BY ISA MONGTAGNESE
Celeste and Jesse Forever is not your typical rom-com. It’s more of an indie rom-com (whatever that means) and definitely not something you would expect to see Rashida Jones (Parks and Rec) and Andy Samberg (SNL) in.
I am madly in love with Rashida Jones, especially after I read that she wrote and produced this film! She really is the star of this movie and stole the show for me. There were silly moments that I didn’t care for, but mostly, Jones was just so honest. Which I think is why the movie really won me over. It was so heartbreaking and real, I just wanted to hug everyone in it and shout “I’VE BEEN THERE!!!” Don’t get me wrong: I get that it’s still movie land and nothing is that rosy and peachy, but I got some real moments out of it. It got me, OK? It got me.
Celeste and Jesse are a thirty-something recently divorced couple/best friends. The film starts with a photo set of their relationship and break up, then jumps right to the months after their separation. It’s clear the two are more friends than couple, but are still in “after break-up limbo” — they live close, spend a lot of time together, share friends and even work a bit together.
Most of the movie. Celeste and Jesse try to navigate through each step of really being separated and it’s weird, hard and complicated. And the movie nailed it with that combo for sure — Rashida and her writing partner (the stoner in the movie) obviously know what break-ups are like. It was also really nice to hear from adults instead of teenagers for once on this topic. There’s a nice balance between the serious stuff and the trivial stuff that comes with break-ups.
There are more and more movies like this coming out and it’s so nice to see them break the cycle of gross-out/penis-joke/bromance rom-coms. This one wasn’t even a that romantic! (Just for the record, there was one penis joke.) I’m just happy there’s an audience for more honest movies about couples figuring shit out
P.S.- Shout out to Elijah Wood! Damn, he’s funny!