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"KISSING JESSICA STEIN"
(2002) (Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy None Moderate None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Heavy Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Minor Minor Moderate None


QUICK TAKE:
Romantic Comedy: A formerly straight woman finds herself dealing with the effects of entering into a lesbian relationship with a bisexual woman.
PLOT:
Jessica Stein (JENNIFER WESTFELDT) is a 28-year-old copy editor who lives in New York. Rather picky about men, she hasn't dated in a year -- much to the chagrin of her matchmaker mother, Judy (TOVAH FELDSHUH) - although she was once in a long-term relationship with Josh Meyers (SCOTT COHEN) who now happens to be her boss.

When Jessica's pregnant coworker, Joan (JACKIE HOFFMAN), reads her one of the personals from the paper, Jessica thinks the person sounds perfect for her. Since a woman seeking a woman wrote it, however, Jessica initially dismisses it. Yet, throwing all caution to the wind, she then decides to meet Helen Cooper (HEATHER JUERGENSEN), an assistant director at an art gallery.

Having the same problem finding the right person, Helen had her gay friends Martin (MICHAEL MASTRO) and Sebastian (CARSON ELROD) help write the personal ad for her, and she's instantly attracted to Jessica upon meeting her.

While Helen is a practicing bisexual, any sort of same sex behavior is foreign to Jessica, and she's embarrassed, awkward and unsure of how and whether to proceed. The two eventually become lovers, however, and must then deal with the happiness of finding love contrasting the pitfalls of such a relationship, including Jessica's reluctance to let anyone know of it.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're interested/intrigued by the lesbian angle, it doesn't seem likely that most kids will want to.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sexual content and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JENNIFER WESTFELDT plays a 28-year-old single woman who hasn't had any luck with the men in her life. Accordingly, she decides to experiment being in a lesbian relationship, although she ultimately does so for the companionship more than the sex. She also uses strong profanity and drinks some.
  • HEATHER JUERGENSEN plays a bisexual woman who becomes involved in a lesbian relationship with Jessica but eventually becomes fed up with the lack of sex and Jessica's reluctance to admit to others that they're involved with each other. She uses some strong profanity.
  • SCOTT COHEN plays Jessica's former boyfriend and current boss who's still bitter about her pickiness in men and isn't above telling her so. He uses some strong profanity.
  • JACKIE HOFFMAN plays Jessica's pregnant coworker and friend who's enthusiastic about Jessica's lesbianism upon learning of it.
  • TOVAH FELDSHUH plays Jessica's mother who's concerned about her love life and is always trying to fix her up with various men.
  • MICHAEL MASTRO and CARSON ELROD play Helen's gay friends, one of which encourages her relationship with Jessica while the other chastises her for "betraying" homosexuals (by seeing an otherwise straight woman).
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated romantic comedy. Profanity consists of at least 11 uses of the "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Various bits of sexually related dialogue are present, as are moments of sexually related behavior (implied sex, onscreen making out/fooling around, under the covers oral sex, etc.).

    Some of both (dialogue and behavior) involves lesbianism as a previously straight woman enters into a relationship with a bisexual woman (who has two gay male friends). Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while a great deal of drinking occurs in many scenes and a few characters briefly smoke.

    Beyond that, the remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable material. Nevertheless, should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Jessica pours herself some wine that she has with dinner.
  • Jessica's date has wine and she orders a strawberry margarita.
  • Various people have drinks at an art gallery.
  • Some people drink.
  • Jessica and several other people have wine with dinner.
  • Helen has a drink in a bar. When Jessica then shows up for their first meeting, Helen suggest that a little wine might make Jessica less frazzled. Jessica then eventually agrees to have a drink with her.
  • People have drinks in a restaurant, while Helen has a beer in front of her.
  • Helen mentions something about people smoking pot to make themselves happy.
  • Helen and Jessica have wine.
  • Jessica pours some liquor in a glass for Helen who's sick.
  • Jessica's family and their guests have wine with dinner.
  • Josh and Jessica's brother have beer.
  • Sebastian briefly mentions a time when he and Martin were drunk.
  • People have wine with dinner.
  • People have drinks at an art gallery reception.
  • People have drinks at a wedding reception, and the bride and groom seem a bit tipsy. Josh and Jessica also drink champagne (Josh has a lot).
  • Jessica and Helen have wine.
  • Helen brings Jessica what may be a glass of wine.
  • Helen complains that the last time they had sex was when Jessica had a bottle of wine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • It's suggested that a character is cheating on his wife.
  • Josh acts condescendingly toward Jessica for a while and briefly snoops through her office things.
  • Jessica looks down on most of the men she dates, mainly because her standards are so high.
  • Helen lists several actors and musicians that she considers to be "sexy ugly."
  • Jessica admits to having lied to Helen about having a dinner after their meeting (as her "out" in case things didn't go well).
  • To avoid her mother learning of her relationship with Helen, Jessica lies to her about her plans.
  • As a man stares at a woman's butt, he asks if he can get "some fries with that shake."
  • Martin doesn't like that Helen is seeing Jessica and says so (due to Jessica otherwise being straight).
  • Jessica doesn't admit her relationship with Helen to others and makes up all sorts of lies about what they're doing, thus making Helen feel unworthy.
  • An older woman comments about Jessica and Helen saying, "I don't know what she sees in her. She's flat-chested."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "There's nothing f*cking on," "F*ck you," "It's pretty f*cking awesome," "Oh f*ck," "C*ck tease," "Shut up," "Piss on your parade," "Freaks," "Morons," "Horny," "It would be a damn shame," "What the hell are you doing here?" and "Nigger" (heard in a song).
  • It's possible the film could encourage some women on the fence to experiment with lesbianism.
  • As a man stares at a woman's butt, he asks if he can get "some fries with that shake."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A Barry White song has seductive lyrics about "feels so good" and "Lying next to me," while another song included 2 uses of the "f" word along with the term "nigger."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 11 "f" words (1 used with "mother" with it and others occurring in a song), 7 "s" words, 4 slang terms using male genitals ("c*ck" and "d*ck"), 2 slang terms using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 1 slang term for sex ("get any"), 2 damns, 1 ass (used with "hole"), 1 crap, 1 hell, 23 uses of "Oh my God," 12 of "God," 5 of "Jesus Christ," 4 each of "Jesus" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes and "My God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Josh comments about an article of Jessica's stating that "you practically went down on him."
  • After Jessica's date comments on her arriving on time, he rubs his own clothed chest in a sexual manner.
  • A sarcastic comment is made about a woman "creaming" in her pants.
  • A courier shows up at Helen's gallery, stating he's there for a pickup. When she goes into the back with him, however, the two start passionately making out, with him picking her up and kissing down her chest as he's between her legs. It's then implied that they have sex or at least keep fooling around as she comes out later looking all disheveled (we see her bra and cleavage as she's finishing buttoning her top back up).
  • Helen's gay male friends tell her that she's going to "have more p*ssy" than she knows what to do with (after running a personal classified ad). One then makes a comment about "virgin flesh manja" (or something like that) and a comment is also made about a bi-curious straight woman.
  • A miscellaneous character shows some cleavage.
  • Jessica shows some cleavage in several scenes in different outfits.
  • Helen mentions something about when she's hungry, bored or "horny."
  • After Jessica states that she knows how she'd react to anything and everything (based on knowing herself), Helen suddenly plants a long and deep kiss on her (leaving Jessica just standing there perplexed, although we then see her the next day all happy at work).
  • We see Helen in bed, looking rather bored as we then see a person under the sheets apparently performing oral sex on her. She then tells the person not to worry about it and we then see the man come out from under the sheets.
  • Jessica and Helen have a conversation about lesbianism. A comment is made about "vanilla sex," while they look at a pamphlet (about lesbianism) and Jessica asks how what they're looking at would work (we don't see it). Helen says that she would just strap it on. As Jessica is still flustered by all of this, she says, "Look at you. Who wouldn't want to have sex with you?" Helen then asks her, "Do you?" Helen then says that they don't need any of the paperwork and they talk some more. Helen says that lesbian sex is basically the same as with a man, but minus one thing. They then comment that it's "the other stuff" that works for women. Helen then tries to put the moves on Jessica who states that she's going to have to go slow. As they kiss, Jessica keeps asking questions, such as whether they should use their tongues (Helen says they should play it by ear). As they kiss some more, Helen briefly touches Jessica's clothed breast, causing her to react in an uncomfortable way. We then see more shots of them passionately making out (with Jessica saying that it was very good and their best ever). Moments later, we see the two of them come off the floor with Jessica stating that if they keep doing this, they might get there (complete sex) in two weeks. We then see the women buttoning up their shirts.
  • Helen complains to her gay friends about Jessica being a "c*ck tease." She then asks, "Who do you have to blow to get some p*ssy around here?"
  • After two men come over and try to hit on Jessica and Helen, the women turn the tables on them and state that they're trying to settle a bet about whether a woman who's only ever been with men can be sexually attracted to another woman. The men enthusiastically say yes, prompting one of the women to ask what's with the male obsession with lesbian sex. The men say that the idea of two women together is double sexy. Helen keeps pushing them, however, by asking exactly what it is they like. The men state that it's the way they touch. As they continue, Helen then puts her hand under the table and onto Jessica's thigh and then up her dress (as the men continue commenting on two women's bodies together being hot and how they know how everything works). Jessica then reacts (with surprise) to Helen touching her crotch or inner thigh (we don't see anything explicit). They then act like Jessica has a leg cramp and Helen states (in a double entendre) that she thinks she should get her into bed.
  • The women then return to Helen's place and begin passionately making out and pulling some of their clothes off. They're interrupted, however, when the delivery guy from above rings the bell and comes in. Jessica then wants to leave (talking to Helen in private), stating that Helen has needs that she doesn't know she can fulfill. She then adds that what if he leaves and Jessica then chickens out and Helen won't "get any." She adds that the guy is a sure thing and she's not (the scene ends there, so we don't know if Helen and the man have sex or not).
  • Due to heavy rains after dinner, Judy demands that everyone stay overnight. That means that Jessica and Helen are put in the same room and bed (Judy doesn't realize they're in a relationship and thinks they're just friends). The women then get giggly once in the small bed, with Helen saying she feels like they're going to be grounded. Jessica then turns off the light, Helen tells her to stop talking and we then hear kissing sounds (and it's implied they have sex).
  • As a man stares at a woman's butt (as does the camera), he asks if he can get "some fries with that shake."
  • Martin comments to Helen, "You like the penis. You've had more c*ck than I have. And I was a big whore in the '80s." He then says that she's an affront to the gay community (for seeing Jessica who's otherwise straight), prompting Sebastian to state, "Straight girl, gay girl. What's the difference? An orgasm is an orgasm." Sebastian then asks Martin if he (Martin) were blindfolded "and I blew you and then Helen blew you, would you even know the difference?" Martin then says he doesn't know and sarcastically asks if Helen would get tired and stop halfway. Sebastian then adds that that happened just once when they were drunk.
  • Helen asks Jessica why she doesn't make any noise when they're having sex (while both are in public at a street market with others around). She then wonders if it's no good, but Jessica says it's fine. Helen then states that she makes noise, and then that "sometimes when I'm going down on you" it sounds like she's annoyed.
  • Joan tells Jessica that she's impressed that Jessica is experimenting with lesbianism, adding that she can't get her husband to try the sex toys she buys. Joan then asks about the sex and Jessica replies that it's good.
  • Josh kisses Jessica.
  • After they've moved in together, Helen tries to come on to Jessica in bed (as the latter reads a book), but Jessica isn't interested in doing anything.
  • Some time later, Helen complains that they never have sex (and have just a friendship). Jessica counters that they do, but Helen asks when they last had sex and then answers that by saying it was a month ago. She then says that she wants someone who wants and craves her (Jessica says she does) and then adds that she wants someone who wants to rip her clothes off. Rather distraught about Helen wanting to break up, Jessica says Helen places too much emphasis on sex.
  • We see Helen wake up in bed with someone else (they're in the spoons position).
  • SMOKING
  • Helen and Joan each smoke once.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Jessica occasionally becomes fed up with her mother's constant nagging and/or involvement in her love life.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Bisexuality, lesbianism and homosexuality (two of Helen's friends are gay men).
  • Mothers who butt into their adult daughter's lives and try to fix thing up with others.
  • Love and relationships, whether straight or same-sex.
  • VIOLENCE
  • None.



  • Reviewed February 25, 2002 / Posted March 20, 2002

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