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Celeste and Jesse Forever

March 23, 2013

Celeste and Jesse Forever movie poster

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Rashida Jones did something fantastic. She wrote herself an interesting role and tells a story worth telling. Her characters are not perfect and the film has a rough around the edges feel that fits in with the independent vibe. It is not a well-manicured romantic comedy that feels created by committee and I applaud Jones for that. The men are not swarthy, the women are not desperate and most importantly there are no precocious kids.  Celeste and Jesse Forever is wonderful and features a refreshing blend of romance, comedy and character. Celeste and Jesse was written with love and can almost compete with the upper echelon of break up films like 500 Days of Summer and High Fidelity

Celeste and Jesse forver couple

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The film centers around two people navigating through a divorce. It won’t be easy and will annoy many of their mutual friends. The reason for the annoyance is that they’ve broken up yet remain best friends. They never talk about the split and instead riff off each other and do various German and goofy voices. They spend all their time together yet sleep alone. They probably would stay in the vicious circle for years but unforeseen circumstances finally tear them apart. I won’t give away the twist because it hits hard and is a smart way to distance two people who haven’t totally committed to the split. Their friends stay annoyed though.

Celeste and Jesse Forever Ari Graynor

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Rashida Jones is a successful author and image consultant who is married to a talented albeit incredibly lazy man played by Andy Samberg. They love each other but have grown apart due to contrasting styles and ambitions. Jesse starts dating a younger version of Rashida and she starts spending time with the likable Chris Messina (Dr. Castellano from The Mindy Project). She also has to deal with a less talented yet self aware version of Ke$ha and her co-worker played by Elijah Wood whose attempts at being sassy end with disastrous results.

Celeste and Jesse forver Elijah Wood

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The movie is about two people but the film belongs to Rashida Jones. Samberg is good but comes across as more of a plot device to help Rashida go through all the emotions. She has the biggest character arc and learns from the unlikeliest of people (pop stars, drug dealers). I like how she ranges from goofy to attractive and back to goofy. She allows herself to look bad for the sake of the movie and hasn’t written herself to be the greatest human ever. her insistence on not making things easy or pretentious  make for an interesting romantic comedy with a likable supporting cast.

Watch Celeste and Jesse Forever. Dig the Rashida. Appreciate the script. Enjoy something new.

Celeste and Jesse Forever Rashida Jones

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