A few weeks ago I got invited to a “friends, family and tastemakers” screening of Celeste and Jesse Forever. Since I’m not friends with, or related to, anyone in the cast or crew I assumed I was being invited as a tastemaker and having never been described as such, I jumped on the opportunity.
Celeste and Jesse Forever is about a married couple (Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg) who are going through a divorce and are separated but still spend all of their time together because they don’t know what else to do. (And let me just say the opening of this movie is amazing.)
Firstly, this movie has an excellent cast. Rashida Jones is in a ton of things I absolutely adore (Parks and Recreation, The Office and, I always associate her with Arrested Development solely for the Quincy Jones jokes which, I know makes no sense but is still what happens) and I was curious about how she’d write for herself. And though I’m not obsessed with Andy Samberg – like a lot of people are – I do really enjoy him and find him funny and charming. And then you have Emma Roberts (who I’ve been told I look similar to by people IRL as well as an iPhone app so I basically thinks we’re twins and love her) and Elijah Wood and Mona from Pretty Little Liars (Janel Parrish) and Ari Graynor and Eric Christian Olsen (who is Vaughn on Community but I always remember him from Get Real). So I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy this movie.
So Rashida Jones co-wrote this with Will MacCormack who plays their hilarious pot dealer friend, Skillz, and it’s really clear that she wrote to her strengths as an actress. I feel like Rashida Jones is the “straight man” a lot and so it was really enjoyable to see her be a little broken (okay, a lot) and really funny and just kind of struggling to figure out her life. Celeste spends a lot of her time judging Jesse for his life decisions and feeling superior and really ends up having to figure out a lot about herself in the process. She thinks he doesn’t have his life figured out and she does and then she ends up not being able to cope when he moves on from their relationship and starts getting his life together.
It’s a very honest (I understand that sounds clichéd but it’s true) portrayal of a relationship and what can happen when become complacent and also, really, what happens when you don’t believe in your partner and don’t trust yourself.
This movie is what happens at the end of a romantic comedy when the heroine has fallen in love with the best friend and she’s been with him forever and now she just doesn’t have a clue how to proceed. It’s the typical “Type A” woman and lazy slacker guy set-up but the actual story is so far from that movie trope you can hardly believe that’s where it started. And that’s the beauty of Celeste and Jesse Forever. You start watching it thinking you know “this movie,” but you don’t.
I’m not saying it HAS ruined my life but I’m saying it has the potential to ruin my life and I’m excited about that.
So, go see it and let me know if it ruins your life.