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Friday Film Fest: Drew Barrymore

As if she were a wishbone, Casey (Drew Barrymore) is pulled by her mother Lucy (Shelley Long) and father Albert (Ryan O'Neal) before she decides to divorce them

As if she were a wishbone, Casey (Drew Barrymore) is pulled by her mother Lucy (Shelley Long) and father Albert (Ryan O'Neal) before she decides to divorce them

Irreconcilable Differences- 1984

As the voice of reason, Casey Brodsky is the poster child for child emancipation. At the time, it was unheard of, but in real Hollywood, it's been happening for years.

Albert Brodsky (Ryan O'Neal) is hitchhiking his way to California when he meets Lucy Van Patten (Shelley Long) after she hits a puddle and drenches him in muddy water. The two hit it off and while they have a tryst in a motel, Lucy's fiance' Bink (David Graf) tracks her down and discovers the two of them in bed. At that point, the engagement is off, and Lucy and Albert get married, without really knowing each other.

They have baby Casey and then the two become a Hollywood power couple- he a director and she a screenwriter, which causes friction when they hire Blake Chandler (Sharon Stone) for a role. She has her eyes set on Albert and gets Lucy out of the picture.

While Casey spends most of her time with maid Maria (Hortensia Colorado) she feels secure with her and has a normal life while her parents bicker over custody and who's on top of the box office and bestseller list.

When Albert's film Atlanta tanks, Blake leaves him, and Lucy rises to the occasion once again when she writes a bestseller. The idea for her book comes on New Year's Eve after she drops Casey off at the house and she sees other single women at the grocery store, while capturing a glimpse of herself in the window.

With Lucy having written the number one bestseller, she moves back into the house and now Albert, broke, has to move into an apartment, but the two continue to fight over Casey. This prompts her to "divorce" her parents.

Casey becomes a hero to children everywhere since she becomes the pioneer of divorcing her parents and it's picked up by major new networks.

As the parents are forced to deal with the unwelcoming publicity, the question at the end of the movie is can they become a family again considering the ups and downs that they faced?

Josie Geller goes back to high school undercover and befriends class nerd Aldys (Leelee Sobieski)

Josie Geller goes back to high school undercover and befriends class nerd Aldys (Leelee Sobieski)

Never Been Kissed- 1999

Hollywood likes to do movies about mistaken identities and for the most part, everyone seems to enjoy them, but what would you do if you could go back to high school now that you're an adult?

As the youngest copy editor at the Chicago Sun Times, Josie Geller wants to expand her horizons and become a writer. She has the vocabulary to make the mundane exciting and a few of the ideas that she's pitched to managing editor Gus (John C. Reilly) have been used.

During a staff meeting publisher Rigfort (Garry Marshall) picks Josie to go undercover and get a saucy expose of school life. Shocked she accepts, but if she doesn't deliver, she and Gus will both be out of a job.

Gus tries to talk her out of doing the assignment as does her friend Anita (Molly Shannon) but she wants to do it and nothing will stop her.

The first person that she talks to is her younger brother Rob (David Arquette) and he too tries to dissuade her from doing the story, since he reminds her of the horrors that she went through as a regular student. Of course, he didn't have that problem since he was popular in high school.

After transferring herself into a high school student, she sets about trying to make friends and is unsuccessful when she tries to hang out with the popular girls. They immediately reject her and she develops a slight crush on the most popular boy Guy Perkins (Jeremy Jordan) but he too doesn't want anything to do with her.

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Josie does find friendship in Aldys (Leelee Sobieski) a fellow "nerd" and the two of them hit it off. They spend a lot of time together until Josie decides to go to an all ages nightclub where the popular kids hangout.

By accident, she has a loaded brownie and loses herself in her high and the next day runs late for school. Everyone makes fun of her due to ink on her forehead and after discovering it, she runs down the hall and into an open door.

When she comes back around, she sees Rob standing over her and he decided to return to school so that he could try to get a second chance at becoming a baseball player. Of course he's popular by lunch and in an effort to help her, he starts spinning stories about Josie which the popular kids are intrigued with.

Soon she too is popular and is a fixture with the popular crowd and is asked to prom by Guy.

But there's one slight problem.

Her English teacher, Sam Coulson (Michael Vartan) has a slight crush on her and Gus wants her to change the focus of her story to him, which she doesn't want to do.

Things get out of hand at the prom and with a deadline looming, Josie has to write the story or risk being fired.

Out of a lot of rom-com's this one has to be in the top ten since it's just a fun movie and all of the characters really turn it into something special, even though the same formula has been used many times before.

Smashley Simpson has one thing on her mind and that's to whip it!

Smashley Simpson has one thing on her mind and that's to whip it!

Whip It- 2009

There's one thing that you can say about Drew Barrymore and that's she's not afraid to take a chance and with this movie, not only did she take a chance, but she also made movie history by adding director to her resume.

Bliss Cavendar (Elliot Page) dreams of something bigger than beauty pageants and working in a diner.

When at a local headshop in Austin, Bliss is buying a pair of shoes when some derby girls skate in and leave flyers for the upcoming season. Bliss is enthralled with them and takes one.

On a Friday night, Bliss and best friend Pash (Alia Shawkat) travel back to Austin for a night of roller derby and mayhem.

After the bout, Bliss tells Maggie Mayhem (Kristen Wiig) that the team just became new heroes and Maggie suggests trying out for the team. Bliss isn't sure about it but tries out and makes the team.

The misfits of the Hurl Scouts embrace Bliss and with speed and agility, Bliss helps the team climb up in the rankings from the bottom to possibly winning the championship, something the team only dreamt about.

While the movie focuses on Bliss, Barrymore plays bad ass, accident prone Smashley Simpson who's always looking for trouble. At one point, she even threatens to take on Bliss' mother when she won't let her compete.

As a side note, I was fortunate enough to work a day as an extra on this movie and the cast did their own stunts (even though it was something like three hundred thousand degrees in the warehouse) and just being able to spend the day watching a movie being filmed was a privilege, plus the fact that I was also a part of Hollywood history with Barrymore's directing was well worth what I was paid.

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