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Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)

  Directed by: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
Written by: Heather Juergensen, Jennifer Westfeldt
Starring: Scott Cohen, Tovah Feldshuh, Heather Juergensen, Jennifer Westfeldt
Links: Kissing Jessica Stein on the IMDb, Official site, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy on DVD, Buy on Video
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Fabulous romantic comedy script" - a review by pearly

Judging by its name only, I imagined Kissing Jessica Stein to be a flick aimed at teenage girls about the trials and tribulations of a 17 year old named Jessica. This wasn't a correct assessment. Don't discard this movie on the basis of its name.

It's actually about a 28 year old named Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt) who has had more than her fair share of boyfriends, and is, under the watchful eye of her Jewish mother, trying to find that special someone to settle down with. And what Jessica comes to realise is that maybe she shouldn't be limiting herself to just guys, so she answers a girl-seeking-girl personal, and finds Helen (Heather Juergensen), who has more in common with her than any of the men in her past.

Kissing Jessica Stein was originally written as a play and was later adapted into this feature film. It was written by the two girls who play the two lead characters, which makes it all the more interesting to watch. It is most definitely an intelligent, thinking person's romantic comedy (if such a thing exists!). The script is positively littered with plays on words (and large words at that). The script was actually pleasantly surprising for me; it was totally unexpected.

The two girls in the lead roles give their characters great depth (probably because they know them so well), and they're very believable - especially Jessica. As well as these two, though, all the supporting case are great, particularly Tovah Feldshuh who plays Jessica's closest workmate. The actors are all good looking types, but in a down-to-earth way that makes you believe that these could be the people living in the flat next to you.

Kissing Jessica Stein was not at all what I expected, but I really enjoyed it on a number of levels. The humour is actually funny (and not in a predictable way like most other romantic comedies), the script is wonderful, but the one criticism that I have is that its ending (which is quite possibly trying to be un-Hollywood) was all too rushed, and therefore rang a bit untrue.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 11 Oct 2002

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