The MTV Movie & TV Awards featured a pre-taped appearance by Drew Barrymore as Josie Geller from Never Been Kissed.
Although Drew Barrymore rescinded her duties as the host of the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards to support the WGA strike, the actress was still featured in the opening sketch. The pre-taped appearance saw the former child star reprise her role as Josie Geller from the 1999 romantic comedy Never Been Kissed. The clip featured the character visiting some of the biggest movie and television hits of 2022.
“Today is the day, Josie, you’re finally going to get that first kiss no matter what it takes,” Drew Barrymore says while in character. Josie then travels through various films and series, including, Smile, Nope, Wednesday, White Lotus, M3GAN, and Top Gun: Maverick. The clip ends with Josie meeting Cocaine Bear and finally getting her first kiss.
Interestingly, Drew Barrymore has reprised her role as Josie before. In 2020, she put on the pink prom dress for a segment on The Drew Barrymore Show called “Drew’s News.” When she stepped onto the stage, Josie had no memory of events after 1988. She also appeared as the awkwardly loveable character for her 2021 TikTok debut.
Never Been Kissed is directed by Raja Gosnell from a script by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein. The story follows Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore), a nerdy copy editor for the Chicago Sun-Times who is tasked with going undercover as a high school student for her first story. But Josie’s teenage years were not the happiest, and she quickly reverted to her old, socially awkward self.
As Josie tries to navigate the complicated dynamics of high school, she becomes involved with the popular kids and develops a crush on her English teacher. As the story progresses, Josie learns valuable lessons about self-acceptance and the importance of being true to oneself. Along with Drew Barrymore, the cast features David Arquette, Michael Vartan, Leelee Sobieski, and Jeremy Jordan.
Molly Shannon, Garry Marshall, John C. Reilly, Jessica Alba, and James Franco also star. Never Been Kissed did well at the global box office earning $84.6 million against a budget of $25 million. However, the film received mixed reviews from critics who described the film as an “unoriginal and unremarkable high school satire that adds little to the genre.”
Never Been Kissed currently holds a 55 percent critics score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Drew Barrymore rose to prominence in the 1980s due to her performance as Gertie in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial. Despite facing personal and professional challenges, she made a successful comeback in the 1990s, starring in hits like Scream and The Wedding Singer.
After she stepped down from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards, Drew Barrymore released a statement explaining her reasons. “I have listened to the writers, and to truly respect them, I will pivot from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards live in solidarity with the strike,” she said via Variety.
Drew Barrymore added that everything we love and celebrate about movies and series is “born out of their creation.” The actress said she would be watching from home and thanked MTV for including her in the ceremony.