Heather Juergensen

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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 Haunted Mansion Review


Weak

As mechanical as an old Disneyland automaton, "The Haunted Mansion" is the third movie in a year from the Mouse House studio based on one of its own theme park rides -- and while it's certainly no inspired delight like "Pirates of the Caribbean," at least it's not as insufferably brain-dead as "The Country Bears."

Eddie Murphy is at his family-flick hammiest as a typical workaholic Movie Dad in need of a trite examination of his one-dimensional priorities. A sycophantic phony of a real estate agent, he often misses soccer games and anniversary dinners to make a sale, so his wife (Marsha Thomason) and smart-lipped, eye-rolling kids (Marc John Jefferies, Aree Davis) are especially chagrined when he takes a detour during a family outing to try to land the account to sell a cobweb-covered manse out in the boonies.

Scripted for maximum cluelessness, it takes Murphy's clan half the movie to catch on that the house is cursed and its occupants are ghosts, and the other half to realize what any half-astute viewer can ascertain in the first 15 minutes: The family becomes trapped in the house by its dead-by-his-own-hand Edwardian master (Nathanial Parker) because he thinks Murphy's wife is his reincarnated long-lost love who can lift the curse by marrying him.

Continue reading: The Haunted Mansion 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

Heather Juergensen

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In a busy year that has seen John Krasinski star in movies and TV shows, he somehow managed to find the time to direct, produce and star in the new...

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Heather Juergensen 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 Haunted Mansion Movie Review

The Haunted Mansion Movie Review

As mechanical as an old Disneyland automaton, "The Haunted Mansion" is the third movie in...

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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