Celeste and Jesse Forever - 2012
Director: Lee Toland Kreiger
Starring: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg
It’s easy to boil Celeste and Jesse Forever down to single word: Awkward. Like doing a movie review two months after you pulled it, this movie looks like the script just sat, unfinished on a table, until someone said “You know, I’m tired of looking at this thing…I guess I should just fucking get it over with.” I was excited for this movie too, but quickly after the 4 minute Up-inspired epileptic seizure that was a photo montage of Celeste and Jesse’s entire relationship, I realized that I wasn’t in for some charming rom-com, but more an obnoxious dramedy riddled with terribly uncomfortable and forced joke sequences. It’s the same problem I have with Judd Apatow humor: it’s funnier reliving it with a bunch of friends than it is seeing it play out on screen.
|Jesse and Celeste sharing a kiss for no |
other reason than because the backdrop
was kind of cool for it...
C + J 4Ever (They wrote it on a cake…I can use it) focuses around a couple 6 months after they got divorced in what I can only imagine was one of the dumbest proceedings ever. The two still live together, do everything together, have their awkward moments together, make new inside jokes together, and pretty much confuse the hell out of everyone around them that don’t believe they’re not together…together. Even I was baffled as to why they weren’t together and although the reason for the divorce is a solid one (Jesse’s a loser who won’t get a job and grow up…), I was never convinced even the movie believed it was good enough. And as much as I hate to make my entire feeling of the movie come down to that one thing…that’s a big thing and nothing sat well with me because of it. It’s like listening to an entire church sermon for the first time but at the very beginning hearing the pastor pray to the Flying Spaghetti Monster then tell the audience “but what I’m about to tell you could work too. Just follow along.”
In a moment of forced awkwardness, Jesse finds out that a woman he slept with 3 month prior was having a baby, and as much as he enjoys living in the most uncomfortable friend-zone situation ever, he was going to have to move out of Celeste’s place and focus on moving forward without her. This puts Celeste in a funk of “wait, I can no longer enjoy the company of someone who I have perfect chemistry with who lives with me, shares everything with me, and has a clear attraction to me? I wonder if he thought I was stringing him along…” (Women just don’t…get…the friend-zone thing…) From there we watch Celeste try to move forward herself while continuing to string Jesse along hoping that…I don’t know…Jesse’s other woman gets hit by a bus at the end and it all just works out. Given some of the awkward situations this movie put the characters in for no reason, I can’t help but think that would have been an acceptable ending.
|Elijah Wood's entire purpose in this|
film was to let you know that his
character was uber-gay.
I rattled around this one for a bit. It even strung me along! Do I stick this movie in the 6-7 friend-zone range? To reside on my shelf, thought about, but probably not embraced for a long, long time? Or do I just tell it to it straight and say “I’m sorry movie…I can’t think of any reason to continue this relationship. I’m going to let you live…but I’m not particularly excited about it.”
I’ve settled for the latter. I don’t want to be THAT guy. So, true to its cake, I give C + J 4Ever 4 dustbusters out of ten. If you want to see a movie about a couple that you learn early on is doomed to fail at the start, please watch 500 Days of Summer. It’s a much better movie.