Celeste & Jesse Forever

  • Year:2012
  • Rating:MA
  • Director:Lee Toland Krieger
  • Cast:Eric Christian Olsen , Ari Graynor , Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood
  • Release Date:November 29, 2012
  • Distributor:Walt Disney
  • Running time:92 minutes
  • Film Worth:$15.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

A sassy and charming romantic comedy where the loosely scripted laughs play authentically and sometimes painfully.

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Given the opening scenes of Celeste & Jesse Forever – which see its lead couple cruising around together, discussing potential job interviews, and exchanging cutesy talk over dinner – one would assume that we’re witnessing a perfectly in-love and in-sync couple. But the kicker here is that Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) have parted ways after a six-year marriage, but they figure that since they click so well, there’s no reason that they can’t remain best friends. Jesse continues to live in Celeste’s guest house, and the two hang out daily, but it’s obvious to any outsider that it’s a scenario headed straight toward heartbreak.

Co-written with co-star, Will McCormack, Jones (the Parks & Recreation actress, and a constantly impressive supporting player who deserves headline status) has scripted herself a terrific role as the neurotic but sympathetic Celeste, a perfectionist who drives away the people that she loves with her nitpicking and lofty expectations. It’s her story that’s given more weight here, but Samberg – as a young man finally trying to pull his life together – reveals a genuine knack for drama. It’s unfortunate then that the pair is surrounded by some sitcom schmaltz, but the loosely played script generally rings true.

Slotting into that rare breed of romantic comedy that lets the pain seep into the laughs, it’s hard not to root for Celeste & Jesse Forever given its charming leads and the poignant idea at its core: that two best friends aren’t necessarily meant to be partners, and can even inhibit each other from moving forward. But there’s also the touching notion – and one rarely explored on screen – that a failed marriage is not necessarily a failure or something to regret.

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