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Kissing Jessica Stein Review


Bad
Filled with situational comedic anecdotes revolving around the currently popular quandary of same-sex romances (a la Jeffrey, Trick, and Go Fish), Kissing Jessica Stein is a trite and conventional 90 minutes of fluff imbued with sappy lessons about faith and following one's dreams.

In the latest iteration of the gay romantic comedy genre, Kissing Jessica Stein explores the world of bisexuality and centers on the various topics of telling your Jewish mother that you enjoy the taste of women and how to mix three shades of lipstick properly to the land the perfect girl.

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The Broken Hearts Club Review


Very Good
The sad-sack group of gay men have already become a budding Hollywood cliché, but The Broken Hearts Club manages to rise above its otherwise menial trappings to be a better-than-average comedy that's still unabashedly about "being gay," while still carrying broad appeal for everyone.

With a cast largely composed of non-gay men, you'd be surprised how convincing the likes of Timothy Olyphant and Dean Cain are at playing it fey. Olyphant stars as a likeable photographer/waiter looking to focus his life away from destructive one-night relationships and into something more meaningful. His roommate (Cain) is no help, a pretty boy actor who lands anyone he wants in the sack. Coupled with a half-dozen other characters, the fellows hang out at a restaurant & bar called Jack's Broken Heart (run by none other than a hilarious John Mahoney, who spends Saturday nights crooning in an ill-advised drag costume and the weekends managing the worst softball team in West Hollywood).

Continue reading: The Broken Hearts Club Review

The Broken Hearts Club Review


OK

For a gay movie that purports to be about real people -- as opposed to melodramatic stereotypes or comedy caricatures -- "The Broken Hearts Club" comes across pretty contrived.

Not only do the ensemble players include such stock West Hollywood denizens as the bimbo hunk and the queeny cry baby with a jones for redecorating, but these clichés are also introduced immediately following a coffee shop gripe session scene about how gays in the movies are always sex maniacs, confidants to lovelorn women, AIDS victims or friends of AIDS victims.

Writer-director Greg Berlanti (a producer on "Dawson's Creek") doesn't seem to realize he's contributing to this very problem. And he's far too green a filmmaker to be passing judgment anyway. This is his first film and it's riddled with nagging script deficiencies (most of these "real people" don't seem to have jobs) and bad technical calls, like the gratuitous, intrusive and annoying overuse of hand-held cameras.

Continue reading: The Broken Hearts Club Review

Kissing Jessica Stein Review


Very Good

On the leading edge of romantic comedy, the fresh, frank and melodiously funny "Kissing Jessica Stein" discovers a novel new avenue to stroll down with the genre's reliable old friend, the romantically frustrated New York neurotic.

Nondescriptly pretty, entertainingly insecure copy editor Jessica Stein (Jennifer Westfeldt) has had it up to her 30-year-old eyeballs with bad dates and dysfunctional relationships -- and we can see why in a quick and comical montage of the men with whom she's been fixed up. She also can't take any more of her busybody Jewish mother (Tovah Feldshuh) pointing out eligible men every week at temple while her near-senile grandma points out all their flaws ("The man has no chin!").

So Jessica goes out on a limb. While reading the personal ads for laughs with her scene-stealing best friend (Jackie Hoffman, a wonderfully waggish cross between Cloris Leachman and Annie Lebowitz), she comes across one that genuinely piques her interest with a quote from a her favorite author. The ad is under "Women Seeking Women," but at this point, she figures, what the hell?

Continue reading: Kissing Jessica Stein Review

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Ben Weber Movies

Kissing Jessica Stein Movie Review

Kissing Jessica Stein Movie Review

Filled with situational comedic anecdotes revolving around the currently popular quandary of same-sex romances (a...

The Broken Hearts Club Movie Review

The Broken Hearts Club Movie Review

The sad-sack group of gay men have already become a budding Hollywood cliché, but The...

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The Broken Hearts Club Movie Review

The Broken Hearts Club Movie Review

For a gay movie that purports to be about real people -- as opposed to...

Kissing Jessica Stein Movie Review

Kissing Jessica Stein Movie Review

On the leading edge of romantic comedy, the fresh, frank and melodiously funny "Kissing Jessica...

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