Kissing Jessica Stein

posted by Jeff | Saturday, November 15, 2003, 3:10 PM | comments: 0
HBO is having a free preview weekend, so on HBO Signature last night they showed Kissing Jessica Stein. I have to say that it's one of those movies that somehow totally escaped under the radar yet could be one of my favorite films.

The reasons are many, but let me first give you a summary. A cute 30-year old girl gets tired of dating losers, so she answers a personal ad from a girl who is also interested in experimenting with another girl. Slowly she gets over her hang-ups and it becomes a real relationship.

The surprise about the movie is that it's not just some stupid novelty film about two girls getting it on. In fact, that's the last thing it is. The film explores the many different levels of relationships and how people fill the needs that those relationships serve. People need certain things from other people, whether that be friendship, love or sex. I think the movie challenges where you get those things from. The gender and traditional roles need not dictate the relationships.

There are some other things the movie does too. For example, if you happen to be homophobic, I think it shows you that same-sex relationships are still first and foremost about real people with real emotions for each other. That certainly wasn't the intent of the movie, but you do get that out of it.

The neatest thing about it is that the leads wrote the screenplay and produced the movie. For a couple of women to feel that strongly about a story and get it made in the Hollywood boys club is pretty impressive to me. As someone who has this back-of-the-mind idea that I could write a screenplay, that's kind of inspiring.

Bottom line is that the film makes a very short list of less-than-popular movies that I really like, and it makes a fine addition to the DVD collection.


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