Kissing Jessica Stein 2002

Kissing Jessica Stein

Critics Consensus

A trite but refreshing and comical spin on nature of love.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 120

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 16,557

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Movie Info

Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt) is at the end of her emotional rope. She happens upon an intriguing personal ad, whose only drawback is that it's in the "women seeking women" section. On a daring whim, she decides to answer it. She meets funky downtown hipster Helen Cooper (Heather Juergensen) for drinks, and to her surprise, they click instantly. With conventional gender roles absent, the two women proceed to muddle through an earnest but hilarious courtship, making up the rules as they go.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Kissing Jessica Stein

All Critics (120) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (100) | Rotten (20)

Audience Reviews for Kissing Jessica Stein

  • Jul 15, 2012
    I have a girl crush on Jennifer Westfeldt (which seems appropriate for this movie about a buttoned-up Jewess trying on lesbianism to find her [7] true love[s]). Too bad she's all in a committed long-term relationship with hunk-o-man Jon Hamm. Westfeldt as Jessica is so adorably neurotic and girl-next-door-pretty. My perennial favorite, Scott Cohen, is mean and tough but also sweetly anguished. Jessica and Helen's romance blossoms awkwardly and hilariously at first, but the moment Jessica comes over to take care of Helen when she's sick is a nice turning point. The movie debates homosexual politics a bit, but it doesn't end with a clear message about whether one should be with her own sex or the other. It also doesn't cheapen Jessica's lesbian relationship as a dalliance. I also love how the script sneaks in bunches of word-nerd humor and suffering artist philosophy. Judy's monologue about how Jessica quitting the school play because she thought her costar wasn't good enough - and only really hurting herself - is a metaphor for her dating life is eloquent and insightful. Josh's realization at his happiness for Jessica's painting and his own novel writing is a necessary reminder for all creative artists. Blech.
    Alice S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 09, 2012
    An interesting look at this kind of situation.
    Sarah P Super Reviewer
  • Feb 21, 2012
    Just a really inspirational movie. It's all worth it for the single scene where Helen is sick.
    Letitia L Super Reviewer
  • Nov 05, 2011
    Sexuality in film is a very delicate thing. It can either be very offputting and offends the general public and the LGBT community, or it's innovative without being condescending to the audience or just highly unrealistic. This film is full of realism, it's heartfelt and loving with the relationship between two women, one of whom is straight to the point of repression, while the other is a free spirit who isn't defined by her sexuality in any context. Both are complete opposites in personality, history, and ethics at times. Somehow these women find a strange version of friendship and sexual upheaval, as Jessica navigates the new maze of lesbianism, and her partner becomes increasingly sexually frustrated with the antics of her Jewish princess of a girlfriend. It's a varied path for this girl who has always identified as straight, and is slowly falling into different ways to see herself. In the modern world no one has to stick to their assigned box, and so this film not only explores what it means to have sexual preference, but more importantly whether you love based on gender or based on sex. Jessica is perfectly neurotic, and her character is actually well fleshed out beyond that characteristic. She also fears failure to a great degree, which is another reason why she is so repressed and lacks the conviction to tell anyone about her new relationship. The other two principle roles are that of Jessica's ex (Cohen) and the woman she falls for (Jeurgenson). Jeurgenson and Westfeldt co-wrote the film, and act as equals throughout, always friends during the rollercoaster of their courtship. It's really remarkable while staying classically romantic and sweet. Just another example of gay going mainstream.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer

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