Kissing Jessica Stein
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Customer Reviews:

  • Loved the movie, despised the ending
    "Kissing Jessica Stein" is one of the best movies I've ever seen, and contains perhaps the most touching, heartfelt, and believable romances in modern film. Frustrated single girl Jessica Stein decides to try something different (to put it mildly) and answer a lesbian personal ad in the paper; never did she expect to meet Helen. The two lead actresses are also the writers and producers of the is fine movie, and they are FANTASTIC. Westfeldt (Jessica) and Juergensen (Helen) are both radiant and adorable, and share rare, utterly convincing chemistry. The movie is hilarious, wildly romantic, touching, and poignant, all blended into one bittersweet milkshake. Jessica and Helen just make the most adorable and gorgeous couple ever. It's difficult to choose a favourite, since both girls are so beautiful and likeable. Women and romantic straight men should greatly enjoy this movie. And special mention must go to Tovah Feldshuh, who played Jessica's mother and was in the most heartwrenching and touching scene in the movie. You'll know what I'm talking about when you go see it.

    That said, I found the ending greatly unappealing. I felt like cheated by the ending, like a cop-out. In the DVD commentary, Juergensen and Westfeldt defend their decision for the nature of the ending, and I can see where they're coming from, but personally I don't agree. I just feel that the tone and events of the ending are incongruous with evidence from the rest of the movie, and that it should not have occurred. It did not seem to me that this was the ending we were headed towards, and I felt the ending we did get was forced and artificial. My apologies for the vagueness, but I'm trying not to give too much away. Other than that, prepare for a rare treat of a movie....more info

    I don't think I could watch this movie too many times (or enough times, for that matter). I found the writing and acting outstanding, and every scene was just perfect. I think Heather and Jennifer are brilliant, and this movie is fantastic. Funny, heartwarming, original, and unpredictable. I recommend this for anyone who wants a good laugh and doesn't mind seeing two beautiful women make out....more info
    Could not even play the disc and reason displayed on the dvd player is
    "Please check Region Code"...more info
  • Honest gem of a film - real people navigating intimacy in relationships
    I really enjoyed this film. It's funny but in a quiet way. I thought the relationship between Jessica and Helen felt real. Except for the portrayals of Jessica's mother and the wacky friend who gives overbearing advice, I felt the film veered away from stereotypes. I liked how the film showed that Jessica's fear of intimacy (with men and women) were the same - her refusal to divulge how Helen has become a part of her life to her mother reminds me of similar situations with straight couples - the man who refuses to introduce his mistress or girlfriend to his mother out of shame. I thought this was a well-written film about relationships....more info
  • Great until the Very End
    Like the other reviewers, I would have to say, I LOVED this movie. I thought the end was going to be great, and then it switched gears and came back into the mainstream. Ugh! Otherwise, a wonderfully funny film with pure hearts and very sweet scenes.

    My recommendation: Believe the end is where you feel it should be. (My opinion: before the last scene which should have ended up on the cutting room floor.)...more info

  • A journey of bi-sexual discovery
    Bound to make women a little angry on all sides of the lesbian/bisexual issue, Kissing Jessica Stein will also make them laugh, cry, puzzle about the human thing called love, and have a thoroughly enjoyable evening with this video. Sophisticated in its acting, filming, direction, and setting (New York), Kissing JS follows indecisive, confused, and somewhat neurotic Jessica as she tries to sort out her own sexuality. Best of all perhaps is Jessica's overbearing but infinitely loving mother, played by Tovah Feldshuh.
    Don't miss it. You might even want to watch it twice, once for laughs, and once for all the thought-provoking stuff it brings up....more info
  • Move Over Woody Allen, You've Got Competition
    I love Woody Allen when he's on & funny. This movie is like a female Woody Allen. Jennifer Westfeldt (Jessica) & Heahter Juergensen (Helen) co-wrote this funny, fast moving story * very thought provoking. While it may appear to be a film about two women who decide to "go gay", it's really about one woman (Jessica Stein) finding herself through "letting herself go & explore". The dialogue is great! Excellent statements are made throughout. Some of my favorite moments are...Jessica & Helen are walking the streets of Manhattan as a group of Hari Krishnas are spotted. Jessica says "Their weird!". Helen comes back with "How do you know they're weird, maybe if you believed in what they believed in they wouldn't seem weird". While I'm not inclined to follow a specific religion or cult like group, it is a good comment on how we perceive others & forget it's a two way street. Another great moment is when Seth Cohen (Josh), Jessica's ex boyfriend & current co-worker, confides in her that "Whenever you were happy, I was sad & whenever you were sad, I was happy". "It's not that I didn't want you to be happy or that I wanted you to be sad, I just wanted to be the one to make you happy". I highly recommend this film & also check out Jennifer's newest "Ira & Abby". ...more info
  • The best romantic comedy of '02
    "Kissing Jessica Stein" features no major (or even minor) stars, a low budget (about $1 million), and a taboo topic. But the film, which never would have been made without the perseverance of screenwriters and co-stars Heather Juergensen and Jennifer Westfeldt, is a refreshing mix of quirky indie spirit and classic romantic-comedy sentiment.

    Westfeldt plays Jessica Stein, a neurotic New York copy editor who's fed up with the dating game. If having her overprotective Jewish mother set her up with undesirable suitors wasn't bad enough, she also has to deal with one bad date after another, not to mention working for her ex-boyfriend (a solid Scott Cohen).

    The movie gets off to a somewhat rocky star, with the humor coming across as forced and the scenarios boasting a been-there-seen-that feel.

    Fortunately, when Jessica decides to answer a personal ad in the "Women Seeking Women" section, the film takes off. The first date between Jessica and Helen Cooper (Heather Juergensen), a downtown hipster with bisexual preferences, is beautifully written and acted. Jessica's gradual transition from feeling awkward to being intrigued is completely believable.

    From then on out, with the exception of a few minor lapses, "Kissing Jessica Stein" is a fresh and funny romantic comedy that explores the ups and downs of the blossoming relationship between Jessica and Helen. Juergensen and Westfeldt, aided by a solid supporting cast, deliver plenty of laughs. Case in point: a highly amusing scene in which Jessica and Helen prod two unknowing, would-be male suitors into telling them why two women together are so sexy.

    But "Kissing Jessica Stein" isn't all light laughs. With the help of director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, Juergensen and Westfeldt dig into some highly effective dramatic scenes that round out the characters and give the film a little more depth. A nicely shot scene in which the two quarrel about Jessica's unwillingness to tell her family and friends about their lesbian relationship packs a powerful emotional wallop. Ditto a heartfelt exchange between Jessica and her mom late in the film.

    While director Herman-Wurmfeld does a fine job of making this low-budget pic look like its budget is much larger, he wisely leaves the focus on the actors and the film's excellent script. Westfeldt, who brings to mind an indie Lisa Kudrow, digs beyond sitcom superficiality to find the longing beneath Jessica's perfectionist leanings. The charismatic Juergensen, tough yet vulnerable, is superb as Helen -- keep your eye on this promising actress.

    It's a kick to see two talented young women sticking it to the male-dominated movie scene and creating a top-notch film through their perseverance and talent. Anyone who enjoys a good romantic comedy and understands how rarely they come along won't want to miss "Kissing Jessica Stein." ...more info
  • Great movie about really finding yourself
    I love this movie. It is romantic and sweet and is all about the journey you have to take to find out who you really are. I thouht this film was about so much more than gay or straight. The characters all found who and what made them happy in the end. See it!...more info
  • A very delightful, and unortodox, romantic conedy
    This is an absolutely terrific movie. I had never heard of this movie when I first bought it. I saw a recommendation for it, than read the description and decided to buy this movie. And I've loved it since.

    Jessica answers a personal ad from Helen and their lives are turned upside down from that moment on. This is one of my favorite romantic comedies of all time. It's just a delight considering some of the more, high priced boring romantic comedies that come along on a yearly basis.

    The DVD contains 2 commentaries, one from the stars and one from the crew. Plenty of deleted scenes, including the original ending, and a behind the scenes featurette and trailer.

    One of the deleted scenes features a kiss between two unlikely people.

    Highly recommended....more info
  • Who was this movie made for?
    Well, I watched it with a couple of my friends... a lesbian friend of mine, and my girlfriend (yes, I am a girl). Up until the last ten minutes of the movie, we were completely content... by the time Jessica decides that it just wasn't for her, we were so pissed off we would have broken the DVD in half if it hadn't been a Blockbuster rental.
    Who gains pleasure out of seeing a woman who has been pretty much lesbian for the past hour and a half go back to a man in the last ten minutes? I can tell you, the lesbians didn't like it much... and it couldn't have been much fun for the straight people to watch two girls making out for a good portion of the film... so who likes the movie? The bisexuals, maybe? Even then, the entire first half of the movie was spent developing a good relationship between two people, and in the last couple minutes, she goes for the person you weren't even rooting for.
    Overall, it was a disappointment... the straight people have their happy dramedy romances, where is ours? The most uplifting gay movie I have seen was If These Walls Could Talk 2, and I think there need to be a few more like it... ......more info
  • Why didn't I get this movie sooner?
    I remember when this movie was released in theaters. People giggled and whispered about it (at least in my small town) and most didn't see it (including me.) I am heterosexual and just thought that this movie wouldn't appeal to me.

    Years later, I happened to catch part of it on a pay movie channel early one morning and couldn't turn it off! It is a great romantic comedy with an interesting twist. I bought it the next day. Many movies I own end up sitting in the bookcase after I have seen them once, but not this one. I had to write a review for all the straight folks out there who think this movie isn't for them. It is just a wonderful story about connecting to other people, love, and relationships, parents, etc. You can see the Woody Allen-ness in the film, but that is a postive, not a crappy copycat.

    Jessica's mother is perfect her role and Jessica (Westfeldt) is so charismatic in this film you can't take your eyes off of her! Too bad she isn't more popular in other romantic comedies, as she is much better than many of the so-called leading ladies we end up getting forced on us (e.g.,..Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson...boring!) I'll take a more intelligent, funny lady like Westfeldt over them any day!
    ...more info
    Out of all the more depressing lesbian flicks I've seen this has by far been the best. I don't believe I have laughed so many times. The script is great. It makes you giggle, and think "are there really people like that" I love the way she is so off the wall crazy, and nervous, and just seriously racked.
    Kissing Jessica Stein is a great movie that tickles the funny bone every now and then. I LOVED IT!...more info
  • Solid
    KJS was directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, but written by Heather Juergensen & Jennifer Westfeldt, who star in the film as New Yorkers Jessica Stein & Helen Cooper. Despite the lesbianism there is little T&A- the leads are rather frumpy, but not unattractive, women. The story is every lesbian's fantasy- seducing a clueless straight girl fed up with the male sex. This banal premise goes nowhere. Jessica's hetero-frustration is portrayed in a montage of bad dates that could only occur in films, so right away emotional realism is tossed, & sets the film up for a failure to connect on anything but a superficial level. Helen is a bisexual fed up with men's shallowness & places 1 of those `bi-curious' personal ads. Jessica reads it, is intrigued by a quote from Rilke (she is a copy editor & bookworm), & answers. Even though the ad claims to seek `friendship or more' any person over the age of 20 (especially a copy editor) would know this is adspeak for a lesbian relationship. The 30+ Jessica is clueless, & spends the whole film never even attempting to get with it. That Jessica, as portrayed before meeting Helen, could ever be attracted to such a duplicitous & shallow sort as Helen- even if a man- undercuts the whole point of her dates-from-hell montage. Also, it's supposed to be funny that she approaches her 1st lesbian experience with a slew of `how to' books. Yes, this is a comedy, but it's not too much to ask the characters & writing to show some maturity & developmental stability. ...more info
  • This movie broke my heart...
    ... and I just don't know whether it and I can still be friends.

    It makes me so frustrated that this beautiful, sensitive, funny and utterly delightful movie about the challenges of coming out to ourselves and about our hangups following us along when we try to run away from them, got hijacked at the end and turned into something "safe" for a straight girl to watch with her boyfriend. "Don't worry, honey, your masculinity won't feel threatened at all at the end... she goes back to men just like she's supposed to!"

    Argh! WHY couldn't this have been our movie?!

    Look, coming out to oneself IS just that difficult, and at least for those of us who run neurotic to begin with, getting started at same-sex sex really CAN be awkward to the point of utter ridiculousness. So Jessica was insecure and had to deal with all the classic coming-out angst (right down to the gloriously modern twist that her friends and family are more OK with her than she is!), so we relate, we identify, we empathize, for hours.

    The problem is, after all that, I guess this movie couldn't be made both affirming for us and "safe" for mainstream straight folks at the same time. So at the end, we're the ones who get the rug yanked out. Surprise! All that familiar insecurity and confusion happened because she really never was supposed to be with women in the first place! What a relief that must be to the "bicurious straight girls"! Yes, dear, you can experiment, have your fun, and then go right back to the approved normal life society wants you to have. Never mind about the feelings of the girls you experiment with, either. (Helen was no innocent victim, but... staying her best friend after that? Talk about your lesbian fantasies!)

    Jessica's a fictional character, so I get to say this: she could have, and should have, been a real bisexual girl. She was true-to-life, identifiable-with, utterly delightful, and was figuring it out. It was working. Sure, she & Helen needed an interesting relationship challenge, but why not give them one they could actually overcome?

    Straight people already HAVE feel-good romantic comedies. Give us back "Jessica Stein"!

    (I actually thought, on first viewing, that the credits were going to roll just after they moved in together, and I'm thinking I might choose to pretend that they do. It's a pretty feel-good queer-girl movie that way. Next best thing to a DVD "bonus alternate ending", I guess!)...more info

  • 3 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    If the idea of a Jewish LGBT romantic comedy appeals to you, then this film's for you; in all sincerity though, Kissing Jessica Stein is a bold movie whose every turn is not defined by the whim of a screenplay, and whose ending is neither manufactured nor necessarily heart-warming and all the better because of it. ...more info
  • A Great Love Story
    A lesbian love story, Kissing Jessica Stein is cute and sweet. Jessica is fed up of crappy dates with crappy men, so she takes a chance on a personal ad and begins dating Helen. Jessica finds everything she ever wanted in Helen, but keeps the relationship a secret because Jessica's not a lesbian. The relationship eventually deteriorates, but the experience gives Jessica a new outlook on life....more info
  • Miserable movie either way.
    This movie was, hands down, one of the worst I had ever seen. I don't particularly care that Jessica ends up going back to her het life in the end - face it, this does happen. Women DO experiment, and some decide that it isn't for them after all. It's a bit unreasonable to expect sexuality to remain within rigid borders.

    The problem with this movie was that it was a extremely off. The actresses were terrible, even if they were cute. The dialogue was so horribly timed that I kept feeling as thought I was watching a badly dubbed kungfu flick. I didn't even bother watching the end of it, and even I knew that she was going to go back to the guy in the end.

    The moral? People who write should stick to writing. People who act should stick to acting. Never the twain shall meet....more info

  • "Annie Hall" wannabe?
    I enjoyed "Kissing Jessica Stein" on many levels, but couldn't get beyond the rip-off mannerisms of Jessica to Annie Hall. Certainly, Annie is an original but Diane Keaton can't be copied, even in the capable hands of Jennifer Westfeld. What I enjoyed most was the very original and clever screenplay by Ms. Westfeld and Heather Juergensen. One-liners abound, and situations are interesting. There are generally fine performances from all involved; it's always good to see Tovah Feldshuh bringing a sort of freshness to the often stereotyped Jewish mother. The best thing about the film (and screenplay) was that it was honest and real. Developments could've gone horribly awry in the hands of less capable film-makers. Interesting and entertaining DVD extras; it's definitely worth a look. ...more info
  • Kissing Jessica Stein
    This film is about relationships, regardless of the genders of the participants. Jessica Stein is a neurotic young woman who can't seem to find a man worth the time to date, so she answers a personals ad placed by another woman. Right off the bat the viewer sees how quirky Jessica really is. She runs out on the first meeting.

    Without giving too much of the movie away, we see how this relationship finally develops then succumbs to what many couples, both gay and straight ultimately have to face, the loss of compatibility. The movie goes from highs to lows as these characters are developed into living, breathing people. I think it helps that the main actors also wrote the script. Almost anyone with a sense of humor or sense of romance will enjoy this film....more info
  • tasteful and funny
    an excellent and well acted lesbian movie for unecessary drama..and the scene between daughter and mother towards the end of the movie was trully moving......more info
  • I adored this hilarious and touching film!
    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....more info

  • Ultimate Chick Flick
    Don't let those whispers about lesbianism scare you away from a terrifically funny and often poignant movie! It's a factor, but not the true central theme. The two women featured in the film are looking for love, but have very distinct ideas about what is acceptable. Their relationship ultimately helps them both break out of old patterns, but not necessarily with the same results. It's an intelligent, contemporary comedy, and the DVD has some fun extras that didn't make the original cut....more info
  • What is so good about it?
    Brought the movie because I've read the reviews here, and I thought it would be really good. This movie disappointed me, I was watching it and ended up thinking "What the hell this movie is trying to do?". The plot is so simple: Jessica, a super-shy-lesbian-curious found a girlfriend on the ad, she loves her but she doesn't wanna have sex with her. In the end, she goes back to her co-worker which happens to be a guy. That's it! Wanna buy it? Up to you......more info
  • love it
    i think i am being a bit bias, but i love this movie. the seller sent it out relatively quickly as well....more info
  • A heart-felt, somewhat disturbing, romantic comedy...with lesbians.
    The movie "Kissing Jessica Stein" is at once a silly comedy, a disturbing look at sexual frustration, misanthropic relations with fellow humans, and promiscuity.

    The character of Jessica Stein is a woman too smart, and too neurotic, for her own good. She feels that she knows herself so well that she has no reason to try anything outside the norm of her everyday routine. She doesn't really understand how to respond to men who are interested in her and the beginning of the movie paints the majority of men as sniveling, unintelligent, selfish creatures. I'm sure a large number of men have these undesirable qualities, but I assure you, we are not all this way. After going through these stereotypical, mildly amusing, but altogether badly written characters that are supposed to represent the dating scene of the time our love lost heroine is embattling her way through loneliness.

    Enter Helen. A woman who is lost in a triangle of sexual intensity, bordering on promiscuous. A woman who also knows enough about life to understand that selfishness is something that is a natural part of the world, and therefore acceptable. In a conversation within the movie, and I won't spoil anything too much, Jessica makes a comment about a group of people behaving selfishly because of their pursuit of spiritual enlightenment and happiness and Helen responds with, "They're just doing their thing. Some people smoke pot, some people chant."

    The most interesting aspect to the movie is that fact that it was written by Jennifer Westfeldt and Heather Juergensen, or Jessica Stein and Helen Cooper, respectively. The acting in the movie is, for the most part, wonderful. Jennifer Westfeldt's ditzy, air-headed-yet-intelligent personae in the film will get on your nerves every ten or fifteen minutes, but she presents the character in a believable manner. The one-face-for-every-emotion approach by Heather Juergensen would seem to be something horrible, but, for some strange reason, works. She uses the same face throughout the movie, but it actually conveys every emotion that she is trying to portray. Throw in totally believable performances by Scott Cohen as Josh Myers, the jerk ex-boyfriend of Jessica, Jackie Hoffman, as Jessica's loud best-friend and all the other actors/actresses in the film and you have quite a nice little comedy. I give it a 4....more info
  • One of the BEST Films I have EVER SEEN
    This is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It is funny, and not stupid dumbed down funny, smart and intelligent funny. It is a bold film, that really makes you question day to day relationships. I am adding it to my personal collection....more info
  • Great movie!
    It's about a very conservative/neurotic woman who's fed up with men, and on a whim decides to try dating a woman instead. An all around good movie. It made me laugh, almost made me cry... I think they could've done a little more with the ending, but I thought it was still pretty good. It's even a good movie to have your boyfriend/husband watch with you(not super-girly). I would recommend this movie to just about anyone. ...more info
  • Let it Marinate...
    Wow... wow

    An amazing film about a woman confused about love. The relationship these two women create is amazing. The film itself is hilarious and use of the word MARINATE as a verb is simply ingeneous! The MUSIC is amazing if you are a jazz fan the soundtrack is amazing... it adds to the sleek, sexy appeal of the film. The movie is great and is a must buy, I own the movie and watch it everytime the gals come over. This film is amazing and isn't like any other I have ever seen before... it is a must SEE!...more info