Celeste and Jesse Forever plays like a typical rom-com about two lovers struggling to make things work, but deep down you know that they’re perfect for each other. The “catch” this time is that the couple has already broken up. Both Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) are best friends, living in the same house, and still hanging out within the same social circle even after they’ve broken up. Celeste is a workaholic who is married to her job as she tries to accept the fact that the record label company she works for just signed a new up and coming pop singer (Emma Roberts) who she not only abhors but publicly trashed on T.V. Jesse is a cliché slacker who has drowned himself in an unhealthy attitude that Celeste is going to take him back. The film goes through the formulaic tug of war where one character chases after the other, and then has the roles reversed around act two.
While the film’s concept is original and Rashida Jones and Will McCormack’s screenplay has a lot of heart and soul put in it, but in the end just barely manages to be anything above average. The film is riddled with sub-plots that go nowhere and characters that serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever (I’m still wondering what the point of including Elijah Wood in the cast was). Every character, including the two leads, feels just like any other cutout rom-com character. However, the film does have some genuinely funny moments, including a recurring gag between the leads where one character finds a phallic shaped item and the two pretend to stimulate it until… well, you get the picture. It’s funny. Samberg and Jones have some chemistry together and are fun enough to watch throughout. It’s when the movie tries to be serious that the film fails and turns to cliché rather than keeping up its originality. I expect to see better work from Jones in the future, but for a first feature length screenplay the film is pretty decent. Check it out if you’re in the mood for something light and simple.
Celeste and Jesse Forever opens today in Philly area theaters.