Projections - Movie Reviews

Kissing Jessica Stein

Kissing Jessica Stein

Kissing Jessica Stein may strike a sharp nerve with some people, but Charles Hermann-Wurmfeld refreshingly adapts the stage play "Lipschtick" into a spirited romantic comedy.  The writers, Jennifer Westfeldt and Heather Juergensen, who are the appealing leads, hone in with wit and tenderness into the plight of the contemporary single woman.

The deep theatrical background of these talented, unknown actresses comes through as this Manhattan based production shot in New York City and Connecticut is a small-scaled production.

Thus, like The Brothers McMullen, Kissing Jessica Stein quaintly warms up literally and figuratively in the sweltering, pre-calamitous Manhattan with a feel for its characters and their lives.  It could very well find favor with those who sided with the popular Bridget Jones's Diary.

With intelligence from pacing to dialogue, Westfeldt's Jessica, has made an impression as a publishing house author in Manhattan.  She is looking to find someone special, as her neurotic personality is reminiscent of the star of the indelible Woody Allen comedy, Annie Hall.  The balanced, clever screenplay is markedly struck by a classified ad quote from Rainer Maria Rilke.  And a straight Jessica is admiringly caught in the section entitled "Women Seeking Women."

Hermann-Wurmfeld captures Jessica's bad luck with men in an ebulliently witty montage and she'll meet Helen as love is sought in a new place.  Juergensen endowed Helen with free-spirited vigor and a sense of stretching out in a new direction.  What the two encounter initially is a bundle of nerves that takes time and Helen's threshold is tested as Jessica needs to work out the shape of an insecure heart.

While the ending may not take the course of Bridget Jones's Diary, the exploratory traits and a surprisingly zippy, but eventful journey is affectionately in tune to appreciating one's self that never gets bogged down in sexual shtick.

Kissing Jessica Stein

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