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Kissing Jessica Stein (2002)

Jennifer Westfeldt , Heather Juergensen , Charles Herman-Wurmfeld  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen, Tovah Feldshuh, Esther Wurmfeld, Hillel Friedman
  • Directors: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
  • Writers: Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen
  • Producers: Heather Juergensen, Brad Zions, Doug Liman, Eden Wurmfeld, Eduardo Braniff
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: September 17, 2002
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CYJ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,165 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kissing Jessica Stein" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 7 Deleted Scenes with commentary plus outtakes
  • Behind-the-scenes featurette

Editorial Reviews

Sex and the single girl gets a fresh new spin in this "very funny movie"! (Joel Siegel, Good morning America) Fed up with her fruitless search for "Mr. Right" and tired of blind dates from hell, attractive journalist Jessica Stein whimsically responds to a classified ad - from Helen! Making and breaking new rules of dating as they go, the two women muddle through an earnest but hilarious courtship that blurs the lines between friendship and romantic love in this "smashing romantic comedy" (Rolling Stone)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
90 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pucker up for "Jessica"! April 16, 2002
"Kissing Jessica Stein," directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, tells the story of a young, single, Jewish professional woman in New York City (the Jessica of the title, played by Jennifer Westfeldt). She's fed up with men after a series of bad experiences. Intrigued by a "woman-seeks-woman" personal ad, Jessic decides to give lesbianism a try. The object of her often clumsy affection is Helen (Heather Juergensen), a sexy art gallery manager.
This movie hooked me from its outrageous opening scene, in which Jessica, her mother, and her grandmother bicker and gossip about men during a Day of Atonement service. "Jessica" is a wonderfully funny and sweet film, filled with witty dialogue and some genuinely touching moments. The ensemble cast is superb. Westfeldt and Juergensen shine in the lead roles. Westfeldt, who looks remarkably like Lisa Kudrow, is reminiscent of a young female Woody Allen in this quirky, neurotic role. Juergensen brings an irreverent sensuality to her role. The two are delicious together. Although the whole supporting cast is great, I was particularly moved by Tovah Feldshuh as Jessica's loving mother.
I'm sure people will be tempted to pigeonhole "Jessica" as a "lesbian" movie, a "New York" movie, and/or a "Jewish" movie. It's certainly all of these, but its charm and universality also transcend all categories. It's about love, family ties, friendship, self-knowledge, and other issues that are relevant to everybody. And the film is populated with a wonderful group of characters -- male and female, Jewish and gentile, straight, gay, and "bi-curious" -- who are treated with affection and respect by the filmmakers. My advice: whatever your own preferences, prepare to kiss "Jessica" and love it.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I adored this hilarious and touching film! April 14, 2004
Format:DVD
I absolutely adored this film - for its real life messiness, for its honest performances, for the eye it turns toward the unexpected nature of life and love. When mousy, perfectionist copyeditor Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt) answers a personal ad for "women seeking women" on a whim - she is, and always has been, heterosexual - she meets Helen (Heather Juergenson), a sexy, confident bisexual who works in an art gallery. The two women click on a deep soul-mate level. As Jessica begins to find the happiness that has eluded her for so long, her high spirits are contagious - except to dark but lovable Josh (Scott Cohen), who is perplexed by his own feelings for the newly liberated, but still closeted, Jessica. Westfeldt and Juergenson, who also co-wrote the screenplay, provide so much depth to their characterizations and situations that the viewer must wrestle with his own expectations. Jessica's awkward and sometimes outrageously funny exploration of what it means to love another woman never takes the easy way out.
The chemistry between Westfeldt and Juergenson is so phenomenal that even the most prudish viewer will want them to find happiness together. Tovah Feldshuh plays Jessica's mother with energy and deep sensitivity; her powerful performance in one scene provides the pivot upon which the entire film turns. And how can one not like angst-filled, love-stricken Josh the way Cohen plays him? Even the supporting actors turn in memorable performances.
"Kissing Jessica Stein" is an off-beat romantic comedy that has far more hilarity than its more tired and traditional siblings. The story unfolds with a naturalness that deserves to be admired. The views of New York from Hoboken, as well as shots of Hoboken itself, provide an excellent backdrop to a story that blends progressive ideas with the old-fashioned, just as Hoboken itself does.
I loved it.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A step in the right direction for romantic comedy April 18, 2002
By SEP
Verified Purchase
This was a wonderful beginning to what I hope is a more open-minded approach to romantic comedies--two strong, reletively secure, stable women who fall in love. There are obvious neuroses (what would a romantic comedy be without it?) but the two women, Helen and Jessica, are impressively "together" all on their own.
Jessica Stein is a brilliant, but bored, copy editor whose boss happens to be an old flame from college. Just when she has convinced herself that she isn't the problem--blaming everything the non-commital ...men of New York--her brother announces his engagement. Mortified and a little worried about her own single status, Jessica makes a life-altering decision: she answers a singles ad placed by another woman.
...I won't leak any details (because it's too funny to give away) but they're hilarious as they fumble through their relationship, learning as they go.
This movie is laden with great actresses, many of whom I've never seen before. We'll doubtless see more of Jennifer Westfeldt and Heather Juergensen (hopefully as a team, since they write and act exceptionally well together). The wonderfully quirky performances of Jackie Hoffman (Joan) and Esther Wurmfeld (Grandma) are hilarious.
The most refreshing aspect of this movie is that it doesn't acknowledge the "femme" and "butch" stereotypes of lesbian relationships. Also, Westfeldt and Juergensen have written a screenplay that beautifully depicts (FINALLY) a long-neglected truth: sexuality is not black and white but rather fluid and ever-changing. I'm sure this "type" relationship is more common than anyone likes to admit. This movie is funny, quirky, fresh and all-around fun. I highly recommend it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I would it like better ending, but still is ok
Published 7 hours ago by Elizabeth Rosa-Paez
5.0 out of 5 stars See this and "Puccini For Beginners" for the best examples of a great...
One of two of my favorite "LGBT for a mainstream audience" genre films, the other being Puccini For Beginners (see my review for other titles there). Read more
Published 1 day ago by soda
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful story of being open
a wonderful open expression of how narrow definitions of heterosexuality and monogamy limit, and hurt all people and relationships. Read more
Published 1 month ago by R. Jackson-Paton
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever & Quirky
One of my favorites. Good writing, acting, directing. Interesting storyline. Well-done.
Published 2 months ago by Mawrtyr
4.0 out of 5 stars Spice with Finesse....
Funny...well done..tasteful considering the somewhat spicy topic.....
Published 3 months ago by Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars A winner in all ways
This is a delightful and funny film that will drive all narrow-minded, pleasure-hating, reactionary "conservatives" crazy due to its life-positive-in-all-forms orientation. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jonathan of LV
3.0 out of 5 stars Sort of LGBT positive
It's a cute film and I like that the main character gets to explore her sexuality but ***spoiler alert**** it really bothers me that finding true love with a woman just isn't... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Doom Bucket
5.0 out of 5 stars great film to own
Love this indie film! If your a Yorker or have a great sense of humor, you love this film. The two women who star in the film, wrote it and its a true portrayal of a women open to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Andrea Gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars great fun
Jennifer Westfeldt who wrote and produced this film is a great talent, both behind and in front of the camera. Read more
Published 8 months ago by diana lin
5.0 out of 5 stars Kissing Jessica Stein
This was a surprising movie that I actually enjoyed thoroughly! Will probably watch it again just be sure I caught everything...
Published 8 months ago by Pamela Jo Christian
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