March 18, 2002 12:00 PM

Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen

Featured attraction

When they first meet, Helen Cooper (Juergensen) asks Jessica Stein (Westfeldt) what makes her happy. “Nothing,” Stein replies. “I’m not.”

So, there’s the setup. Stein, a neurotic 28-year-old copy editor at a New York City newspaper, who up until now has exclusively dated men, is about to surprise herself by falling in love with Cooper. But don’t think Politically Correct: Adorable and benevolent, Kissing Jessica Stein is a same-sex romantic comedy you can take your grandparents to. Cowritten by its two leading ladies (who also coproduced), the script bristles with smart humor, witty dialogue and likable, crisply drawn characters who are devoid of stereotypes.

As an actress, Westfeldt, an enchanting bundle of raw nerves, could be poised to give Friends‘ Lisa Kudrow a run for her money in the lovable-neurotic stakes. Directed with flair by newcomer Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, this film is a small but perfectly crafted treat. (R)

Bottom Line: You go, girl

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