Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
Cast: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood
Synopsis: Childhood sweethearts Celeste and Jesse are getting divorced but can they manage to stay best friends?
I like to keep as up to date as possible when it comes to movies. I read all sorts of things to keep abreast of the movie industry: trade magazines, newspapers, blog posts, reddit etc. As such, I get quite surprised when I come across a movie I haven’t heard a lot about. Celeste and Jesse Forever was one of those movies. I was instantly drawn to it because it has my future husband (Andy Samberg) in it and I was spurred on by good reviews and word-of-mouth. Overall, it wasn’t a bad choice.
The film boasts an impressive cast who manage to do a pretty good job for the most part. If this movie accomplished one thing it’s that it convinced me of Rashida Jones’ talents as a serious dramatic actress. She showed a lot of potential in The Social Network and in this film she cashes it all in. The best example is when Jesse tells her he got some book shop slut knocked up a few months after the divorce. Seriously, why is it always the bookish ones that are the hoes? Subconsciously, it’s probably the reason why I hang out in book shops so much…I’m looking for a gentleman in the streets but a freak between the sheets….moving on. Jones really impressed me in the scene. You can almost feel her pain as she desperately tries to reel it in. The other cast members also have their moments but it’s Jones that really stood out. Actually, do you know who else stood out?
That’s right! Emma Roberts. Her character is complete fluff in this movie. She essentially plays some sort of bitchy Lindsay Lohan/Miley Cyrus combo. There is no real reason to have her in the film but I don’t care because I secretly love her. I also love her character’s song in this movie, “Do it on my face.” What I did not appreciate, however, was Jones’ characters’ attempt to market her to the gay crowd because we love dick in the butt. Yes, we do love dicks in butts, I will admit that, but I’m not going to buy merchandise or buy into a product simply because it references that. Gay guys are not that shallow. Fag-hags, maybe, but not gay guys.
While I enjoyed most of the film, it did suffer from two central failings. The first is that it tries a little too hard to be the new 500 Days of Summer by subverting the romantic comedy genre. I wasn’t convinced it accomplished it as successfully as 500 Days of Summer which, in my opinion, did it in an effortless and honest way. The character drama in Celeste and Jesse Forever is a little too ridiculous to be believable and borders on farcical at times. It feels a little too contrived. The second failing was occasional clumsy writing. For instance, I don’t know why the writers pretend that LA is some spiritual-health mecca. Don’t get me wrong, I love LA but it is not Nirvana. Angelinos don’t all do yoga or pilates. Moreover, people who say “Namaste” and discuss kale varieties are likely to get “Bitch please” looks.
OK, you know what? I actually do love kale but I’m not THAT crazy about it. I swear.
- Rashida Jones ability to do serious dramatic acting.
- Beautiful LA. This is the city I fell in love with…although I swear to God the people who live there aren’t always like this.
- Andy Samberg…drool.
- Awesome soundtrack couples with some great Sofia Coppola-esque dream-like scenes.
- Lots and lots of pot.
- Elijah Wood makes for a pretty dull gay friend.
- A little too contrived in places.
- Lazy stereotyping thanks to clumsy scriptwriting.
I enjoyed this film. I’m not going to pretend it’s the greatest film out there but it was certainly a good way to kill a couple of hours. I can’t guarantee you’ll like, though. That will depend on your ability to overlook its sense of self-awareness. If you can look past it though I think you will be pleasantly surprised.