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Kissing Jessica Stein (2001) Poster

Quotes

Jessica: You don't appreciate the chaos and absurdity of life on this planet. You don't understand irony, or ethnicity, or eccentricity, or poetry, or the simple joy of being a regular at the diner on your block. I love that. You don't drink coffee or alcohol. You don't over eat. You don't cry when you're alone. You don't understand sarcasm. You plod through life in a neat, colorless, caffeine free, dairy free, conflict free way. I'm bold and angry and tortured and tremendous and I notice when someone has changed their hair part, or when someone is wearing two very distinctly different shades of black or when someone changes the natural temperment of their voice on the phone. I don't give out empty praise. I'm not complacent or well-adjusted. I can't spend fifteen minutes breathing and stretching and getting in touch with myself. I can't spend three minutes finishing an article. I check my answering machine nine times every day and I can't sleep at night because I feel that there is so much to do and fix and change in the world, and I wonder every day if I am making a difference and if I will ever express the greatness within me, or if I will remain forever paralyzed by muddled madness inside my head. I've wept on every birthday I've ever had because life is huge and fleeting and I hate certain people and certain shoes and I feel that life is terribly unfair and sometimes beautiful and wonderful and extraordinary but also numbing and horrifying and insurmountable and I hate myself a lot of the time. The rest of the time I adore myself and I adore my life in this city and in this world we live in. This huge and wondrous, bewildering, brilliant, horrible world.

Jessica: Would you shut up, I'm atoning!

Jessica: I was surprised to learn that lesbians accessorized, I didn't know that.

Helen: Some people smoke pot, some people bungee jump, some people chant. What do you do to be happy?

Jessica: Nothing. I'm not.

Helen: What does your therapist say about all of this?

Jessica: Oh, I could never tell my therapist.

Helen: Why not?

Jessica: Because it's private.

Helen: I took out an ad for Christ's sake. And I ended up with the Jewish Sandra Dee.

Helen: Who do you have to blow to get some fucking pussy around here!

[Josh is confronting Jessica after she made a private phone call]

Josh: You a little jumpy today Stein?

Jessica: No.

Josh: You got a hot date?

Jessica: No.

Josh: Yeah. Who's the guy?

Jessica: There's no guy.

Josh: Oh come on, you're a terrible, terrible liar.

Jessica: Trust me, there's no guy.

Dan Stein: You know, I've been hearing about "the one" for I don't know, like 20 years. I guess I thought it would be a guy.

Jessica: I know, I know, but look, I don't even believe that any more. I don't believe there's just one person. I think there are, like, seven.

Jessica: [telling Helen why her relationship with Larry didn't work out] He just wasn't funny, you know? That's always been my problem, I think. Not smart or not funny. Or not smart and not funny. Or smart, but in a totally unappealing way like funny stupid or funny dopy, rather than funny witty, or funny irony or funny goofy. Or, you think they're smart- and then you realize that they're not- and that's funny. But funny tragic. And then, if you're lucky enough to find someone who's the right kind of smart and the right kind of funny, usually they're just... kinda...

Helen: Ugly?

Jessica: Ugly, exactly. Oh my god, is that awful?

Helen: No, not at all. Ugly doesn't do it for you. That's okay. See me, I'm kinda into ugly... But only if it's sexy ugly.

Jessica: Oh, I'm a terrible insomniac.

Helen: I'm so sorry. Since when?

Jessica: Um, I don't know, since birth.

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Jessica: [to Helen] Oh, no offense... no offense. I mean look at you. Who wouldn't want to have sex with you. I mean 'do' you.

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Helen: Harvey Keitel. He's very sexy-ugly.

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Helen: Don't decide right now, just let it marinate for a while.

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Martin: C'mon. C'mon. This is not something you can try on and see if it fits, okay? I can't put black shoe polish on my face and join a gospel choir, 'cause, I don't know, I don't feel so white no more.

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Helen: It's just like kissing a guy.

Joan: No it's not.

Helen: No, it's not.

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[two guys watch Jessica and Helen walk out of a bar, unaware that they are lovers]

Cheesy Pickup Guy #1: [to the other guy] You see? That's the thing about women. They really know how to take care of each other.

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Helen: Stop saying you told me, you're a terrible liar, it's one of your best qualities.

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Josh: [after confessing his feelings to Jessica, he kisses her] So I guess I'd like to know if you have some sort of reaction to this. More specifically, do you want to have dinner with me tomorrow night?

[she doesn't respond at first, and Josh adopts a look of defeat and embarrassment]

Josh: Well, if you'll excuse me, I definitely need another drink.

Jessica: [she stops him] No, wait. I'd love to have dinner with you, but I can't.

Josh: What? Not the season?

Jessica: [laughs nervously] No. I mean I cant have dinner with you because I'm with Helen.

Josh: Oh, you're having dinner with Helen?

Jessica: No. I mean I'm *with* Helen.

Josh: [he looks at her in disbelief] Like *with* with Helen?

Jessica: Right *with* with.

Helen: [Helen enters from the stairwell] Jessica, they're starting to serve dinner.

[Jessica exits]

Helen: Hey, Josh.

Josh: [still can't believe what he's just heard] Helen...

[beat]

Josh: how are you?

Helen: [smiles] I'm good thanks.

[she exits]

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Jessica: Wait a second. Are you saying my life has no value?

Helen: No! I am saying that maybe, underneath all the neurosis, you have a profound capacity for happiness that your're not allowing to exist.

Jessica: How do you know? You just met me.

Helen: You can't possible know who you are or how you'll respond to something until you try it.

Jessica: I happen to disagree. I happen to think that if you know yourself well, you can gauge how you're gonna react to something. And I pretty much assure you that I will never be made happy by chanting for spiritual enlightenment.

Helen: Or maybe you would. You can't know.

Jessica: Trust me, I know.

Helen: You know?

Jessica: Yeah, I know.

Helen: You know how you'll react to anything?

Jessica: Pretty much, yes.

[Helen than grabs Jessica and kisses her passionately, then pulls away looking at Jessica's silent, stunned look]

Helen: [sarcastic tone] I guess you're right. You seem to know yourself pretty well.

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[after their fifth make-out session]

Jessica: So, I figure if we keep going it like this, we'll get there in like two weeks or so.

Helen: Yeah, sure. There's no real rush.

Jessica: Are you sure?

Helen: Yeah, sure.

Jessica: But you'd really...

Helen: Not at all.

Jessica: How about ten days?

Helen: Ten days is better.

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Jessica: [quoting Rilke] It is not inertia alone that is responsible for human relationships repeating themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new, unforeseeable experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope. But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatical will live the relation to another as something alive.

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Josh: You know Stein, why don't you cut yourself a break. It's obviously not the time to be meeting someone anyway.

Jessica: [sarcastically] Really? What? Not the season?

Josh: No. It's just because you're clearly not open to it.

Jessica: [laughs] Excuse me? I'm sorry. How would you know?

Josh: Well, I do have a little history to draw from. But even if I didn't, you've known Charles here for about an hour and in that time you've dismissed a panoply of men based on factors as reductive as a linguistic misstep, a different view from yours on going dutch, a kind reaction to your legendary lateness, and a genuine interest in yoga. You know, I think it was Anais Nin who said, "We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are."

[chuckles]

Josh: Generally I'm not much of a Nin fan, but I do feel that bit sums you up to a "T", Stein. So I don't think the problem's with these poor men, these freaks and morons, as you put it. I think the problem is with you.

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Jessica: Or-Or smart, but funny in a totally unappealing way. You know? Just like funny/stupid, or funny/dopey, but not funny/witty or funny/ironic or funny/goofy, you know? Or-Or they seem smart, and then you realize that they aren't at all. And that's funny, but funny/tragic.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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