My eventual goal is to provide an introduction and small review for every film Drew Barrymore has appeared. That's going to be quite the task, though, because as you can see, Drew Barrymore has had a super successful career. The movies I've gotten to are below. More will pop up over time.
My favorite Drew Barrymore films are italicized.
2012 Big Miracle
2010 Going the Distance
2009 Whip It!
2009 Everybody's Fine
2008 Grey Gardens
2009 He's Just Not That Into You
2008 Beverly Hills Chihuahua
2006 Music and Lyrics
2006 Lucky You
2006 Curious George
2005 Fever Pitch
2004 50 First Dates
2003 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
2002 Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
2001 Riding in Cars with Boys
2001 Freddy Got Fingered
2001 Donnie Darko
2000 Charlie's Angels
2000 Titan A.E.
2000 Skipped Parts
1999 Olive, the Other Reindeer
1999 Never Been Kissed
1998 Home Fries
1998 Ever After
1998 The Wedding Singer
1997 Best Men
1997 Wishful Thinking
1996 Everyone Says I Love You
1995 Batman Forever
1995 Mad Love
1995 Boys on the Side
1994 Bad Girls
1994 Inside the Goldmine
1993 Wayne's World 2
1993 No Place to Hide
1993 The Amy Fisher Story
1992 Sketch Artist
1992 Poison Ivy
1992 Waxwork II: Lost in Time
1989 Far from Home
1989 See You in the Morning
1989 15 and Getting Straight
1987 A Conspiracy of Love
1986 Babes in Toyland
1985 Cat's Eye
1985 The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn
1984 Irreconcilable Differences
1982 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
1980 Altered States
1978 Suddenly, Love
Ever After is a retelling of the classic "Cinderella" fairy tale. Drew Barrymore plays Danielle de Barbarac, a girl with conviction and spirit. Danielle is made a servant in her own home when her father dies, leaving her in the care of her jealous stepmother. The film focuses on Danielle, Danielle's relationship with her stepmother, and the love between Danielle and the Prince of France. Anjelica Houston and Dougray Scott costar as Danielle's stepmother, Rodmilla, and her love, Prince Henry.
Ever After is by far my favorite Drew Barrymore film. I love all of the movies she's in, but nothing will ever touch Ever After for me. It was the first Drew Barrymore movie I noticed her in, and I think her portrayal of Danielle is a large reason why I love Drew today. Within the frame of a compelling story, she made Danielle believable. Ever After made me feel -- which is a rare achievement for a film. I felt sad when Danielle was sad; I felt happy when she was happy. Not to give anything away to people who haven't yet seen the film, but I was literally smiling at the end of the movie.
Though my reaction says a lot for Drew's talent as an actress, she had a great screenplay and incredible costars to work with. The chemistry between her and Dougray Scott was incredibly believable to me, and I loved seeing her interactions with Anjelica Houston who, in her own right, is really a master of her craft. Since making Ever After, Drew's career and acting repertoire have grown and matured; however, speaking as a fan, I still consider Ever After to be Drew's best work.
This film began what I like to call Drew's "Ugly Duckling" films, in which she plays plain, socially-restrained girls who blossom in beauty and confidence, catching the eyes of all around them. Drew plays these characters well, as shown by the success of Ever After and Never Been Kissed.
I discuss Drew's character Danielle at length in Wings, a section of this site dedicated to her character.
Everybody's Fine is a light, but serious film. Robert De Niro stars as a widower who makes an impulsive cross-country trip against the advice of his doctor to visit his four children after they each cancelled their plans to visit him. Drew Barrymore stars as Rosie, one of his daughters.
De Niro's character soon realizes that his children all made up excuses to not visit him, and that none of them are as he thought they were. Intimidated by their father's perfectionist view of them, and afraid of what he might think if he found out they didn't reach his dreams for them, they all hold secrets from their father and lie about their lives. Things they were able to tell their mother, they can't tell him, and as a result, they work together to keep up a charade around him, even keeping a huge secret about one his sons from him until the end of the film.
Barrymore's portrayal of Rosie is not only believable, but heartfelt. The flaws of her character can be seen in her, as can a quiet confidence and genuine sadness when she looks at her father and has to lie. I'm not used to seeing Drew Barrymore in such serious roles, but I have to say I enjoyed her in this. She convincingly portrayed a character just trying to get through everyday life, and she made that character interesting. Although Robert De Niro was the film's star, Barrymore succeeded in stealing a few scenes and making me smile. I was genuinely happy for Rosie when the film was over.
Although I think some of the storylines were a little cliché, Everybody's Fine was an interesting and entertaining film about real life, family, and the struggles we all face in life to make others think we're better off than we are. The film is somewhat slow-moving and not a lot happens, but the film kept me interested, and I think credit for that is owed to the film's amazing actors. Not many people can make a story about everyday life interesting. Robert De Niro in particular delivered an A-plus performance.
Never Been Kissed
Never Been Kissed is a fun and light-hearted film. Drew Barrymore stars as Josie Gellar, a copy-editor and wannabe reporter whose first reporting assignment is to write an undercover expose about the experience of attending high school. Thrilled by the opportunity, Josie temporarily forgets her own difficulty in fitting in as a high-school student; she soon realizes, however, that the high school social environment hasn't changed and that it will be a struggle for her to fit in and complete her assignment.
Drew Barrymore convincingly portrays three different versions of her core character, Josie Gellar. Geeky, copy-editor Josie is at home as an entry-level support staffer at her hometown newspaper, though she yearns to report news from the field; in flashbacks to her girlhood, Josie Grossie, an awkward outsider, wants desperately to fit in at high school and to simply be liked. As an undercover reporter, Josie strives to obtain her story while simultaneously seeking the acceptance she never found as a girl.
Michael Vartan plays Sam, Josie's teacher and love interest in the film; the chemistry between his character and Drew's is interesting to watch. Some critics say that an absence of chemistry between Michael and Drew weakened Never Been Kissed, but I disagree. Sam and Josie's relationship as teacher and student naturally interferes with the expression of their developing attractions; their respective professionalism, especially as Josie's bosses urge her to pursue a story about Sam, restrains their romantic impulses until, after completing her assignment, Josie steps away from her assumed role as a student. Although some viewers may regret the absence of romance in this romantic comedy, the sparking of a new relationship between Sam and Josie at the film's conclusion is believable.
Drew's amazing talent as an actress and her convincing portrayal of the many-layered Josie saved what could easily have been a mediocre movie. While not one of my favorite Drew Barrymore films, Never Been Kissed showcases Drew's ability to portray complex characters living under difficult circumstances.
Scream has become an often-parodied classic in the horror genre of films. Starring Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox-Arquette, and David Arquette, the film focuses on a small town with a serial killer on the loose. The killer, "Ghost Face," stalks and kills citizens of Woodsboro.
Originally offered the leading role of Sidney, Drew Barrymore opted to play his first victim, Casey Becker, due to time constraints, and because she thought it would be more fun. Casey's death scene is one of the most memorable in horror films.
Drew Barrymore's death scene is one of the scariest scenes in the entire movie; although she was in the movie for only ten minutes, her performance strongly impacted the movie and contributed significantly to its success. Watching the movie again, years later, I still found the movie - and, particularly, Drew's performance in the introduction - incredibly scary. Casey's fear was believable and compelling: I felt her fear, and I was scared for her; I felt her hope when she believed she might get to live. I felt sad when she accepted her fate, and pride when, determined to identify her killer, she pulled off his mask.
Part of me wishes that Drew Barrymore had taken on Sidney's role so that I could see more of her in the film; however, Drew was perfect as Casey, and I don't know that I would have wanted anything changed.