Celeste and Jesse ForeverClosed Captioning
Lee Toland Krieger
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Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) are high school sweethearts who married young and are now at a crossroads at the age of thirty. While Celeste is a success in business, Jesse is unemployed and adrift. Celeste thinks that if they divorce now they could still remain friends. Jesse passively accepts the decision even though he is still in love with her. As reality sets in, Celeste slowly and painfully realizes she has been cavalier about their relationship, but her timing with Jesse is less than fortuitous.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 130
- Fresh: 91
- Rotten: 39
- Average Rating: 6.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: The give and take here feels completely real, and each character is likable while also flawed and vulnerable.
Fresh: The film bears a kinship with the underrated 2006 film The Break-Up; both are, for lack of a better term, post-romantic comedies by exploring the largely virgin territory of what happens long after the meet-cute, when life takes hold and love goes sour.
Rotten: Charming and not without its moments, but far too conventional to capture the complexity it strives for.
Fresh: There is quiet, seditious verve to the way expectations are derailed and then re-railed, just as in those areas of real life that still exist even outside the expanding Sundance empire of middlebrow observationalism.
A SHARP BUT FLAWED LOOK AT POST-MARRIAGE FRIENDSHIP
With its ardent refusal to follow the usual romantic-comedy formula, "Celeste and Jesse Forever" is a nice surprise for an indie film. Not only does it keep us wondering about where it's heading, but it gives the likable Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg much more respectfully complex roles than they usually get to play. Plus, the quirky comedic approach combined with some darkly dramatic moments makes it all the more intriguing to watch. The movie focuses on the titular characters Celeste and Jesse and their close-knit, long-time relationship. Having been together since high school, the two companions - who married at a young age - are starting to drift apart. She has a successful job in a media consulting firm; he's unemployed with no particular drive to do anything with his life. Celeste is convinced that divorcing Jesse is the right thing to do, and if they do it now rather than later, they can remain supportive friends. Jesse casually goes along with this decision, and at first, he and Celeste treat the separation as if it never happened. But once reality slowly starts to sink in, and Jesse eventually moves on with his life, Celeste realizes that she may have made a horrible mistake. Rashida Jones gives a ruthlessly honest performance that's both genuinely funny and a bit disturbing. Her journey throughout the film is a messy one - a bumpy series of conflicting emotions and awkward scenes that never end well. And yet, it's hard not to watch as she stumbles in and out of embarrassing situations, all the while trying to deal with her divorce as best she can. Andy Samberg, while not quite as compelling as his co-star, shares a great down-to-earth chemistry with Jones. They may not be the strongest film pairing we've seen in recent years, but their dialogue is nonetheless refreshingly witty and sharply delivered. The acting overall is undeniably impressive, and so is the clever humor, but at times, it seems like the flick is more focused on telling an original, ambitious story than developing a strong emotional core to pull the audience in. It's not exactly a glaring issue, but it would've been nice if the director had given us a better understanding of the main characters and their individual flaws. Despite its slight narrative problems, "Celeste and Jesse Forever" is still a smart, observant, and often engaging look at two close friends as they try to keep their friendship intact after divorce. It may not have the strongest characters or most consistent screenplay, but what it lacks in those areas, it mostly makes up for in sincere performances, perceptive humor, and a refreshing lack of predictable clichés. It also benefits from a bittersweet ending that feels genuinely real. Not everyone will enjoy this anti rom-com, but it's worth a watch for any fan of relationship drama and crude, sarcastic banter.
Definitely top ten movie of the year 2012!!!
There is so much truth behind this movie. It's not your typical cheesy romantic comedy. It takes a unique look into a couples post breakup and how sometimes they move on but never really move on. Definitely one of my new favorite movies. Rashida Jones did an outstanding job writing and acting in this movie. This movie is a true gem. @nerissalynette
Women should watch this movie
Women should watch this movie. Especially married women. And think about what it really is that you want from men.