In Honor of Her 45th Birthday - Here are my top Drew Barrymore Films!
Born on February 22, 1975, Drew Barrymore was a charming screen presence from the get-go, finding fame in 1982 as the adorable Gertie in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Since then, she's evolved her offbeat charm though decades of cinema—dark, experimental roles in her teens, indie hits in her 20s and romcoms in her 30s. She also started her own film production company "Flower Films" in 1995 with friend Nancy Juvonen which has since produced over a dozen films!
Now in her 40s she is a mother-of-two, has launched her own winery, eye glassware, household goods, make-up, wrote a heart-stirring New York Times best seller auto-biography “Wildflower”, and there are rumors of a talk show in the fall!
She inspires me. I feel like her and I would be best friends, honestly. … and sure I may be a little star crazy when it comes to Drew… but that's ok. She is a wonderful human being so Happy 45th Birthday to Drew Barrymore!! Maybe one day I will meet her but for now, enjoy my top 5 Drew Barrymore films.
Never Been Kissed
If you had a chance to redo your high school experience, would you?
Film Synopsis: Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore), a baby-faced junior copywriter at the Chicago Sun-Times, must pose as a student at her former high school to research contemporary teenage culture. With the help of her brother, Rob (David Arquette), Josie infiltrates the inner circle of the most popular clique on campus. But she hits a major snag in her investigation -- not to mention her own failed love life -- when she falls for her dreamy English teacher, Sam Coulson (Michael Vartan).
My Thoughts: Sure, after watching this film as an older adult there are some problematic points….
- A teacher falling for a student - but its ok because we know she is undercover. That is a little weird.
However, in the end it's just an overall funny 90’s (on the cusp of the 2000s) comedy. I think many of us that have had those thoughts of going back to highschool and having a do-over. (without spoiling the movie) I love the inner feelings it evokes when she stands up for herself and others, developing that inner confidence. Now, in my mid 30’s, I know I would hate going back to high school but that hurt teenage girl still connects with ‘Joise Grosie’.
Watch the Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPyMf4ROt3Q
Fun Fact: When Josie’s goes back to High School she reherses her background story and says she is from Scranton, PA (my hometown) and I love that. Also, my husband and I wedding song is The Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby”, a song featured at a big moment in this movie. ...Maybe one day my husband and I’s love story (as I feel) would make for a great romantic comedy itself.
Ever After: A Cinderella Story
Film Synopsis: This updated adaptation of the classic fairytale tells the story of Danielle (Drew Barrymore), a vibrant young woman who is forced into servitude after the death of her father. Danielle's stepmother Rodmilla (Anjelica Huston) is a heartless woman who forces Danielle to do the cooking and cleaning, while she tries to marry off her own two daughters. But Danielle's life takes a wonderful turn when she meets the charming Prince Henry (Dougray Scott).
My Thoughts: I adore this movie. Classically, Cinderella’s tale is that finding a rich man will solve all your problems.
In this version our Cinderella, now named Danielle, is strong and very independent.
Yes, there are those elements of the evil Stepmother and Stepsister, but Daneille does things with her own mind and will. There are no talking mice or fairy godmother that makes everything POOF out of thin air - she does this all herself. Not just for love and ‘happily ever after’ endings but for her own freedoms before she even meets the prince.
Watch the Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szP9U0uLl5U
50 First Dates
Film Synopsis: Playboy vet Henry sets his heart on romancing Lucy, but she has short-term memory loss; she can't remember anything that happened the day before. So every morning, Henry has to woo her again. Her friends and family are very protective, and Henry must convince them that he's in it for love.
My Thoughts: I ADORE this movie. Yes, it is ridiculous and it's a weird sense of humor movie but I just love it. My husband once asked me what came first - everything that I love or 50 First Dates. I love animals doing funny-cute things, I love ridiculous humor, tropical beachy vibes, island musical covers, the VW Thing, pineapples, Adam Sandler, and Drew Barrymore! My husband and I married in Hawaii and went to all the filming locations. It has this 80’s comedy vibe to it too - and Dan Aykroyd even makes a guest appearance with some hidden easter eggs.
Watch the Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_2AbjYeSMI
Film Synopsis: Wes Craven re-invented and revitalized the slasher-horror genre with this modern horror classic, which manages to be funny, clever and scary, as a fright-masked knife maniac stalks high-school students in middle-class suburbia. Craven is happy to provide both tension and self-parody as the body count mounts - but the victims aren't always the ones you'd expect.
My Thoughts: This film launched me into making my own movies. As a kid I was always putting on plays or creating stories. After I watched Scream I borrowed my Aunt’s video camera and started making my own movies.
I saw this 11 ½ times in the theater (the ½ was after seeing another film I jumped into watching the ending of Scream. This film rebooted and re-imagined the horror genre. Drew’s character, Casey Becker, became iconic. This is the first movie I watch every year on October 1st to kick off the Halloween spirit. This past Halloween my husband and I had a little fun with our couples costume and went as characters from the film. I was actually both ‘Ghostface’ and Casey Becker. I continue to have a career in film in which I owe to Scream. I remember how bad I waited to see it because Drew was in it and it was Wes Craven flick.
Watch the Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV4PTwciTuQ
The Wedding Singer
Film Synopsis: Set in 1985, Adam Sandler plays a nice guy with a broken heart who's stuck in one of the most romantic jobs in the world, a wedding singer. He loses all hope when he is abandoned at the altar by his fiancé. He meets a young woman named Julia (Drew Barrymore), who enlists his help to plan her wedding. He falls in love with her and must win her over before she gets married.
My Thoughts: If you haven’t memorized every word of this film by now, what have you been doing?! I love when Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore get together. This 1998 love story between a wedding singer and waitress that will make you ache for the ’80s.
Plus, the soundtrack is amazing! I remember having both volume 1 and 2 in my CD collection paid for with babysitting money. Now it's just on my spotify.
Watch the Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy-TwYB1UQw
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Film Synopsis: After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas). Bringing the extraterrestrial into his suburban California house, Elliott introduces E.T., as the alien is dubbed, to his brother and his little sister, Gertie (Drew Barrymore), and the children decide to keep its existence a secret. Soon, however, E.T. falls ill, resulting in government intervention and a dire situation for both Elliott and the alien.
My Thoughts: Sure, we all fell in love with that extraterrestrial who got stranded on Earth and just wanted to go home. … but that is when I said “Mom can I be friends with Gertie?” Truth.
This movie brings up a lot of emotions. Sure its about an alien just trying to find his way back home - but its about the emotions we feel and overcome as children. It about finding our own way ‘home’, our inner home of acceptance and letting go. “I’ll be right here” ::tears::
Watch the Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYAETtIIClk
Runners Up for Nostalgic Reasons
Film Synopsis: Stephen King tales follow a cat into a smokers clinic, onto a penthouse ledge and into a girl's (Drew Barrymore) bedroom. It comprises three stories, "Quitters, Inc.", "The Ledge", and "General".
The first two are adaptations of short stories in King's Night Shift collection, and the third is unique to the film. The three stories are connected only by the presence of a traveling cat, which plays an incidental role in the first two and is a major character of the third.
My Thoughts: I loved watching this movie as a child. The little, evil troll that hid in the walls was scary to my younger self but the cat was the protector. Growing up I had a cat that look just like ‘General’ so I felt protected. This film is a little strange as Drew Barrymore plays multiple characters with no real relation other than the cat and that the cat’s need to find his ‘home’ with her. However, it was just a clever idea to weave three short stories together.
Watch the Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqzTazrYx5M
Film Synopsis: As youths, Andy McGee (David Keith) and his future wife, Vicky (Heather Locklear), participated in secret experiments, allowing themselves to be subjected to mysterious medical tests. Years later, the couple's daughter, Charlie (Drew Barrymore), begins to exhibit the ability of setting fires solely with her mind. This volatile talent makes the youngster extremely dangerous and soon she becomes a target for the enigmatic agency known as "The Shop."
My Thoughts: Firestarter is another adaptation of a Stephen King book and although it isn't one best known books, this is probably one of the best adaptations from book to film of his.
Drew plays a little girl who can start fires with her mind. After seeing this movie as a kid I will admit that I tried to start fires with my mind. While it is no master piece it is definitely worth a view and a classic.
Watch the Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfcuksWVRt8
Babes in Toyland
Film Synopsis: A young girl awakes up in the magical realm of Toyland, where she teams up with her family and friends (who are now storybook figures) against an evildoer.
My Thoughts: This was a ‘made for TV’ movie and its a little ridiculous but still fun. It has a whole Wizard of Oz vibe and based on the 1961 American Technicolor Christmas musical film of the same title. It also stars a young Keanu Reeves. There is some silly (and very noticablle dubbed) singing. However, its just fun and envokes that childlike wonder in me. I remember watching it as a kid at Christmas and just loving it.
Watch the Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6QxuPf1G1c