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"Never Been Kissed," "Twin Dragons," "10 Things I Hate About You" and on video "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries"

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Never Been KissedTwin Dragons10 Things I Hate About YouNow On Video: A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries




"Never Been Kissed" Drew Barrymore saves this predictable romance. Effortlessly convincing as a smart, frumpy-before-her-time copy editor at a Chicago newspaper, Barrymore gets to display her considerable comic talent. If only she'd had screenwriters of similar quality.

The storyline — mousy young woman goes back to high school as undercover reporter only to find true but forbidden attraction with one of her teachers — is embarrassingly contrived. And in keeping with the script's originality-challenged writing, guess where everything comes to a head? Yep, the senior prom. But fear not, like in Barrymore's recent "Ever After," "Never Been Kissed" also has a happy ending.



"Twin Dragons" Jackie Chan fans will find this redubbed double-punch of their hero fun. Made in 1991 — eight years ago — this movie was released strictly to cash in on Chan's recent "Rush Hour" success. All about twins separated at birth who reunite to fight the Hong Kong mob, "Twin Dragons" is pretty ordinary stuff. Think about it. If it were such a terrific movie, wouldn't it have been released here a lot sooner? Filled with Chan's self-deprecating humor and fast fists and feet, "Twin Dragon" is a perfect choice for a video rental. Unless, of course, you're a big Chan fan.



"10 Things I Hate About You" Yes, it's set in high school. Yes, it's another teen romance. Yes, it's based on a Shakespeare play. But no, it is anything but pedantic, sophomoric or saccharine sweet. Sharp, witty and wise, this high school refitting of "Taming of the Shrew" is however not for the preteen set who will want to see it.

Graciously given the gift of a PG-13 rating, "10 Things" pushes that borderline to the very limits. The school's counselor is writing a soft-core romance on school time, and the senior English teacher peppers his lectures and assignments with street talk and expletives.

But that parental warning aside, "10 Things I Hate About You" is clever, telling and sweetly romantic. I was more than pleasantly surprised.



Now On Video

"A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries" If you missed this Merchant-Ivory-Jhabvala production, shame on you. Based on the autobiography of Kaylie Jones, daughter of novelist James Jones who penned "From Here To Eternity" and "The Thin Red Line," among others, the movie is intriguing in a quiet, honest way.

Detailing the mundane events of Channe Willis' life — her first period, her adolescent crushes, her loss of virginity, and her relationship with famous writer Dad (Kris Kristofferson) and mom (Barbara Hershey) — "A Soldier's Daughter" could have been a big snore. But terrific young actress Leelee Sobieski's performance transforms the mundane. Currently co-starring as a math nerd in "Never Been Kissed," the talented Sobieski is nothing short of luminous.

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