I nominate Jennifer Westfeldt as Hollywood's new queen of rants

by CynthiaYockey on May 14, 2010

This is a scene from the 2001 movie, Kissing Jessica Stein, which wound up on the cutting room floor. It is one of the vignettes of clueless men dated by the title character, Jessica Stein, played by actress Jennifer Westfeldt, who co-wrote and co-produced the movie with her co-star, Heather Juergensen. Here’s a transcript of the rant to yoga guy on why Jessica disagrees that they have “clicked”:

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 timbre 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.

The overall message of the movie is about becoming free of the paralysis of perfectionism in order to be able to have intimacy and fulfill your full, creative potential. After meeting so many men with whom she feels no rapport, Jessica is drawn to answer a personals ad of a woman and they become lovers. My idea of a happy ending is that they would have lived happily ever after together, but they do both live happily ever after. It is a very funny and well-written movie.

The movie also features Tovah Feldshuh WHO IS GORGEOUS AND ADORABLE AND OMG! OMG! OMG! JUST TOTALLY MELTS MY HEART!

Where was I? Oh, right — now that Dixie Carter has passed on, Hollywood needs a new queen of rants and I think this clip proves that Jennifer Westfeldt deserves the title. Also, I think listening to this particular rant will make anyone a better person. Which is, or ought to be, the main purpose of a rant.

P.S.

So many people try to bully lesbians and gays back into the closet by saying that they don’t care what anybody does in the bedroom, your sex life should be private, yadayadayada. One of the things that Kissing Jessica Stein illustrates — even if unintentionally — is how MUCH people need to know both your sexual orientation AND your relationship status — single, committed, whatever — in order to feel comfortable relating to you. It also shows how much confusion and hurt being closeted can cause — all round, not just to the person in the closet. This is why I keep harping on the point that there is no such thing as privacy about your sexual orientation. Straight people are just not aware of the myriad ways they tell people about their sex life every minute of the day: talking about a date, a spouse, their children — all of those are indicators of your sex life, which you would know if, instead of being able to use them to relate and connect to others and show what a good person you are, that revealing any hint of the role in your life of a loved one lost you your career, job, client, friends, family, home or life. Seriously, there is no such thing as privacy about your sex life.

P.P.S.

This scene may have been one of the nine scenes deleted from the movie because the World Trade Center buildings were in the shot. Wikipedia notes (boldfacing mine):

The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival on April 21, 2001,[2] receiving the Audience Award for Best Feature Film and a Critics Special Jury Award.[3]

The film was next shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, with screenings scheduled the day before and the day after the 9/11 attacks.[4] According to the DVD commentary track by Westfeldt and Juergensen, both screenings took place, with the second screening on September 12th producing audible gasps among audience members at the sight of the World Trade Center. The two filmmakers decided to eliminate the nine or ten scenes featuring the Twin Towers because they weren’t integral to the story, and served to distract from it because of the attacks.

I would love to see Kissing Jessica Stein re-edited to restore the scenes with the World Trade Center buildings now that the shock has worn off. For example, the yoga guy was part of a theme in the movie and at the end, Jessica IS doing yoga, even if it she DOES keep peeking at her clock.

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  • Love. Love this. Love you. Love the rant.
    .-= Jenny, Bloggess´s last blog ..Blogging-Without-Makeup Day =-.

    • Jenny, Bloggess,

      You are the most beautiful woman in the world to me and I love you with all my heart just the way you are!

      (Gentle readers: click on the link to Jenny’s post, “Blogging Without Make-up Day.” Note to my lesbian and straight male gentle readers: I hope you feel that and say it to the female love of your life every day. The most important words in the sentence that allow her doubting heart to open up and take them in are “to me” and “just the way you are.”)

      Cynthia

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  • Kelly

    I haven’t watched this movie in years…I think you’ve motivated me to rent it and watch it again. I’m curious to see it now that I’m 30, not 20, and have collected a few more love battle wounds…And in NYC, no less.

    I hope this is not annoying and don’t mean to be nitpicky! But a heads up: Those buildings in the background are not the Twin Towers. They are boating in Central Park, with the Upper West Side in the background. Those bldgs are the “Twin Towers of Central Park West” – upscale luxury apartments.

    If you scroll down to pic #6, you can see the exact shot:
    http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bigmap/manhattan/centralpark/lake/index.htm

    I guess the mystery remains as to why this scene was deleted. But it stands to good reason that they had to cut the WTC scenes, so soon after 9/11.

    Oh NYC…If only you weren’t so damn over-taxed and run [into the ground] by liberal moron apologists, I wouldn’t be leaving you! Such a beautiful city, and one of the best back drops for a movie you can find. Thank you for a post that reminded me of how much I used to love this city! And always will, just now from afar.

    • Kelly,

      Thank you for the correction! I appreciate it! I just saw blurry tall buildings in the background and put that together with the fact that when the film debuted the day after the World Trade Center attack, they had to take out the scenes with the towers because seeing them freaked out the audience.

      Good luck with your move. Where are you headed?

      Cynthia

      • Kelly

        Hi there, I’m headed to Houston…I figured it’s time to see what it was like to live in a state that 1) doesn’t tax to high heaven and 2) where I’ll be surrounded by a few more like minded people who don’t have an instant knee jerk compulsion to insult conservatives whenever they can!

        The reactions I’ve gotten when telling New Yorkers I’m moving to Texas have been pretty hilarious…And I have never once couched in political terms. What does it matter? But I’ve gotten lots of, “why would you ever do such a thing?! You know it’s really republican, right?”

        Well, yeah, it’s a sort of a hard fact to miss about Texas. And I am one of those dreaded, awful republicans…So…

        It’s been fascinating to me. I’ll have to give it some time in Texas before saying this definitively – but for the most part, I don’t think conservatives do this. Like if I were in Texas, and someone told me they were moving to NYC or SF, and I had no idea what their political beliefs were, I would never just blurt out to them, “oh you know it’s really liberal there, are you sure you want to do this?” But liberals seem to always be thinking in such an anti-republican ways, and it seems a little harder for them not to pass up an opportunity to insult republicans.

        We shall see…Maybe we all can’t resist hating on each other. I’m curious to see what life is like on the other side.

        • Kelly,

          I can’t remember how close you’ll be to another regular dear gentle reader here, Peter, of Shakey Pete’s Shootin’ Shack, but at least drop by online.

          You know how I’m constantly saying the Leftists/liberals/Progressives/Communists/Democrats are like George Orwell’s novel, Animal Farm? Well, the more-equal animals in the house do everything they can to get the decent, hard-working, idealistic, less-equal animals in the barn — whom they dominate, enslave and exploit without mercy — to hate the animals that would free them and to believe that they are demonic. It’s how the less-equal animals are enslaved by one group, yet hate and blame another. I think on our side we’re angry rather than hateful because we resent their unceasing efforts to thwart individual liberty and stagnate the economy while screaming about social injustice because capitalism does not reward everyone equally — as if any system does.

          I would love it if you keep me posted on your experience of the contrasts between Texas and New York. And you’re welcome for the good luck wishes!

          Cynthia

          • Kelly

            I will drop Peter an email – thank you! I will know only one person in Houston, and I am so grateful for any and all connections. So, many thanks!

            I too am very curious about the contrasts b/w NYC and Texas, and I will happily keep you posted. You’re so right – liberals, progressives et al are masters of distraction, and they use emotional and allegedly “justice” seeking tactics to guilt and coerce people into their ideology, while causing people to look here while they do something insidious over there. I moved to NYC 8 yrs ago b/c I was totally enraptured by this town. It was very hard for me to admit that it was no longer right for me. I never wanted to want to leave it. And it is also somewhat hard for me to speak ill of the town and its people – b/c in many ways, I do find New Yorkers incredible. But…Truthfully, I find most of them to be weak. Yet they’re told all the time that they’re so tough (if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere), so their mental weakness doesn’t even occur to them (first step is admitting you have a problem, but when you don’t even think it’s possible that you could have a problem…well then you get self-righteous). People are easily emotionally and mentally manipulated here. They so often fall prey to being guilted into advocating for whatever trendy social or environmental justice for fear of looking selfish or whatever. Group think is a real problem in this town. And maybe it’s a real problem with liberalism – it would make good sense, since it prizes the collective over the individual. I’ve begun to get a more vocal about my conservative beliefs in the past year. When it comes up, I will share where I stand. This has prompted a few friends to very quietly confide in me that they don’t like Obama, or voted for McCain, or have been alarmed by the democrats, or whatever other seemingly sacrilegious thought. And can I tell you – they’ve all asked me not to repeat it w/ our mutual friends. I have to be sworn to secrecy.

            How odd and sad is that…To be shamed into keeping your democratic choice a secret in a free, democratic nation. I find it so sad and strange and, frankly, totally pathetic.

            So now I’m going to try out being in a state that is far more open about belief in the individual and capitalism. Who knows…Maybe I’ll start to miss the challenge of being surrounded by people whose beliefs contrast mine. Or maybe, I’ll be able to save so much more money thanks to limited taxes and finally do something entrepreneurial – a dream of mine that died in NYC – and thrive! I think I have a hunch as to which way it will go…

            We know this – I’ll encounter a lot less hate towards republicans, and man does that sound like a nice change.

            But I will for sure check in with some updates once I’m settled!

          • Kelly,

            Thanks for all your insights! How ironic is it the Left is so intolerant of diversity that it silences conservatives? One of the things I think we should be doing is explaining non-stop the glories of fiscal conservatism and capitalism — I believe there are a lot more liberals/Lefties like me who would cross over to the Right if they understood why big government promises security and freedom in exchange for taking your money and liberty, but gives you serfdom instead.

            Cynthia

      • Kelly

        And thanks for the good luck wishes!

  • Stinky

    Speaking of rants, this leaves me speechless.
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/05/san-francisco-muslims-who-targeted-gays-in-bb-gun-shootings-get-off-with-plea-deal-no-jail-time.html

    I avoid San Francisco for this reason, as well as a host of other reasons.

    • Stinky,

      I am horrified at the degree to which the mainstream media outright lies about the teachings and nature of Islam. Thanks to their deceit and Muslim propaganda AND Muslim intimidation, most of the Left believes that Islam is not much different than obnoxiously aggressive evangelical Protestant religions — which are not harmless, but are not commanded to murder infidels.

      Gays and lesbians — and women and Jews — have no idea the degree to which the Left is betraying them to their deaths.

      Cynthia

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