Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)



Directed by: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
Written by: Heather Juergensen, Jennifer Westfeldt
Starring: Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen and Tovah Feldshuh

SINGLE CHICK FLICK, looking for audience with open mind to sexuality, smart sense of humor, and a love for quick, chatty New Yorker types. A love for Sex and the City and jokes associated with the brutal, yet comical dating scene for Jewish women is a must. If this sounds like you, meet with Kissing Jessica Stein at your nearest video rental store, or online. If this doesn’t sound like you,you might find yourself sitting through an experience similar to a bad blind date.

Jessica Stein (Westfeldt) has been around the block a few times when it comes to blind dates and lackluster relationships. With her Jewish mother on her back, her brother soon to be wed, and her boss/ex-boyfriend always interested in her love life, Jessica begins to wonder if the perfect man for her is simply non-existent. Unwilling to stoop beneath her standards, Jessica remains without a man – and instead, picks herself a woman. While she claims that lesbianism is not in her personality, and that it is far too radical for such a conservative person as herself, Jessica is drawn to Helen (Juergensen), who is also a straight woman trying out lesbianism like a shirt to see if it fits.

Please don’t try and watch this movie, to see if it “fits.” While the Kissing Jessica Stein is original in its approach to the romantic comedy/chick flick genre by taking on sexual deviancy (if it can be even called that anymore) as subject matter, this dialogue-driven, character-driven film skims the surface of how complex a change of sexuality can be. While the film itself seems like its trying on lesbianism for kicks, Kissing Jessica Stein does have its moments of light comedy and gets away with annoying female characters because of the situation that they find themselves in. Women who are jaded by the dating scene and are stimulated by a change of pace and ideas within the rom-com genre will be sure to appreciate Westfeldt’s observations on relationships, love and sex. But for those who find Sex and the City whiny, women’s issues exhausting, and chatty women unbearable, this flick will not be a match for you.

The moment you realize you’re a lesbian.


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