Movie Review: “Celeste and Jesse Forever” – And Ever?

Written by Emily McWilliams September 23, 2012


Maybe this is the year that the clichéd love story is put to rest, because it seems that most films about relationships are taking on a new perspective as they explore modern couples.  Take for example, relatively new director Lee Toland Krieger’s film, “Celeste and Jesse Forever”.  Set in LA and starring a young and funny cast that includes “Parks and Recreation” actress Rashida Jones and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Andy Samberg, “Celeste and Jesse Forever” is practically bursting with fresh talent.  The film also includes great performances from Will McCormack (also one of the script’s co-writers), Elijah Wood, Chris Messina, and Emma Roberts, in this tale of love, loss, and moving on.

A Loved Story

Celeste (Jones) and Jesse (Samberg) seem like the perfect couple: they do everything together, are best friends, and have those weird, annoying inside jokes that couples develop when they’ve been together after a really long time.  The problem is that they’re separated and getting a divorce.  Even though they feel that they can balance the roles of exes and best friends, their other friends feel like it is time for them to move on and start dating again.   When Jesse decides his friends are right and starts to see other people, Celeste is secretly heartbroken as she realizes that their divorce is really moving forward.  Both Jesse and Celeste are re-integrated into the dating world and all the surprises, both good and bad, that it brings.  Even though they’re still friends and are starting new relationships, the pain of losing their marriage both affects Celeste and Jesse as they try to begin new lives.


Jones and Samberg Bring Laughs and Tears

With a cast that includes two of today’s most popular comic actors, you can expect that the humour in “Celeste and Jesse Forever” is at the top of its game.  While the script is not the wittiest or most sophisticated, the pacing, situational humour, and one-liners that fuel the laughs are almost perfect.  When paired with the film’s serious moments and drama, the humour was able to compliment these scenes and created a unique tone for the film that perfectly reflected Celeste and Jesse’s unusual relationship.  As well, Jones and Samberg portrayed the film’s moments of heartbreak with a depth and fluidity I was not expecting from these actors.  I am excited for what roles these two choose in the future.


An Exciting New Director At The Helm

Krieger’s direction abilities are also something to keep an eye on for the future.  While I found some of his aesthetic choices to be a bit distracting in terms of fast-almost music video editing – the film had a definite style and texture that separates it from other relationship films.  Krieger directs the characters to capture underlying feelings and relationships that provided the film with its emotional substance. “Celeste and Jesse Forever” is a film that brings unexpected laughs and heartbreak.  The talented cast and production team balance the film’s complicated fusion of comedy and drama to tell a love story that is insightful, hip, and current.

My Rating: 8/10

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