Celeste and Jesse Forever Reviews
Celeste and Jesse Forever is beautiful, bittersweet, and tremulously underrated, in my opinion. Please, watch this movie. Highly highly recommend.
Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) are a divorcing couple that have been best friends since they can remember. They don't want their divorce to destroy their unique friendship, and so they still hang out as much as they did before their relationship. Their friends and co-workers think their relationship is weird, but Celeste and Jesse think they can make it work...that is until Jesse meets Veronica (Rebecca Dayan) and is set up to have a family with her.
The movie could have been a by-the-numbers rom-com with no grace, but it is actually a tad better (Although, still far from being any original). Celeste is a very complex and flawed character. Yes, it is difficult to relate to her because at times she is immensely stupid or reactive, but it is all intentional. Lee Toland Krieger (The Vicious Kind) wants to squeeze out of Rashida Jones as many conflicted feelings as he can, and Jones perfectly manages to do so. She delivers a poignant and subdued performance, that if it wasn't for the rom-com clichéd scenes such as a drunk speech at a wedding or a girl's night in when the character of Celeste and the unnecessary character of Riley (Emma Roberts), a bratty, slutty pop star Celeste works for even though she is completely against everything she stands for, get together when they have both reached bottom emotionally. Samberg does not reach the scope or finesse that Jones has in the film, so Krieger cleverly gives the spotlight to Jones instead. This is, however, Celeste & Jesse Forever, so he also fails at living up to the title. A more appropriate title would be Celeste Forever, because their relationship is never the main focus of the film.
This is why the movie ended up making me feel mixed. When a rom-com focuses on a character instead of a relationship, it is confusing, more so if the title suggests that the film will focus on the two. Other things also don't quite fit. Elijah Wood plays Jones' gay boss, Scott, and...yeah, comedy is not his forte. The script, written by Jones and first-time screenwriter James McCormack, while successful at the drawing the character of celeste, is a mixed bag in terms of humor. Some jokes are stupid, many stereotypes are awfully portrayed and the chemistry between Samberg and Jones does not always match the tone the dialogue aims to achieve. This is Jones' project, inside out, and there is a lot of good in this movie to justify the ride. This is also, however, and half-baked rom-com, that is way too ambitious for its own good, when it really isn't anything special.