Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
64 Reviews
Sort by:
An all around well done romantic dramedy and an impressive career step for both Jones and Samberg!
Hellmant30 January 2013
'CELESTE & JESSE FOREVER': Four Stars (Out of Five)

Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg play a divorcing couple who remain best friends and inseparable until one meets someone new. The film is equal parts comedy and drama and actually allows both Jones and Samberg to show off their acting chops and do something a little more serious for a change. It was written by Jones as well, along with fellow actor Will McCormack (who also co-stars in the film). Lee Toland Krieger directed the film but Jones and McCormack were nominated for Best First Screenplay at the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards. The film has received great reviews as well and I think deservingly so. It's a funny and insightful film and both Jones and Samberg shine in it.

Jones plays Celeste, a trend analyzer who runs a media business with her friend Scott (Elijah Wood). Samberg plays Jesse, an unemployed artist still struggling to find work. The two were high school sweethearts who married young and have now been separated for several months (while they finalize their divorce). Their friends Beth (Ari Graynor) and Tucker (Eric Christian Olsen), who are engaged, think it's odd that they spend so much time together and act like they're still a couple. Jesse's friend Skillz (McCormack) encourages him to start dating. Jesse is reluctant to follow his advice because he believes Celeste will come around and they'll get back together. Celeste ended things with Jesse though because she thinks he's taken so long to find work and make something of himself. When Jesse tells Celeste he's having a baby with his beautiful new girlfriend Veronica (Rebecca Dayan) it throws her for a loop and causes her to reevaluate her life and her feelings for Jesse.

The film is told more through Celeste's point of view and it's nice to see a romantic comedy that seems true to life and revolves around the woman having a mental breakdown rather than the guy. Jones is fantastic in the role and her and McCormack's script is smart and insightful. Samberg is great as well and it's nice to see him trying his hand at drama (and doing so successfully). He and Jones still have plenty of truly comedic moments as well (as does the rest of the cast) and they also have beautiful chemistry. Krieger's directing adds the perfect feel and beautiful look to the movie as well. This is an all around well done romantic dramedy and an impressive career step for both Jones and Samberg!

Watch our movie review show 'MOVIE TALK' at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xzh1FLmMq4
24 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not Sure What it is But I Like It
mephotography200113 February 2014
The short story: I liked this film. The longer story is I'm not sure exactly what you'd call this movie. Honestly I had never heard of it before finding it in the $5 bin, but I like Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg (the leads) and the premise seemed interesting, essentially a separated married couple who are still best friends and do everything together, it just didn't work out to be married. There are funny parts, but not enough to label it a comedy or rom-com, and certainly drama, but not enough to be considered dramatic. It's not even really a love story. And it's no action-packed special-effects-laden blockbuster. I guess what it is is a decent, down-to-earth story (from Hollywood - I KNOW) about real-type characters in realistic situations that viewers can relate to with a decent cast, even pacing and with a sensible ending. Definitely worth a look. 7/10
8 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Give this movie a chance!
lindsey_n3 October 2014
I can't understand for the life of me why this movie has such a low rating! I went into this movie not expecting too much.. I don't mind Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones so I thought I'd give it a try. First off, don't watch this movie if you're looking for something full of laughs. It's not supposed to be something that has you in stitches. I thought it was a beautiful, well acted story of love and friendship. At times it was frustrating, heartbreaking, amusing and heartwarming. It made me smile and it made me sad. Both Samberg and Jones were pretty phenomenal in their acting in this movie. This movie stuck me as a more intelligent, realistic romance for those of us who are over the Nicholas Sparks sap. I'd recommend giving this movie a chance, I'm glad I did.
11 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Jones and Samberg Forever
filmchaser13 February 2013
This film is pure candy. Rashida Jones wrote a story about a couple who love each other enough to call it quits while they're still in love. Both characters have flaws, but Samberg's character is to blame for the divorce because he's a child who is content to let his upwardly mobile wife carry the couple's financial responsibilities. As a result, Jone's character loses respect for him, and finds it hard to relate to him as a wife, but feels more like a mother. This is a common problem in relationships these days, and this script jumps right into the middle of the subject. The chemistry between Jones and Samberg is very believable, and they have the same quirk factor, so it's heartbreaking to watch their lives move in different directions when Samberg's beautiful one-night-stand-baby-mama shows up. The guy just can't do anything right. Then, he decides to do something right, and suddenly Jones' starts back walking and taking inventory of what's out there versus what she already had. Elijah Wood was a nice touch as Rashida's gay business partner. Ari Gaynor played a peach of a best friend. In fact, all the supporting actors were perfect in this romantic drama comedy that required rapid fire quips, flippancy, and gut wrenching truths, culminating in a tearful confrontation between the two main characters that brought me to tears with its heartbreaking authenticity.

Seems like Miss Jones is more than a pretty face, and Andy Samberg has range. If I had a criticism it would be that the film seemed primarily about Rashida's character, which made her character seem controlling and self absorbed. This made it a little harder to empathize with her character, however, she redeemed herself in the scene where she fell into and out of Samberg's trash can snooping, and got caught doing it. Hilarious. Chris Messina added a nice possibility.

A very enjoyable and entertaining film.
25 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Rashida Jones becomes a true star with talent. An actress you should keep your eye on in the future
mdnobles1912 February 2013
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.
17 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Best romantic comedy I've seen in a very long time!
Fredic-186-2000545 July 2012
Loved this film...I had the pleasure of seeing it at the LA Film Festival...What a pleasure to walk out when it ended with a happy feeling in my chest and in a great mood for the evening...The cast is excellent..the story line different...laughed out loud! Andy S is at his best..I loved the way he delivered his lines, a laugh throughout the film Rashida J. is funny and makes you fall in love with her. The entire cast does an incredible job. The casting of the entire film was wonderful, perfect in every way. The director did a fabulous job. I just can't say enough about Celeste and Jesse...a 10...do not miss seeing it this summer
39 out of 58 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"Celeste and Jesse" uses its humor to subvert the "it's complicated" relationship formula
Movie_Muse_Reviews31 August 2012
Lots of comedies in the last year or so have focused on whether two people can be involved sexually without being involved romantically. "Celeste and Jesse Forever" asks if two people who were involved sexually can be involved platonically. Both beat the dead horse of "complicated" relationships in film, but what's nice about "Celeste and Jesse" is that it never loses its comic edge in spite of melodrama.

Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg star as the titular couple in the process of a divorce, but because they spent so long as best friends, they have no concept of needing to draw boundaries.

It's a tough sell early on, that two people could go through a divorce yet essentially live together and spend time together in a somewhat intimate fashion. Jones, who co-wrote the script with Will McCormack (who has a supporting role), chooses to make Celeste and Jesse opposites in terms of professional status (he's a slacker artist, she's a big-deal trend forecaster) in order to justify why, despite their fabulous on-screen chemistry, they're not meant to stay married. It takes a bit of story wizardry, namely physical obstacles that force them apart, but somehow it makes sense, probably because Jones and Samberg are so likable.

The story then plays out like the emotional roller coaster of a relationship between two people who feel one thing but do another. It's exhausting, at times, as a third-party observer, to watch them fall in and out of the same predictable problems. A few scenes will certainly elicit shouts at the screen of "just get back together already!" or "stop screwing around and end it!" — depending on the scene.

Naturally, each character has his and her attempts to rebound by going on dates with other people and trying new relationships. To this point we've seen enough of the formula to know how that part of the story goes: two former lovers get mad at each other, the one who didn't really want to split rebounds first, the other says they're really happy for that person but secretly can't stand it, etc. That's all here in "Celeste and Jesse Forever."

So what's the saving grace? Something that makes "Celeste and Jesse" stand out from the pack? The answer is the simple refusal to ever take itself too seriously. Without it, the film would likely devolve into a train wreck of predictable moments.

In spite of the absurd tear count in the movie, Celeste is never shy about cracking a joke, nor the script afraid go out on a limb with something more extreme and less believable. This, in a movie that so fiercely tries to capture the gray area in relationships in a truthful way. Humor keeps the film in check, especially for us, who would otherwise happily chop up the script and divide the pieces into piles marked "realistic" and "unrealistic." The quirkier tone and moments maintain the soft illusion of a more fantastical real-life relationship story.

Director Lee Toland Krieger nicely flows back and forth between both up-close-and-personal realism and more standard-order comedy camera-work. On a few occasions he makes bold choices, some that work, some that backfire, but the comic and dramatic moments almost never butt heads.

Life in Los Angeles is, for many, a fantasy of a sort, and "Celeste and Jesse" could easily be deemed a story that could "only happen in L.A." In addition to the frozen yogurt and the exposure of the fraud that is trendy exercise, Celeste works in the entertainment industry and post-Jesse she's set up on all these dates with successful creative people. Scenes take place in all kinds of exotic clubs, so much of the context surrounding these characters oozes with a superficiality that makes the film both great and disturbing.

A little more troubling is the legit problem that Jesse disappears in large chunks of this film. There's a reason Celeste comes first in the billing, and that's because the movie only shows intimate moments featuring her (and the ones she shares with Jesse). Samberg doesn't get much of a chance to prove himself as a talent that can go below the surface. The script treats Jesse like a child, kind of like the way Celeste sees him. There's artist value to this decision, but the moments between the two of them are too lopsided in our minds. Great romance movies get you charged up because you feel a certain way about both characters, and in this film we only really feel what Celeste feels.

There's something special in "Celeste and Jesse," however, some rare ability to see the humor in the personally tragic, the potential for levity and irony in any situation. The emotional place that these two best friends arrive at in the end might not be as satisfying as that in a strong romance or rom-com, nor as poetic as in a tragedy, but with its playful disposition, it manages to carve out a place that's different, one that stands out from the pack just enough.

~Steven C

Thanks for reading! Visit moviemusereviews.com
24 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
BFFs on the Verge of Divorce
Chris_Pandolfi9 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Celeste (Rashida Jones) is the owner of a media market firm in Los Angeles, but given the recent publication of her nonfiction book about the direction American pop culture has headed, she prefers to think of herself as a trend forecaster. Jesse (Andy Samberg) has artistic talent but is currently unemployed and seems rather indifferent about finding a new job. High school sweethearts who tied the knot, they have been separated for six months and are in the final stages of divorcing. That hasn't stopped them from remaining the best of friends; they still go to restaurants, sing in harmony with the radio, mime hugs for each other by crossing their arms and cupping their hands, and perpetuate a game where they pretend that a tube of petroleum jelly is a tiny penis. Although Jesse has moved out of the main house, he lives in his studio located on the same property, which Celeste doesn't seem to mind. They even say that they love each other.

Much like the recently released "Lola Versus," "Celeste and Jesse Forever" takes a fairly standard romantic comedy concept and fine tunes it for more indie-minded audiences. This is not to suggest that the plotting or characterizations are any less manufactured; it simply means that the film is overall quirkier, subtler, and not as easily attracted to the idea of a fairytale ending. I liked the title characters, although for most of the film, I struggled to empathize with them, in large part because they persisted in being so caviler about their feelings for each other. Although Celeste is a right fighter and control freak, and although Jesse has the emotional maturity of a five-year-old, they're both in denial about the reality of the separation and lack the courage to admit that they really do belong together.

Fortunately, the final scenes helped to reshape some of my perceptions. Essentially, the film is a cautionary tale of not taking relationships for granted. For Celeste, it's a journey towards relinquishing control and accepting the mistakes she has made. For Jesse, it's about realizing that he has made his bed and now has to lay in it. Both changes come about as the result of a plot twist that actually hasn't been given away in the ad campaign. The publicity department at Sony Pictures Classics deserves a lot of credit here; we live in an age when trailers and TV spots will either hint too strongly at a crucial plot point or altogether spoil it, a reality audiences don't seem to care about anymore. I'm going to follow Sony's lead and keep my mouth shut. Should you decide to go see this film, you deserve to actually be surprised.

What I can say is that the other people in Celeste and Jesse's life seem genuinely bothered by their current arrangement. Jesse's potheaded best friend, for example, is too focused on the opposite sex and too under the influence to say anything of value, which should tell you a thing or two about how he copes with life in general. Celeste's best friend, Beth (Ari Graynor), seems downright devastated by everything, perhaps because she's currently engaged and fears her marriage may someday end up like Celeste and Jesse's. Celeste is fairly close with her gay co-worker, Scott (Elijah Wood), and repeatedly runs the developing situation by him for his two cents. He's probably the most levelheaded character in the entire film, although he isn't saying what the audience is already thinking.

Celeste will make a surprising emotional connection with a spoiled teen pop star named Riley Banks (Emma Roberts), who goes to Celeste's company in order have her newest album marketed for today's audiences. To reveal the hilarious mistake made in the logo design would be doing you a great disservice; here is a visual gag that comes out of nowhere and, in the best possible sense, throws the audience for a loop. Suffice it to say, the personality clash is palpable, and the two initially want nothing to do with each other. This is not a simple case of Celeste eventually discovering the "real" Riley Banks; it's more a matter of Celeste coming to terms with who Riley is and realizing that even a young woman packaged and sold within an inch of her life can have her heart broken.

Another important subplot involves a man named Paul (Chris Messina), who intentionally signs himself up for yoga classes to meet women. He uses that method to enter Celeste's life, and although she initially resists him, romcom logic dictates that the two will eventually start dating. What's not made explicitly clear is whether or not they will end up together; he's a decent enough guy, although the situation with Jesse, who's always so passive about everything, will repeatedly complicate matters. I've given passing grades to numerous romantic comedies, but it's always refreshing when filmmakers go for something unconventional. "Celeste and Jesse Forever" not only stars Rashida Jones but was also co-written by her, which proves surprisingly beneficial to the story. Who better to capture the essence of a character than the woman who contributed to her very creation?

-- Chris Pandolfi (www.atatheaternearyou.net)
13 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Brilliant! Charming, honest, fun and unpredictable!
RaySchecter19705 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the best films I have seen in a long while! It is a surprising masterpiece that captures the subtle intricacies of a modern relationship, divorce, friendship...I have never seen a film that delves into this type of a relationship in such an honest, poignant way while being completely unique. It is completely charming, hilarious and has a perfect marriage of humor and heart. I was lucky enough to see it at the LA film festival and it was my absolute favorite film there. Rashida and Andy Samberg are incredible together. They have perfect chemistry. Emma Roberts and Chris Messina also standout. The writing is flawless.

I don't want to give any spoilers, but I must say that this is the most refreshing, unique, moving and hilarious film I have seen in years. It reminds me of how I felt when watching Annie Hall. It's the kind if film you will watch over and over. I can't wait to see it again. I absolutely LOVED the movie!!!!
13 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Everybody's annoying in their own special way
SnoopyStyle31 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Rashida Jones & Andy Samberg are Celeste & Jesse. They are best friends who are getting divorced, except they want to stay friend.

Ari Graynor & Eric Christian Olsen are their best friends Beth & Tucker who are getting married. They can't understand Celeste & Jesse's relationship. "It's weird." For most of this movie, everybody is annoying. Celeste is a know-it-all. Jesse is a slacker loser. The people they meet are all douche-bags and drug dealers, both friends & strangers. It is a whole hour of HELL watching this movie full of annoying self obsessed people.

Emma Roberts is a pop princess Riley client of Celeste. At the beginning, she is yet another annoying character in the movie. However her character turns it around. She calls Celeste on her arrogance, "Contempt prior to investigation". This breaks Celeste down to her core, and she spirals down. Until Riley comes to her rescue again, this time commiserating over failed relationships.

Riley is truly the big emotional catalyst. Only she needed to save this movie earlier. The "Contempt..." line comes 1 hour into the movie. Before that, it was stuck in emotional neutral. That's way too long.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Rashida and Andy For Ever
M. J Arocena2 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Oh, finally! A smart romantic comedy with great chemistry between it's charming protagonists. Rashida Jones is, not just beautiful, but unique. And what about Andy Samberg? Wonderful. With his enormous features, big nose, big mouth, lots of teeth in no particular order, he manages to be delicate and tender. I believed him, totally. Okay, well, that's the solid base in which you can build anything. To connect with the characters on the screen is a principal ingredient for a fulfilling tale of any kind. I left the theater feeling upbeat and optimistic. I worry a little for Rashida left to try her luck with Chris Messina. He's far too convincing in "The Newsroom". Joking aside, go see it.
20 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Watched at LA film fest
bmooser-369-3495915 July 2012
I saw this film at LA Film fest and loved it! Easily the best indie love story since 500 days of summer. Rashida Jones is heartwarming and really funny in the movie. Highly recommended! Plus its got a great score, in a summer full of remakes and superhero movies Celeste and Jesse stands out above the rest as a refreshingly original flick. Its really great to see Andy Samburg stretching his wings and bringing some serious tones in addition to his humor. No other young comic actor delivers funny lines like Samburg. Go see it and be ready to laugh and cry and smile. Looking forward to watching what happens next from the pen of Jones and McCormack.
23 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Just seems like forever
Quietb-19 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Celeste and Jesse don't last forever. This ninety one minute movie takes forever.

A good montage of their courting days is fast and fun with quick shots of Celeste and Jesse getting together and writing their initials in the sand. So much for the visuals, nearly everything else is dialogue driven.

There's a feeling of a heavy hand of the writer. Little explanation of why they were getting divorced except "Jesse doesn't have a car." The writer needs the divorce set up.

The writer works too hard to make things hip. There are plenty of jokes that fall flat. Masterbating lip balm and baby corn isn't funny. The club scenes, drug use scenes, and foul language come across pretentious.

There are redundant scenes that repeat previously seen action to a different character. The movie has a drab look like the light package didn't fit the camera package.

Andy Samberg sleep walks his role. Rashida Jones wrote her character obnoxious and glib with an if you have nothing to say or do, don't show real emotion, just smile.

It's not a good title. It's not a good movie. No need to see it in a theater as it will be available on other platforms near you shortly.
16 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Celeste and Jesse Forever is failing comedy in my mind
dalydj-918-25517521 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Not even the comedy skills of Jones can save this film from being a boring romantic comedy that is telling too much stories that I did not feel emotionally invested on the centre relationship"

Sometimes in film we get to see relationships begin and end and this film is an example of these type of films but like most romantic comedies it is boring to watch especially with characters like these. The film is about Celeste Martin (Rashida Jones) and Jesse Abrams (Andy Samberg) who after being married at the start of film till the end are going through the hard time that is a divorce. During this period they stay best friends until the time when they have to move on and date. Of course Celeste struggles with Jesse moving on while she has to deal with her own work problems which include her gay best friend and a pop star she does not like.

The film suffers from some of the clique moments that happen in a story like this but that is not even the worst thing about the film. If they film mostly focused on the key relationship maybe I would have enjoyed the film more but of course some other plot lines such as an annoying new untalented pop star and a best friend's wedding. The development of the film is fine just because the main actors are charming through the chemistry they have. The film does take a risk in the way it ends because most films like this would somehow find a way in the find to change everything letting the mains get back together but in the end of this film the decision to let them separate was different and the only real positive thing I can say about the film.

Rashida Jones playing Celeste and she plays her usual character persona that she has been using for some time and even when it is a delightful character I wanted to see her do something different because I do like her as an actress. Also Jones was the co writer so I can only blame her for writing this character that is so similar to most performances she gives. Andy Samberg plays Jesse he just for me does not have much presence on screen and even when he tries his comedy I was not laughing at his jokes but rolling my eyes. Especially when most of his dramatic scenes are with Jones he just has no talent and made the film even worse then it could have been. All the supporting players are just on screen for these two mains but sometimes in one scene they can be better. Some of those actors are Chris Messina, Elijah Wood and Will McCormack in their small roles.

The film is not good and trying to make me care for characters in this situation I would usually feel happy for them. The writing is bad and some of the acting is not funny when it try's to be. I would not recommend watching no matter how much you like the actors or romantic comedies.

MOVIE GRADE: D- (MVP: Rashida Jones)
11 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great movie
deutschlars21 August 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I highly recommend it.

It is a small movie, but it is not an art-house film. This is a universal story, well told and shot like a Hollywood film. Meaning no shaky iPhone aesthetic or bad sound. It is the rare case of best of both worlds.

It is funny, believable, unique and very current / of our time. I am not surprised it was an audience favorite at Sundance. Even the audience on a Monday night at Arclight Hollywood clapped...

The cast is great and Rashida Jones proves that she can carry a movie. This movie is much better than recent indie favorites like "jeff, Who lives at home" by the Duplat Brothers for example. I hope to see more of everybody involved in this.

I may go and see it again.
11 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Authentic and surprising movie dealing with relationships and heartbreaks
estebangonzalez101 March 2013
¨At last love wins. You guys are lucky to be best friends.¨

Celeste and Jesse Forever is an authentic romantic comedy directed by Lee Toland Krieger (winner of the Independent Spirit Award in 2010 for the screenplay of The Vicious Kind) and written by first timers Rashida Jones and Will McCormack. They are mostly known for their acting abilities, but they did receive an Independent Spirit nomination for their collaboration in this screenplay. Rashida Jones also stars in this film and McCormack has a supporting role as well. The story feels real and authentic and despite the fact that it stars Andy Samberg this is not as much as a comedy as it is a romantic drama. This is a very different role than what Samberg has us used to and he gives a very convincing performance alongside Rashida Jones who really delivers here. This may be her best performance to date. What I enjoyed most about their characters is that they were deeply flawed and vulnerable towards each other, but despite that they still managed to be really likable. I thought it was a very honest portrayal about two best friends who fall in love with each other at a very young age and have problems making the transition to adulthood together. In a way this is a very different romantic comedy since it begins sort of upside down with the romantic montage at the beginning of the movie and the disintegration of their relationship from then on. I really was surprised with the opening of the film since I really didn't know what this movie was about. The movie transitions nicely from being serious at times to being more playful at others, but it's all handled in a very authentic and believable way.

The movie begins with a romantic montage between Jesse (Andy Sandberg) and Celeste (Rashida Jones), two best friends in love with each other with a nice indie soundtrack in the background. When the story begins we are surprised to discover that the two friends aren't actually in a relationship anymore, since they have been separated for 6 months and are planning on getting divorced after six years of marriage. You wouldn't know that if you were an outsider because the couple seems to get along with each other perfectly. Jesse and Celeste remain close friends and spend almost all day talking to each other. Jesse also happens to be living in Celeste's guest house as he is currently unemployed and seems to be a bit of a slacker. Celeste on the other hand is a successful trend forecaster who has recently written a book on the matter. It seems that the main issue between them during their marriage was that Jesse was a little too childish and irresponsible. Anyway, they seem to get along better now as friends. They spend a lot of time with their friends, Beth (Ari Graynor) and Tucker (Eric Christian Olsen) who are engaged, and think that the two should work out their issues. Celeste is currently working for an important client, a pop artist sensation named Riley (Emma Roberts), along with her partner Scott (Elijah Wood). Their friendship is put to the test when Jesse begins dating another woman and Celeste struggles to let go of feelings she thought weren't there anymore.

I really enjoyed this film because it tackled the issues of best friends and breakup in a very authentic and real way. Rashida Jones gives a strong performance although she did go a little over the top with her reaction over Jesse dating someone else. She plays this character that thinks is so successful and smarter than everyone else. That is basically what hurt her relationship with Jesse since she considers him a slacker who seems to be heading nowhere with his life. She feels like Jesse is too immature for her, but at the same time that is what she loves about him because when the two are together they do a lot of childish things together. Their relationship is complicated, and the film depicts it in a very authentic way. This is an enjoyable indie romantic drama that is definitely worth your time. Rashida Jones should get some stronger roles offered her way because she's a talented actress and proved here that she can carry a movie. This is a strong emotional film that will leave you with a smile on your face and at the same time a sense of nostalgia. I agree with Mary Pols from TIME magazine where she said ¨I'd rather watch five divorce movies like this than one more featuring Katherine Heigl getting married.¨ Break up can be really hard and this movie shows it in an authentic way.

3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I learned something. I want to see it again!
vnelson-418-2498139 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This was a funny, smart, and poignant movie. The characters are likable and continue to be likable as they evolve and as the story progresses. You want to know these people better. They are complex, charming, and most of all very real. It isn't often that you actually come away with a new understanding about human relationships, while you are entertained. You get the point without being preached to. Instead, you come to understand something about life that is never stated but becomes clear (or almost clear) as the characters grow and change. Or do they change? Things are not always as they seem. I loved this movie. I need to see it again.
8 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A new take on a sweet and funny romantic comedy overtaken by unlikable characters
napierslogs23 September 2012
Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) are best friends forever. They dated in high school then they got married and they love each other more than anything else in the world. Now they're getting divorced. It's a romantic comedy type story told backwards, kind of. It's not about how Celeste and Jesse fell in love, it's about how they're going to move on.

Independent romantic comedies are always better than Hollywood romantic comedies, so this has the decent set-up and follow-through and various obstacles in Celeste and Jesse's way for comedic purposes. It is sweet and fairly funny. However, it could lose its audience before it gets to the romantic ending.

What "Celeste & Jesse Forever" needs is likable characters. It doesn't have any. Celeste is an egotistical, hate-filled, pseudo-intellectual with a serious superiority complex. She insults everybody she meets with snappy, trendy lines devaluing their entire lives. We don't get to know Jesse nearly as well as we get to know Celeste. He's presented as a lazy, self-involved free-loader who makes rash decisions for self-pleasure. But it's hard to say if that really is what Jesse is like, or if that is just how Celeste described him to us.

Their best friends, all played by intriguing actors, were only there to further our comprehension of Celeste and Jesse's relationship. They weren't complete characters for us to like or get to know. Celeste's potential suitors were immediately painted as good and decent guys, whom I would have been happy to spend more time with. But Celeste's constant self-obsession didn't leave much room for anybody else.

The make-up and costume department did a great job – there was a Halloween scene where I knew which characters were dressed up as which celebrities before the script told me. Small moments of humour like that are appreciated.

Celeste's smarter-than-everybody-else attitude was played up for laughs towards the end, including one great line by Emma Roberts as a pop culture-embodying celebrity. She could have been likable but wasn't introduced until later on in the film and was way under-used.

"Celeste & Jesse Forever" was in desperate need for likable characters, and although they eventually gave a reason for animosity towards them, it was too little too late. We needed likable characters. Celeste was far from likable and Jesse might not have even been a real character.
7 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Admirable effort from two first-time writers; an effective relationship study
chaz-2815 September 2012
From an outside observer's perspective, Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) are the perfect married couple. They have multiple inside jokes, sing along to the radio together, and have been together since high school. However, Celeste and Jesse are separated and have been for the last six months. Jesse, the less successful of the two professionally, moved out out their house but only to the guest house/studio in the back. They still have dinner with their friends together and Celeste, perhaps without realizing it, still wears a heart-shaped necklace which says "C&J 4ever".

Celeste and Jesse Forever is a first time writing credit for Rashida Jones and Will McCormack who plays Skillz, the on/off again couple's marijuana supplier and sounding board. For first time screenwriters, the screenplay is noticeably witty without tripping into slapstick or tried and true romantic comedy clichés. There are a few problems though, Celeste is a successful trend forecaster (what?) and the line "Are we really doing this?" or "Is this happening right now?" pops up in almost every situation. When Celeste calls out a coffee shop line cutter, the guys says, "Are we really going this right now?" When yoga classmate a Paul (Chris Messina) tries to ask out Celeste, she naturally responds, "Are you really doing this right now?" Yes, this is trivial, but if dialogue like this distracts the audience during the film, it is unnecessary.

Jesse wants to get back together with Celeste. Yes, they fight and he mooches off of his wife because he is an unemployed artist, but they are so good together. After getting his hopes dashed on too many times, Jesse finally screws up his nerve and moves out. This knocks the wind out of Celeste. For her, Jesse is as predictable as the morning commute. When she doesn't feel like having his company, she just sends him back outside to the studio. But now he's gone. Does Celeste even know who she is sans Jesse?

At work, Celeste works comfortably for Scott (Elijah Wood), a homosexual who makes tacky gay jokes to try and seem more gay. Aside from trend forecasting and promoting her new book 'Shitegeist' which is about the death of quality pop culture, their firm also markets and brands artists. Their new client is Riley Banks (Emma Roberts) who is written as a completely vapid imitation, or actual representation, of Ke$ha. Celeste and Riley have an uncomfortable relationship as Celeste looks down on Riley as all that is wrong with the world and Riley cannot stand Celeste's condescension. It does not help that Riley's new music single is 'Do It On My Face'.

Perhaps Celeste finds it so hard to work with Riley and competently function in day-to-day life because she is having second thoughts and regrets. Was Jesse really so bad? Now that is he is out from under her shadow, what if Jesse straightens himself out, matures, but meets someone else? These are weighty issues for a comedy which turns out to be deeper and incorporates more drama than the average rom com.

Celeste and Jesse Forever is an admirable start for two new writers, a worthy relationship study, and I recommend it for any young couple on a Friday night.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Andy Samberg in a dramatic role? It works.
Warning: Spoilers
I was so excited to see this movie. Mainly because Andy Samberg was in it (Yeah, I'm one of those types of movie goers). I knew going into it that it wouldn't be a comedy and quite frankly I was curious to see a different side of Andy Samberg aside from the comedian he is.

The film itself was emotional but there were also bits of humor involved with almost every scene. That itself gave me a relief from the nervousness I had felt for each character. I'm impressed with Rashida Jones and am now a fan of hers because of this movie.

Overall, I really liked it. The film panned out nicely and kept me wanting more. Yes, it's a different movie for Andy Samberg but it came together nicely. It was great to see his versatility as well. I will definitely see it again when it comes out in theaters.
9 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Not-So Romantic Comedy
Film Watchin Fool6 May 2013
Watch this if....you want to watch a movie about relationships, but don't but expect an all out romantic comedy.

Acting/Casting: 5.5* - The cast, including the headliners (Jones & Samberg) screams romantic comedy. Unfortunately, I felt like the group was put into a semi-romantic comedy, which didn't do them any favors.

Directing/Cinematography/Technical: 5* - I will say that the movie has some slow moments and at times it lost my attention. The directing was OK, but I found myself waiting for the movie to end.

Plot/Characters: 5.5* - A separated couple that still has feelings for one another try to remain friends after some extraordinary circumstances complicate their dynamics. The premise is nothing new except for the spin it takes on a troubled couple. I was still a bit surprised at the seriousness of the film, especially since Rashida Jones co-wrote it.

Entertainment Value: 5* - As mentioned, it had slow moments and a few mildly humorous ones. It is not a movie I would go out of my way to see, but it wasn't horrible either.

My Score: 5.5+5+5.5+5 = 21/4 = 5.25

Email your thoughts to filmwatchinfool@gmail.com
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
overrated by most critics
zee11 March 2014
This film did nothing for me, and the 90 minutes I spent with it felt like twice that time.

Part of the problem for me, possibly, was I just watched Liberal Arts and Your Sister's Sister, which were much better written, had more wit, and had less dull traditional views and a few minor insights to impart.

Part of the problem is I just don't get the appeal of Jesse. He's not good-looking. He's a loser. He has no paycheck. He's acting like he's 18 but he's in his 30's. He's not particularly bright. Unless this guy has amazing hidden sexual talents (though these were never hinted at, and there were opportunities to do so), I just don't get the appeal. That more than one woman (all lovely to look at) seems interested in him shocks me. Zero women should be interested in him. I'm used to such inexplicably attractive loser male characters being written by male writers, but it's a shock to see women writing this too.

Initially Celeste seems the better bet, but she ends up being irritating too, and what the heck is her job supposed to be? Is that a real job? Maybe the writers need to hang out somewhere other than Hollywood to get a sense of how real people earn their money.

It's a movie about two people I'd never date, never be friends with, would cross the street to avoid (the masturbation of tiny phallic object isn't even sophomoric. It's junior high humor and they do it REPEATEDLY. Save me.) The only character who has any appeal is the pop star character. I liked how she was written to have hidden depths. The only scene I found at all funny was the bad first date with the photographer. And the soundtrack irritated me.

And in the end, this movie said nothing new about relationships. Yeah, we get stuck with wrong people and it's hard to leave a marriage, but this shouldn't be news to anyone over the age of 18.

Unlikeable characters doing very little, slowly, to irksome music. Not a good way to spend your precious, finite time.
6 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Post-Modern Nightmare
Mr. E18 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Where to begin? Although, a generally abysmal film as far as the plot is concerned, Celeste and Jessie Forever, provides excellent insight into post-modern liberal metropolitan fantasy with all of its short-comings included. From the beginning we are introduced to a traditional American couple, I.E. best friends since high school, went to college together, and then got married. Apparently down the road a split-up occurred, yet our main characters were able to still remain best friends even though they were not dating. The catalyst occurs when their best friend "blows up" on them one night, which causes them to reconsider their fantasy friendship and to try to move on with their respective lives as two individuals going separate directions. It is here we start to learn more about our main characters.

Celeste, is portrayed as the ideal liberal woman: smart, strong, successful, witty, and in-control. While Jesse is portrayed as the by- product of a feminist world: boy-man, no-job, dependent on the woman, indecisive, and perpetually confused.

Jesse eventually breaks from Celeste's control to form his own reality, and in doing so meets a woman and impregnates her. (Bafoon!) He then decides to stay with her and get married. The story then focuses on Celeste's misadventures with various male buffoons, yoga class, and other general rich liberal portrays of life in general. She generally goes through a process of finding herself while letting go of Jesse. The movie also cycles through confusing emotions as the main characters each try to get back together with each other, but are never entirely successful. Eventually at the end they come to the realization that they are to be friends and to accept each other as needed.

Overall this movie really does well to portray the idea affluent liberal feminist hero, yet also does a good job showing the dark side of that lifestyle by accurately showing the consequences of feminist ideals weighed against the reality of daily life.

So, what about the values that are being promoted by this movie?

1) Throughout the movie we are exposed to various homosexual innuendos such as "stroking penis scenes", "dick in the butt logo", "gay bar scene", "10% of Americans are gay", and Celete's gay co-worker played by Elijah wood. The viewer cannot but help to be bombarded by this message.

2) Divorce. The issue of divorce gets its fair share of screen time as a point of contention and dread. However, it is also dealt with lightly and is generally accepted by each of the characters as being okay. The main characters laugh through the divorce proceedings.

3) Open Sexuality. Throughout the movie the main characters are in sexual situations with various side characters. It is apparently okay to do what you want sexually with various people without consequence. No real consequences are shown, with the exception of emotional issues after Jesse and Celete accidentally make love. However, later on, the main character Jesse appears to be the only one to take responsibility for a child by marrying the mother of his baby.

4) Marriage. If anything this movie really shows that complete commitment is necessary for marriage to work. The affluent liberal feminist hero, Celete, is apparently unfit for marriage.

5) Men. In this movie men are generally portrayed as buffoons. They are generally weak, and in need of being trashed by the liberal feminist hero Celeste. Jesse is obviously a buffoon. Celeste's boss played by Elijah wood is obviously a goof compared to her. Celeste's best-friend's husband is obviously a goof with bad dancing skills. Finally, Jesse's pot-smoking friend is seen as a sleaze-ball that is just trying to take advantage of Celeste.

So, after watching this movie and noting each of the agendas listed above, no wonder the rating is so low. If America is really like this, we are doomed. Man I am depressed!
5 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Right in the feels
london-puff1 June 2014
This movie had me reaching for tissues for it has put me through a roller coaster of emotions. Don't know whether it's because I am generally an emotional person, but a relationship between the main two characters felt so real and so... lovely and sweet that I felt a connection right away. Basically, everything they were feeling, I was feeling it too. And it was happiness and sadness and anger and then just pain. But it was wonderful, it truly was. It was also very funny, which is expected from a Rashida Jones, and to be able to laugh through the sad parts even, made me very content. I also very much enjoyed the soundtrack! Lily Allen, yes, thank you very much! Everything was great in my opinion, I enjoyed every aspect of this film even though it made me cry like a baby. I warmly recommend it, it will be worth your time and it will definitely find a way to your heart.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
You had to live it
Angelo Soares29 April 2017
Although some things might be exaggerated or exacerbated: if you ever had a lover that was your best friend but for one reason or another didn't work out, if you still smile when you see each other, if you know in your heart that your love is eternal but you also know it will never work like it did in the past because it has been tarnished by life unforgiving circumstances... give this movie a chance. It will resonate with you.

8/10, I feel like this movie was different on it's approach and I found Rashida Jones writing refreshing/different.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews