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Kissing Jessica Stein 2002 R CC

(216) IMDb 6.7/10
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Jessica Stein is a single, straight, successful businesswoman, who finds herself not as straight as she thought when she begins an intense friendship with career woman Helen Cooper...which ultimately leads to romance.

Jennifer Westfeldt, Tovah Feldshuh
1 hour, 37 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Comedy
Director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
Starring Jennifer Westfeldt, Tovah Feldshuh
Supporting actors Esther Wurmfeld, Hillel Friedman, Ben Feldman, Robert Ari, David Aaron Baker, Jennifer Carta, Ben Weber, Brian Stepanek, Nick Corley, Jackie Hoffman, John Cariani, Scott Cohen, Christopher Berger, Hayden Adams, Kevin Sussman, Jim J. Bullock, Heather Juergensen, Alysia Reiner
Studio 20th Century Fox
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on 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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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Lee Wesselmann TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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 By Kindle Customer on April 18, 2002
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 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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