper boss that gives copy editor Josie a chance at becoming a reporter, John C. Reilly is at his usual best: un-likably clueless yet somehow endearing. To wit: his follow-up roles since Kissed, including 2002's The Good Girl and 2012's Wreck-It Ralph. Next up is probably one of the most anticipated roles of Reilly's long and critically acclaimed career: Anchorman: The Legend Continues.
She may have had a bit part as Cynthia, but Octavia Spencer could arguably be the film's most successful alumnae. After Kissed, she found steady work on television and landed a few film roles, adding an astonishing 70-plus credits to her resume between 1999 and 2011. Of course, 2011 is the year Spencer got her big break with The Help, where she played Minny Jackson, an African-American maid who conspires with an aspiring author during the Civil Rights movement to shed light on the daily plight of "the help." She won the Oscar for best supporting actress the following year. Once again, Spencer showed no sign of slowing down, gathering another 10 credits since The Help, some set to arrive later this year.
It's a tribute to the film's costume designer and makeup artist that they could take someone as striking as Leelee Sobieski and make her into a geek (albeit a kind-hearted one). Still, much like her character Aldys, Sobieski never seems able to achieve the level of stardom bestowed on some of her equally talented Kissed costars, despite her Emmy and Golden Globe nods for her small-screen work. In 2009, she gave birth to a daughter, Louisanna (dad is fiance-fashion designer, Adam Kimmel), and most recently, she made guest appearances on high-profile TV shows like The Good Wife and Drop Dead Diva. However, we're not sure where Sobieski's next film role will take her, as the character she plays in the upcoming movie The Last Film Festival is simply listed as “stalker.”
Where has Jessica Alba been since 1999's Kissed? To be honest (no pun intended!), if you don't know, you're just as clueless as Josie. Soon after the film debuted, Alba began work on Dark Angel, the 2000 TV series the catapulted her to fame. From there, she went on to films that showed off her sexy figure, like 2005's Sin City and the Fantastic Four film series before opting for lighter fare with movies like 2007's Good Luck Chuck and 2010's Valentine's Day. But these days, Alba is probably better known for her Honest Company, dedicated to all things eco-friendly. She also recently released her first book, The Honest Life, offering advice from the married mom of two on how to live a healthier lifestyle.
The better question is, what hasn't James Franco done since Kissed? The actor, currently a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, starred on the soap opera General Hospital in 2009; wrote a collection of short stories, Palo Alto, published in 2010; and in 2011 began his first teaching stint at New York University, hosted the Oscars, and tried his hand at being an artist by showing his multimedia film project, Three's Company: The Drama, at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2013, he earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. What have you been doing since 1999?
Marissa Jaret Winokur
Getty ImagesMarissa Jaret Winokur will hold a special place in our hearts, if not for her role as Shelia in Never Been Kissed, then for her 2009 gig as the first host of Oxygen's Dance Your Ass Off!. Of course, she's done other productions as well, but in recent years, she's probably most well known for appearing on the covers of People and Us Weekly sharing how she lost 60 lbs. (Hint: it involved dancing.) These days, she's been keeping busy with two TV shows, TV Land's Retired at 35 and NBC's now-cancelled Guys with Kids. Next up is the movie Muffin Top, about a woman (not played by Winokur) about to turn 40 and in the midst of a mid-life crisis.