Do you have at least a vague idea of who Drew Barrymore is? If you do, you probably know that she was one of the most prolific actresses in the late-90’s formula-based-romantic-comedy genre, probably tied for second out of hundreds of other actresses. The plot of one such of these movies, Never Been Kissed, revolved around a highly successful journalist who, at 25, had never been kissed. (Do you see what they did there?) There was some superficial investigative purpose to this next part, but the majority of the plot that follows is Drew Barrymore acting like a high school student, ostensibly to land some huge, ground-breaking story. As the audience knows based off of the title of the movie, the actual purpose to the whole thing is to get Drew Barrymore…laid, I guess? By high school students? Wow, that movie was a lot more messed up than I remember it being at the time.
There would have been suspension of disbelief issues with the plot right from the get-go, being that Drew Barrymore is a fairly (and only fairly) attractive woman who seems unlikely to have issues getting laid anywhere, but by giving Ms. Barrymore some glasses and mussing up her hair a little bit, Hollywood effectively transported her from the sexual fantasies of the plurality of heterosexual men (and a fair few homosexual women) to the aberrant delusions of only the most deviant and desperate of nerds. Remember, kids, glasses make you look unattractive – it’s true! If you need proof, just wait until a little past halfway through the movie, when a motivated Drew Barrymore gets her hair straightened, shows some cleavage and switches her specs for contacts. She goes from total dog to a Hollywood starlet in just one montage. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel good about myself to know that I, too, could go from ugly to gorgeous, provided the time, motivation, and know-how… but I digress.
The point is, out of the many formula-romantic-comedies the late 90’s had to offer, Never Been Kissed offered one of the more far-fetched plots – and when you realize that Drew Barrymore starred in another movie that revolved around the idea of Adam Sandler having to take her out on a first date dozens of times due to a nasty case of amnesia, you’ll appreciate my full meaning. Hence why it is so totally ridiculous that this has happened:
Courtesy of the AP via Google: “GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — A 33-year-old woman stole her daughter’s identity to attend high school and join the cheerleading squad, according to a criminal complaint filed against the woman.
Wendy Brown, of Green Bay, faces a felony identity theft charge after enrolling in Ashwaubenon High School as her 15-year-old daughter, who lives in Nevada with Brown’s mother.”
The catchphrase, “art imitates life” was spawned by artsy-types as an argument against philistines who would otherwise attack some of the more avant-garde offshoots of contemporary art as meaningless, and means exactly what it sounds like: to wit, that the “effect” of art mirrors the effect of actions in daily life, be it lust, anger, depression, etc. This led the philistines to counter likewise with the ironic phrase, “life imitates art,” which posits that we’re only drawn to imitate those ideals in daily life when we get too angsty and hip and actively seek out lust, anger, depression, etc., as a counter to any monotony we might feel when recognizing that other people have those things, so they clearly must be worth something.
This story, however, puts a spin on the philistines’ catchphrase in a fun, new way, in that life is actually imitating what was, essentially, a commercial for Drew Barrymore’s career. Does that make this better, or worse? At the very least, it’s not an exact imitation; Drew Barrymore’s character had never been kissed, whereas this woman had a 15-year-old daughter, so I’m going to go ahead and assume she’s got the kissing thing down pat. She’s clearly got some issues, however, so maybe she took a different route to childbirth.