¨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 likeable. 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.