Kissing Jessica Stein Review

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A straight Jewish New Yorker becomes disillusioned with dating and so responds to an intriguing 'woman seeks woman' personal ad. Plenty of self-discovery and urbane Jewish humour ensues.


Kissing Jessica Stein began life five years ago as an off-off-Broadway theatrical experiment between stars Westfeldt and Juergensen who wanted to explore the possibilities (comic and otherwise) presented in two straight women pursuing a lesbian relationship.

The resultant film is clearly an "actors' movie" - the dialogue isn't Mamet or Miller, but it is rich and textured and provides ample opportunity for the excellent cast to flex their creative talents. The two leads both give accomplished performances, as do the supporting cast members. Cliches abound and the characters seem to orbit a miraculously non-homophobic Planet N.Y.. However, the clear lack of a (sexually) political agenda is refreshing, and the film provides an abundance of good humour and homespun philosophies. Enjoy this one's simple charms.

It boasts a witty script and fine performances, but they are sometimes endangered by sentimentality and a rather nervously restless shooting style.