Indie rom-com that reveals extra layers of talent within Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg. Celeste and Jesse Forever is relatable humor mixed with a little heartache, about a formed friendship that lasts after a failed marriage. Rashida plays Celeste, the smarty-pants, who gave up on the failed maturity in her spouse. Andy plays Jesse, the man-child, who still has the strength to grow. Their circle of friends are befuddled that the two of them continue to hang-out. But it is easy to see why. These two still finish each other’s jokes.
Impressive supporting roles belong to Emma Roberts (“Scream 4”), Elijah Wood (“Lord of the Rings”), Chris Messina (“Ruby Sparks”) and Ari Graynor (“Youth in Revolt”). The movie knows the rebound dating scene. It knows the addiction to immediate attachments. That it knows these things so well and with such touching realization is creditable to Jones who co-wrote the screenplay with Will McCormack.
If there are flaws, it’s that Jones bookends too many elements, self-consciously giving closure to every little thing introduced in the first act by the third act. But this is a grown-up film that has a certain sagacity on break-ups. If Celeste and Jesse aren’t ready to pull away, it’s that they fear the depression that will accompany it. Don’t worry, you laugh with it.
Known for broad humor in all his years doing “Saturday Night Live” digital shorts, Samberg is the wound-up goofball playing kids pranks. But the touching aspect of his performance is watching him turn into the adult he wants to be only after he’s lost the love with a girl he’s shared with since high school. This will be the film that demonstrates and proves his range.
So, it is just a tad too drawn-out. The two of them attend another couple’s wedding separately, but there’s a more effective scene at their divorce hearing. You consider it’s an indie, and after all the money spent, they didn’t want to cut out the wedding scene. Or maybe director Lee Toland Krieger and Jones felt like it had to be in there. Well, there’s a couple other scenes besides the wedding that… hmm, maybe the script itself needed a little nip/tuck. But I liked watching this talent grow together on-screen.
Read press interview with Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg: click here.
91 Minutes. Rated R.
ROMANTIC COMEDY / LIFE LESSONS / FRIDAY NIGHT PILLOW MOVIE
Film Cousins: “When Harry Met Sally” (1989); “The Wedding Singer” (1998); “Serendipity” (2001); “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (2008).