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Kissing Jessica Stein

Year: 2001
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
Writer: Heather Juergensen/Jennifer Westfeldt
Cast: Heather Juergensen, Jennifer Westfeldt

I assume the subject matter itself (two girls who decide to become lesbians) would be controversial/cool enough to impress some of the urban latte crowd, but the actual goings on didn't stand out any more than an average episode of Friends. In fact, substitute one of the women for a guy and you'd have a simple love story told a million times before, and maybe that was the intention of the film - to say that love is love no matter who shares it.

Stuck up, neurotic young Jewish professional girl Jessica (Westfeldt) is a cross between Lisa Kudrow and Woody Allen. She's unsure, endlessly nervous and self-depreciating and has a mother and grandmother continually cajoling her about being single. Smart, cultured Helen (Juergensen) is looking for a new experience, so she places a personals ad in the women seeking women section. Jessica answers, unsure exactly why, and with a lot of patience and frustration, 'turns herself into' a lesbian and the two fall in love.

The drama shifts gears as Helen realises that Jessica might not be so true to her word - something in her is still embarrassed or ashamed, a symptom of which is she still hasn't told any of her family. Whether the film says something about not being able to decide who you are, Jessica reverts back to her true self after Helen leaves her (even though the two remain friends) and starts flirting with her old boss.

A little bit ditzy, but certainly heartwarming, thanks to the two beautiful leads, who co-wrote.

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