Drew Blyth Barrymore was born in Culver City, California and she comes from a long line of Hollywood royalty. She’s the granddaughter of the famous actor John Barrymore, great-granddaughter of silent film actor Maurice Costello and Mae Costello and the great-niece of famed actors, Ethel Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore. Despite her drinking and partying through her childhood, Barrymore managed to overcome her early demons and carve out her own thriving acting career. Her breakout role in Steven Spielberg’s beloved 1982 family classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, put her on Hollywood’s radar for something other than her crazy personal life. By the mid-90s, she’d appeared in a number of films such as the 1992 thriller Poison Ivy, Woody Allen’s musical romantic comedy Everyone Says I Love You and the 1996 hit horror flick Scream. She’s frequently starred with comedian Adam Sandler, bringing about beloved comedies like 1996’s The Wedding Singer and 2004’s 50 First Dates. She’s also proven that she hasn’t lost her kick *ss streak by starring in the reboot of Charlie’s Angels and its sequel. In honor of her 39th birthday, here is a Top 10 list of Drew Barrymore movies.
10. Boys on the Side: In this 1995 dramedy, Barrymore had the honor of co-starring with Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker and Matthew McConaughey. The film chronicled how three friends (Barrymore, Goldberg and Parker) embark on a life-changing road trip. Each woman had their own problems they need to work through (Goldberg’s character was a just been dumped lesbian looking for a new love and Parker’s character was HIV-positive) but leaned on each other for emotional support. Barrymore shined as the pregnant Holly, who just wanted to escape her cruel boyfriend. A story filled with ups, downs but ultimately the power of true friendship, Barrymore really displayed her acting chops.
9. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle: Barrymore proved yet again what a bad *ss she can be in this 2003 actioner. The sequel to the hit 2000 reboot, this time Barrymore’s Dylan along with Lucy Liu’s Alex and Cameron Diaz’s Natalie track down who has been murdering witnesses in the Witness Protection Program. Co-starring Justin Theroux, the late Bernie Mac, Shia LaBeouf, Matt LeBlanc, Luke Wilson, John Cleese and Robert Patrick plus a quick cameo from Bruce Willis, Dylan is revealed to have been a witness in the program, who put away an Irish mob boss kingpin. In addition, Demi Moore plays ex-“Angel” Madison Lee. The action never stops as Barrymore, Liu and Diaz fight to learn who has been killing the witnesses until the truth takes them closer to home than they ever expected. Barrymore showed off both her vulnerable and take no prisoners side as she fought with her girls against her painful past.
8. Charlie’s Angels: Barrymore along with Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz starred in the 2000 reboot based on the television series of the same name from the late 1970s. Also starring Bill Murray as Bosley, Sam Rockwell, Kelly Lynch, Crispin Glover and Tim Curry with cameos from Tom Green and LL Cool J, “Charlie,” voiced yet again by John Forsythe, charges the girls with finding a kidnapped software mogul and retrieving his stolen revolutionary software. Yet, secrets unfold as the case progresses and “Charlie” ends up being the person the girls need to rescue. Barrymore makes up one-third of an elite crime-fighting team that is beautiful yet capable of some serious whoop *ss and she does it with her signature style.
7. Music and Lyrics: This 2007 romantic comedy had Barrymore co-starring with Hugh Grant. Barrymore’s character, Sophie, meets Grant’s character, Alex, a washed-up ex pop star looking to make a comeback by writing a song for the latest pop sensation. Alex finds that Sophie has a gift for writing lyrics and they team up to write the song. Misunderstandings, old loves and old music partners get in the way as Alex and Sophie begin to fall for each other, unbeknownst to either of them. Barrymore’s sparkling personality brings Sophie to life as she comes up with lyrics out of the blue. She and Grant made a wonderful comedic duo, IMO, and the critics agreed. I wish they’d make another movie together.
6. 50 First Dates: This 2004 romantic comedy was the second film Barrymore starred in with Adam Sandler. Here, Barrymore played Lucy Whitmore, an art teacher, who thanks to a head injury from a car accident, cannot retain any short-term information. Sandler played a veterinarian, Henry Roth, who falls for Lucy despite her condition and continually finds ways for her to fall in love with him everyday. Barrymore gave Lucy a loopy persona as she relived the same day over and over because she couldn’t remember anything past it. Co-starring Blake Clark as Lucy’s father and Sean Astin as Lucy’s loving, older brother, who lisps and is a steroid-dependent bodybuilder. Barrymore’s sweet disposition as she learns each day all she has missed and how much Henry and her family loves her is beyond endearing. Though a comedy, Barrymore along with everyone else’s performances might also make you shed a tear at the film’s poignancy, especially the end.
5. Firestarter: This 1984 thriller was based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. In it, a young Barrymore played Charlene “Charlie” McGee, who thanks to her parents’ participation in experimental projects for the government can start fires with her mind and see the near future. The government learns of Charlie’s powers and wishes to capture her and use her as a weapon, but of course…she resists and violently! Co-starring Heather Locklear, Martin Sheen and George C. Scott, Barrymore expressed her acting prowess even at such a young age.
4. Never Been Kissed: This 1999 romantic dramedy had Barrymore playing Josie Geller, a reporter, who goes undercover as a high school student for a story. Geller’s actual high school experience was horrific, but with the help of her brother, Rob, played by David Arquette, she slowly begins to fit in. Yet, she makes the mistake of falling for her English teacher, Sam Coulson, played by Alias’ Michael Vartan, which could blow her cover. Barrymore’s bubbly personality really gave Josie a genuine vibe as she bounced between her conflicting feelings for finishing her first real job assignment or having her first real relationship.
3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: This 1982 family fantasy film was Barrymore’s breakout role and put her in the hearts of every moviegoer. Co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, Barrymore played Gertie, the mischievous 5-year-old sister of Elliott, played by Henry Thomas, who initially finds E.T. She begins by being afraid of E.T., but learns to love him in the end. Barrymore’s lovable face yet impish nature won over audiences almost as much as the alien itself and solidified Barrymore on Hollywood’s radar at the tender age of seven.
2. Ever After: A Cinderella Story: This 1998 romantic dramedy was inspired by the fairy tale Cinderella. Co-starring Anjelica Huston and Dougray Scott, set in 16th century France, Barrymore played Danielle de Barbarac. After her beloved father’s unexpected death when she was just a little girl, Danielle became cared for by her stepmother, Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent (Huston,) who already had two daughters of her own, Marguerite and Jacqueline. As she grew up, Rodmilla treated Danielle more like a slave than her stepdaughter and Marguerite followed suit though Jacqueline tried to be nice to Danielle whenever possible. Danielle and Prince Henry (Scott) eventually meet though he thinks she’s an aristocrat and not a commoner. They fall in love but she is then exposed by Rodmilla and Henry must choose between duty and love. Barrymore brought elegance and whimsy to the role as she tried desperately to tell Henry the truth and fought against losing love.
1. The Wedding Singer: This 1998 romantic comedy was Barrymore’s first time starring with comedian Adam Sandler and their pairing produced a classic film. Set in 1985, Barrymore played Julia Sullivan, a waitress engaged to the philandering Glenn. She befriends engaged wedding singer Robbie Hart when she starts working at the reception hall he plays at. Robbie’s fiancé Linda, dumps him at the altar and Robbie and Julia become closer friends since she begs him to help him plan her wedding and they eventually fall in love. Barrymore and Sandler made comedic gold as a pair and have gone on to make more films together such as their upcoming third romantic comedy, Blended due out in theaters on May 23.