Posted on 6/22/12 01:45 PM
Perhaps even an insult to even the intelligence of y-indie filmgoers, Lee Toland Krieger misses the mark completely, perhaps ruining what was best kept charming and personally contained in the writing of Rashida Jones and Will McCormack. Lost in the influx of medium brow, quirky, sexually blunt, awkward pseudo indie films, the branching-away-from the factorty Urban Outfitters equivalent, post Judd Apatow, striving for a bit more moving in the way of the Duplass, comes Celeste and Jesse, an unfunny romantic comedy which aims for a slightly impressionistic flair. In order for the film to work, the characters had to in some way be outsiders, underdogs, but it felt like watching boring people without souls trying too hard to be cute and share those "unique" moments, which were sadly few and far between. "Oh how funny, let's both jerk off objects which look like tiny penises and smoke some more weed and get drunk while we deal with out separation" but we're best friends! How subversive and challenging to audiences who are used to divorce movies! Disappointing. The casting is awful. There's no chemistry between Rashida and the annoyingly smug and frog-like Andy Samberg. Perhaps, the basic idea of the film, which one would hope to challenge our idea of divorce was at one point good enough to develop, but the casting threw everything off. The film tries too hard, ruining activities and gentrified places in Los Angeles many people hold dear-- Echo Park, Silverlake, downtown, Scrabble, yoga, obsessive dieting, dorky pop humor, but it takes moments which may have otherwise come out charming and cute to a dull place. It seems apparent that the director or (ghasp) even the characters simply have no personality to pull it off. They're not unlikable characters. They're just not interesting or quirky enough. Awkward and smart is all good, but at least have enough jeart to pull it off. At some point, one begins to think that Judd Apatow could have done it so much better. If it aims to be naturalistic, non-melodramatic,and blue, it should have been written that way. A friend of mine kept calling it Celine and Julie. What an insult to Rivette! Even if the director was going for naturalistic, there's nothing subtle about this film.. The main character faults herself for presuming she's more intelligent than others, and so does the entire production. The title would give you the idea of a French film about an interesting and layered relationship between two complex characters, but the film sadly ends up feeling simply contrived. As much as I like Rashida Jones, she wasn't enough to carry the weight of what may have been likable about it through it's entirety.. Emma Roberts, however, was wonderful. She added a certain ethereal quality to an unimpressive feature.