Celeste and Jesse Forever
Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg
August 17, 2012
Lee Toland Krieger
Sony Pictures Classics
1 hour 32 minutes
The cliché of every romantic comedy is that the boy and the girl always end up together, despite having a big fight in the middle of the film. Well what if, for a change, the boy and girl have the fight, and instead of getting back together they separate? That's the twist the audience finds out less than 5 minutes into the new indie dramady 'Celeste and Jesse Forever.' This little gem stars Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg and made a big splash at Sundance this year. This is a romantic movie where the couple never gets back together, and that from the gecko drew me into this movie. Sure enough, I got exactly what I wanted to see: a dramatic and real take into the world of real life couples and relationships. As an added bonus, I also got a well-acted and well written drama with some really funny and touching moments from its two leads. 'Celeste and Jesse Forever' feels real and genuine, while at the same time succeeds at being sweet and hysterical at times.
Celeste and Jesse have been best friends and soul-mates since their early days of college. They're practically made for each other, which kinds of makes one ask themselves why these two love birds want to seperate from each other. That's right! Celeste and Jesse, the essential perfect couple, have been trying to separate for 6 months by the time the audience gets to meet them. However the strange thing is that they are still besties who hang out with each other practically every day. Feeling they need to spend some time away from one another for a bit, they do just that. Certain circumstances ensue, and Jesse is able to let go and fall in love with a new girl. Celeste, on the other hand, can't seem to let go of Jesse, and is trying to win him back while at the same time attempt to find a new love for her life.
The true standout in this film is Rashida Jones, mainly for two reasons. The first reason is that she is a damn good actress who deserves more work. The second reason is that she's a really talented writer as well, and the script, which she co-wrote with Will McCormack, is really good. The story mostly follows her character Celeste, who's trying to cope with moving on from Jesse, but she really can't. The script shows a realistic approach of how a woman may deal with the break-up of her best friend/husband, and it's both funny and really dramatic. Even her chemistry with Andy Samberg feels real and authentic, especially during one situation involving a little bottle of ointment that's hysterical to watch.
Speaking of Andy Samberg, he and the rest of the cast were also good. Samberg can't handle the crying situations yet due to him looking unrealistic doing it, but other than that his dramatic breakthrough performance was really good. Everyone from Emma Roberts to Elijah Wood were also really good, and for the most part really funny. Even some of the actors can handle the dramatic situations pretty well. But for the most part, the side characters are there to provide laughs, and they do just that for most of their screen time.
Most films don't like to talk about break-up much; rather they go for the clichéd love story with an argument in the middle and an ending that's sugar sweet and happy. 'Celeste and Jesse Forever' does have an argument in the middle, but for all the reasons a typical love story wouldn't. This film captures the divorce of two best friends in the most authentic of ways and better than any other film before. The acting is really good for the most part, with Rashida Jones being the breakout here. She and Will McCormack also deliver a fantastic script with some hilarious situations and some well written dialogue. Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg aren't exactly household names yet, despite their previous work on comedy TV shows. This film should open up more opportunities for them, so if possible definitely try to catch this one when the opportunity arrives for you. It's definitely one that should not be missed anytime soon.