The charming and honest approach suits well for Celeste and Jesse Forever, altering the spoiled and formulated romantic comedy genre.
Celeste and Jesse Forever
It is a fact of life that doing the right thing is rarely the easiest. This is a hard concept to recognize but an even harder one to actually go through with. The theme behind Celeste and Jesse Forever is about doing the right thing even though it feels wrong to. A couple tries to maintain their friendship despite their pending divorce. The situation becomes even more complicated when they both try to pursue other people.
When first introduced to Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) they seem like the perfect married couple; laughing at their little inside jokes, saying an appropriate amount of endearments, and never bickering with one another. It is not until their engaged to be married friends call them out during dinner about how bizarre it is that they are in the middle of a divorce, yet still remain such close friends. It is indeed a bit strange, Jesse still lives in Celeste’s guest house and the two spend nearly every day together.
Jesse is a procrastinating freelance artist who is still seeking a full-time job, but is in no real hurry to actually get one. He is more anxious to ride on a killer wave than to apply for a job. Celeste is a “trend forecaster” who just finished her first book and while she may not be as successful as she would like to be, the point is that she has determination and goals. So while they share so many similarities elsewhere, their career drive is vastly different.
As you might expect, one of them still has feelings for the other. In this case, it happens to be Jesse wishing that they would eventually get their marriage back on track. He hopes this separation is just a way for Celeste to realize what they had together, though it is hard to for her to see what she and Jesse had when they still hang out every day. So Jesse takes the advice from a friend that he should start seeing other women for the sole purpose of making Celeste envious. But by the time Celeste figures out that she wants Jesse back, it may be too late.
The chemistry between the two characters on screen is stunning to witness. So much so, that it is hard not to root for the couple to get back together. But even more impressive, is how both of them evolve when they are not together. There is a serious side of Andy Samberg that is rarely seen. For the first time, his comedic talents serve as undertones instead of the primary characteristic, which is more effective than one would imagine.
Even though Samberg was splendid, the main star of the film is Rashida Jones. She receives the majority of the screen time and commands it well. Jones proves that she has what it takes to handle more than the supporting actress she is normally is assigned to. Watching her character transform as much as it did here could make your head-spin; going back and forth between a confident control freak to a miserable bong-hitting mess. Rashida Jones also shares a writing credit with co-star Will McCormack on the screenplay, which makes her efforts even more impressive.
Speaking of the screenplay, Celeste and Jesse Forever received an award nomination for Best First Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards, which is interesting, because the Spirit Awards will be hosted by Andy Samberg. The film starts off similar to most rom-coms, but it does not take long before the film develops into something slightly more refined.
The charming and honest approach suits well for Celeste and Jesse Forever, altering the spoiled and formulated romantic comedy genre. Perhaps what the film does best is balance out the humor with the heartache, never allowing one to dominate too much. Instead of settling for an ending that is predictable and customary, it opts for an authentic outcome that is difficult to accept – for both the characters and the audience – even if it is the right thing to do.