‘Bittersweet romantic comedy’? Um, yes. But it’s also intelligent.
Kissing Jessica Stein was written by the two main actors, and it shows in their fantastic performances. The two women are so familiar with their dialogue, and their scenes flow incredibly smoothly. There have been accusations that the title character is in many ways a female Woody Allen, and although I can appreciate that argument, I don’t think that it is necessarily a bad thing. The supporting cast are great also, although the Jewish mother (and family) stereotyping can kinda grate after a while.
Kissing Jessica Stein is up there with Chasing Amy in terms of mature, intelligent and funny examinations of hetero and homosexuality, and how in most cases there is no definite line separating the two, but more of a sliding scale. There are also no gratuitous lesbian love scenes made for the titillation of heterosexual men, so all those guys that used to hire videos from the shop I worked in would be disappointed. (As they often were when they hired films such as Romance, mistakenly thinking that the sex scenes would be erotic).
The film’s denouement also was quite a realistic approach to the situation, and although it’s likely to annoy many people, it does ring true on quite a few levels. There was only a small part of the ending that pissed me off to no end (and it loses half a point for that), but you’ll have to figure out for yourself what that is.Rating: