Celeste And Jesse Forever
What do you do when your soulmate and best friend is poor spourse material and your "happily ever after" is going nowhere?
Celeste and Jesse Forever starts with that question and then, rung by rung, makes its way through the possibilities. This is a rom-com with a determination to be mature rather than sugary; it’s not at all obvious where the film, co-written by star Rashida Jones ("Our Idiot Brother," "The Social Network") is headed, be it the territory of eventual reconciliation familiar from movies like "The Awful Truth," or the blue sky of ways truly destined to part.
This is a movie determined to challenge expectations from the start. Celeste (Jones) and husband Jesse ("Saturday Night Live"’s Andy Samberg) canoodle, giggle, and engage in the kind of banter that happy couples engage in, all of which would be fine if they weren’t in the middle of a divorce. The disconnect freaks out their friends, but makes perfect sense to the two of them; they see their ongoing relationship as a mark of sophistication. They can split up without tearing each other apart.
The problem is one of ambition. Jesse is an artist, which seems to mean that he drifts through life, bag of corn chips in one hand and television remote in the other, more concerned with surf conditions than career prospects. Celeste, on the other hand, is a type-A personality, driven to succeed: She’s founded her own company (with gay buddy Scott, played by Elijah Wood), written a book, and started in on the TV and newspaper circuit with commentary and sound bites as a "trend forecaster."
She’s also scary smart: At one point, Celeste dissects a potential suitor with a display of ratiocination worthy of Sherlock Holmes. Evidently, it’s not just Jesse, but people in general, and especially popular culture, that gets on her nerves; no wonder things haven’t worked out at home. As she’s striving to make a name for herself, Celeste has come to see Jesse’s laid-back style as a waste of time. "I love Jesse," she tells best friend Beth (Ari Graynor), "but he doesn’t have a checking account... The father of my children will have a car!"
Here’s where the film runs into some problems. While the story leads to unexpected places, there’s a heavy dose of gender cliché that clings to the movie like a push-up bra.