12 Gays of Christmas

10 of 13

Kissing Jessica Stein

This movie is one that, if it had been made today, would probably be deemed problematic or insensitive. In reality, it doesn’t feel like either of those things in the slightest.

We follow Jessica, a woman frustrated with the dating pool and with the way men are, in general. Soon, she strikes up a relationship with bisexual artist, Helen. When Jessica first starts seeing Helen, it’s more of a social experiment. She wants to see what it would be like to date women. Thus, in essence, she actively chooses to pursue a lesbian relationship. (This is where I’m imagining the “problematic” statements would’ve started.)

But as she and Helen get to know each other more, she realizes that the intimacy they share, their mutual interests and the innate closeness she was never able to effortlessly achieve with men is REALLY what she had been looking for in a relationship. It’s not just about the genitals, as it turns out, people! Who knew?!

Seriously, this is an indie that deals with gender and sexual politics. And it does so without making the entire piece a political statement. Well, on the surface, at least. And despite its light-hearted tone, it provokes very real and pervasive thoughts. It makes us question our own priorities, the way we look for partners, the things we expect of them, and if it’s even possible for relationships to be eternally viable. Or is it all just hinged on the constructs and illusions we’ve created for ourselves and have had created for us by society at large? Hmm? Deep stuff for a romcom.

But Jennifer Westfeldt is, always has been, and always will be more than that. She is our only hope.