KISSING JESSICA STEIN
Neurotic Lesbian Angst
Starring: Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather
Juergensen, Scott Cohen,
Jackie Hoffman, and Tovah
Audience: Young adults
Runtime: 96 minutes
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
Producer: Eden H. Wurmfeld and Brad
Writer: Heather Jorgensen and Jennifer
Address Comments To:Lindsay Law, President
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A Division of Fox, Inc.
10201 West Pico Blvd., Bldg. 38
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-4402
KISSING JESSICA STEIN plays like a light romantic comedy. The performances are good, but the situations are unbelievable. For example, it becomes obvious that, although Helen fornicates with men, she prefers women. The most puzzling aspect to the story, however, is that, just when it appears that Jessica is settling down with Helen in a life of lesbian bliss, Helen abruptly kicks Jessica out of the apartment because Jessica never makes time for sex with Helen. They remain close friends, however. The result to this sudden change is that the point of the immoral relationship between Helen and Jessica gets lost in the poorly structured narrative of the movie. The confusion conveyed by this ending is further increased when Jessica accidentally meets Josh at a bookstore. Both have given up their jobs at the newspaper to pursue the art of painting in Jessica’s respect and the art of writing in Josh’s. At the end of the movie, therefore, it looks like Jessica finally may settle upon Josh as her ultimate partner in life.
Because of all these things, and more, KISSING JESSICA STEIN becomes a rather tedious example of neurotic lesbian angst, with a Jewish spin of political correctness. The movie opens with Jessica at a Jewish Temple trying to get her mother to shut up about all the eligible bachelors attending so that Jessica can concentrate on reciting the atonement prayers being led by the rabbi. Later, the mother sits Jessica down and tells her that, although Jessica has lied abut her relationship with Helen, she knows about the affair, but gives her approval anyway because Helen is a nice girl who makes Jessica very happy.
Of course, God in the Hebrew Bible in Leviticus 18:22-24 and 20:13-16 and Jesus Christ in Mark 7:20-23 condemn homosexuality and all other immoral sexual acts as evil. In that light, it is interesting to note that Jessica hides her lesbian affair from her friends and her family for most of the movie. Could it be that this character, not to mention the filmmakers, knows that such an affair is sinful? As Jesus also says in John 3:20,21, “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But, whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
KISSING JESSICA STEIN plays like a light romantic comedy. Much of the movie’s abhorrent humor relies on Jessica’s neurotic angst about performing lesbian sex acts, even just kissing, with Helen. Just when it appears that Jessica is settling down with Helen in a life of lesbian bliss, Helen abruptly kicks Jessica out of the apartment because Jessica never makes time for sex with Helen. Other aspects of this movie are also abhorrent. For example, Jessica lies about having a lesbian affair and the movie contains many profanities