It’s Drew Barrymore’s birthday! To mark the occasion, here are 5 of her overlooked or lesser-known performances. Check some of these out!
Ever After (1998)
There have been countless adaptations and remakes of Cinderella, but I don’t mind suggesting that Ever After, and Barrymore’s turn as the mistreated stepdaughter turned princess, is by far the best. It forgoes some of the typical Cinderella devices, such as the fairy godmother and talking mice, and instead tells the story of Danielle (aka Cinderella) who charms a prince during the French Renaissance while suffering abuse at the hands of her horrid stepmother. There are just enough modern twists into the story to make it feel fresh without going overboard. Barrymore plays Danielle as anything but helpless. Instead, she manages to be both vulnerable and strong all at once, proving to her stepmother, and Prince Henry that women don’t need a man to rescue them. They can rescue themselves.
Music and Lyrics (2007)
It would have been so easy to choose one of Barrymore’s three romantic comedies with Adam Sandler to plug into this list, but I decided to go for a role that paired her up with another rom-com king, and that’s Music and Lyrics. Hugh Grant is Alex Fletcher, a washed-up musician, still doing his best to profit off of his short-lived fame as a member of a once popular boy band. He’s given a massive opportunity to write a new song for reigning pop star, Cora Corman. The only problem is, Alex is great at composing, but he sucks at lyrics. Enter Sophie, a flighty, struggling writer. The two team up to create Cora’s next number one hit, and obviously sparks fly. Barrymore is so darn cute and likable in this movie and she and Grant have the necessary chemistry to make this movie affable and entertaining.
Whip It (2009)
Barrymore’s directorial debut about women’s roller derby is just as charming as she is, and it’s pretty clear she has talent both in front of and behind the camera. The movie follows a young woman named Bliss (Ellen Page) who finds her calling in the aggressive world of women’s roller derby. It’s certainly a welcome change from the otherwise monotonous life she’s been living, but it also means lying to her stifling mother (Marcia Gay Harden) and potentially losing her best friend (Alia Shawcat) in the process. It’s really up to Bliss to make her own choices and be her own hero in the face of all of life’s constant disappointments. Who better to elevate that particular message than Drew Barrymore? In the movie, she plays one of Bliss’s roller derby teammates, Smashley Simpson, and while she’s only a supporting player, it’s still evident that she’s having a blast.
Look, this may not really be an overlooked role, but it’s by far one of my favorites from Barrymore. She only has around twelve minutes of screentime but when I think of the Scream franchise, I think of the gruesome, anxiety-inducing scene where her character Casey is stalked and tormented by on the phone by Ghostface. Barrymore was so prevalent in the publicity for Scream that watching her get brutally gutted in the opening scene was shocking, and certainly set the tone for the remainder of the movie. The scene was shot over five days, and in sequence, which makes Barrymore’s performance even more impressive. To watch and listen to her playfully flirt with the man who would end up murdering her is chilling, and Barrymore is fantastic as realization begins to dawn on Casey’s face that this isn’t just someone pranking her. I know we usually praise the final girl, but I feel like Casey Becker should be just as iconic in the genre as Sidney Prescott, if not more so.
Miss You Already (2015)
The lifelong friendship of Milly (Toni Collette) and Jess (Barrymore) is put to the test when Milly is diagnosed with breast cancer, and Jess struggles with infertility. With an extremely limited release, Miss You Already was sort of a blink and you’ll miss it kind of movie, which is a shame because it’s one of the most poignant films that deals with the varying emotions associated with a cancer diagnosis. Barrymore has some amazing comedic range, but I feel like she’s at her best in dramatic roles, and her performance here is extremely genuine and heartbreaking. It’s a very true to life movie about the strength of friendship and Barrymore and Collette will definitely have you reaching for the tissues. More than once.
What are some of your favorite films to feature birthday girl Drew Barrymore?