Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family's island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack's drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris' sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days.
British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
Celeste and Jesse have been best friends forever. They dated in high school, got married, and now they're getting divorced. Their best friends don't think they can maintain their friendship throughout the dissolution of their marriage, but Celeste and Jesse don't think there will be a problem. But that's before Jesse gets into a relationship that Celeste doesn't think he can handle, and Celeste finds it harder to move on than she originally thought. Written by
Rashida Jones becomes a true star with talent. An actress you should keep your eye on in the future
Celeste and Jesse Forever is a more honest look at breakups and divorce than most romantic dramedies of the last couple of years. The film had a lot of thoughtfulness to it, was delicately filmed and full of wit and raw emotion. The downside though is that it has an overly familiar formula that has been done to death now with films like The Break-Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Take This Waltz, Friends with Kids, etcetera. The film just gets lost in that ever-growing genre, even though it's quite the gem and probably the most relevant version of that specific formula I've seen lately.
The performances were genuine and charming, with an undeniable likable cast. Rashida Jones is becoming one of my favorite actresses of today, and I think Celeste and Jesse Forever is her true breakthrough performance. Rashida plays Celeste who is in the process of finalizing her divorce from her husband Jesse, who still lives with her and are oddly close friends still. Jesse, played with corky poise by Andy Samberg, soon starts dating to move on which thrills Celeste until his past fling pops up in his life again and reveals that she is pregnant. Celeste finds it harder than ever to move on and all she is feeling is regret.
I think the film's process of his or her struggle of moving on was naturally dealt with, as there is no Hollywood ending or overuse of sentimentality. The film in the end doesn't sugarcoat anything, which was a breath of fresh air in that aspect. The supporting cast was not half bad either and it's always great to watch Ari Graynor who plays Celeste's best friend Beth. Ari Graynor to me is a talented actress and it's about time she deserves a leading role and put an end to playing sidekicks.
Director, Lee Toland Krieger seems to be a personable director and connects with the audience in a timely matter. There were a couple of quiet, simple moments of poignancy and then balanced it with humor effortlessly. The use of songs fits this film like a glove and went with the flow. Writers and stars of the film Will McCormack and Rashida Jones should definitely collaborate again because the writing was just filled with honest humor and thoughtfulness, which created great energy for the film.
Overall, it's not a groundbreaking romantic comedy, but Rashida Jones is such a mesmerizing, witty and intelligent actress in this film that you will fall in love with it.
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