Celeste and Jesse Forever
Celeste and Jesse Forever, 2012, USA
Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) were high school sweethearts and are now separated after being married for six years. They’re still best friends and spend a lot of time together, much to the chagrin of their friends Beth (Ari Graynor) and Tucker (Eric Christian Olsen). Jesse is still in love with Celeste, but when he begins seeing Veronica (Rebecca Dayan), Celeste starts second guessing her feelings for Jesse.
What I appreciated about this film was its honesty. Relationships are complicated and often a divorce or break up doesn’t necessarily stop your feelings for the other person. And, often people realize that they regret the decisions they’ve made in their relationships. This honesty makes the film very touching. While it does have its funny moments, I felt that the film was more of a drama than a comedy. It was thought-provoking and a little bittersweet.
Most of the film is told from the perspective of Celeste. While I would have liked to see more of Jesse and his developments as a character, I liked that the audience was able to see how Celeste changed over the course of the film. She’s far from perfect, and her personality flaws and her discovery of them are a major component of the film. The first little bit of the film focused more on Jesse, but about a third of the way in he almost disappears into the background. If the film was even another 15 minutes longer, Jesse could have been developed further.
In the same vein, Veronica is woefully undeveloped as a character. As Jesse’s new girlfriend, you would think they would show more of their budding relationship. She was practically an extra, which was a bit of a problem.
Jones was fantastic as Celeste. At times she bordered on pathetic, but she also manages to remain convincing as a successful business person. I’m not a huge fan of Samberg, but he fit well in the role of someone who is a bit stunted and unsure of what he wants in life. Emma Roberts has a small role as a pop star that was reminiscent of Ke$ha, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed her character.
I did really like the film, but keep in mind that it is not a light-hearted film. It’s one to watch if you’re looking for something that will make you think, or if you feel like shedding a few tears.