Jessica Stein Essay

485 Words2 Pages
When first watching ‘Kissing Jessica Stein,” (Herman-Wurmfeld, 2001) I felt that it was refreshing to see a film about a woman exploring her sexuality in a way that did not fall within the ‘Hollywood Classical Narrative.’ (Griffin, 2009) That changed over the course of the film. Jessica a Jewish copy editor is being pressured by her family, friends, and herself to find a man. She goes on a series of dates which are disastrous. Finally, she decides to answer an ad from a bisexual woman named Helen. She shows up to the date and goes into a ‘homosexual panic.’ (Griffin, 2009) Helen eventually convinces her to stay and the two get together with a few bumps and scrapes. Over the course of the film she struggles with explaining to her friends and family that she has not in fact found a ‘man’ but instead has found a ‘woman.’ The relationship flourishes and then stalls due to Jessica’s lack of interest in sex. The two break up, remain friends, and it ends true to traditional patriarchal mores, with her beginning to date her old boss who is a man. This film although promising at the beginning fell back on old situations used in film to dissuade what the text calls. ‘America’s relative discomfort.’ (Griffin, 2009) This film also employs the ‘girl-girl’ sexual situation whereby “America ‘expects’ women to be objectified for the pleasure of a male gaze.” (Griffin, 2009) The film ends with the traditional classic ‘happy ending.’ (Griffin, 2009) Although I was disappointed in this film I feel that the film's use of ‘queer theory,’ was revolutionary for the time in which it was made. I especially appreciated that Jessica questions what it is to be a lesbian in a comic way which makes it easier for the viewer to question ‘hegemonic patriarchy.’ (Griffin, 2009) One such comedic statement is when she explains to Helen that she did some research on the internet and
Open Document