Kissing Jessica Stein is the story of two ``straight'' women who are tiring of the dating scene (tell me about it). One of them (Heather Juergensen) decides to try dating on the other side of the fence and puts a personal ad in the women seeking women section. Two gay friends advise her to include a quote from the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Anyway, the other woman, Jessica Stein (Jennifer Westfeldt), is a big Rilke fan and although at first disappointed that the ad is from a woman, eventually decides to answer it. The film follows first the women, and then their friends and families, as they try to get used to their new lifestyle. As it turns out, their friends and families have an easier time accepting Juergensen and Westfeldt as lesbians than they do themselves.
(despite being a stream of consciousness kind of guy, I am bowing to pressure from my fans. From now on, my reviews will have paragraphs.)
Kissing Jessica Stein was written by its two stars, Juergensen and Westfeldt and was originally a stage play. This is definitely a romantic comedy of the New-York-City/Woody-Allen genre. It is a sweet if uneven story which doesn't break any new ground but has enough laughs to make it an enjoyable. film. The two main characters are good although Juergensen does a much better job. But maybe that's because her character is a little more interesting. The Jessica Stein character gets a bit tiresome after a while. The supporting cast is the usual bunch of New York stereotypes that you would expect to see in a Woody Allen movie although not quite as angst ridden. Jackie Hoffman is particularly good as Jessica's mousy, pregnant best friend who exults in every revelation about Jessica's life.
I'm afraid it will be a bit of a disappointment if you are going to see Kissing Jessica Stein to see some hot lesbian sex scenes. That was definitely not the reason I went to see it with two of my best friends from high school the other night, choosing it over Iris. It turns out that Iris has more nudity and sex. The end of the review in the New York Times says, Kissing Jessica Stein is rated R for its self-consciously cute sexual situations and strong language. It's hard to understand why it has an R rating unless any story involving Lesbians earns an R rating by default. Kissing Jessica Stein is a Lesbian love story that you can take your kids to.