The Rom-Com has been done to death. Or at least for the most part. We might get one or maybe even two a year that don’t make me want to bash my head into the wall repeatedly. But the rest of them? Let’s say that I may have a bit of brain damage. Fortunately, for me (and the world), Celeste and Jesse Forever is a wonderful romantic comedy. It balances the emotions of a failing, but loving relationship with comedic wit and sincerity.
Written by exes themselves, Will McCormack and Rashida Jones tell a story of a couple, Celeste (Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg), who remain very close despite being in a middle of a divorce. The chemistry between Jones and Samberg is electric. Celeste and Jesse’s goofiness makes you smile, and like their friends (played by Ari Graynor and Eric Christian Olsen), they don’t get why they’re separated. “It’s weird!” they say. Frankly, it is weird, and that begins to slowly dawn on Celeste and Jesse. It leads to a story of love, regrets, heartbreak, acceptance and courage.
One of the best things about this movie is that it doesn’t force that idea that romantic love can survive through anything. While I adored Celeste and Jesse, it was obvious that the love they had for each other morphed into something different. It was interesting watching a story like that, to see two characters genuinely go through the motions of such a revelation. Rashida Jones was especially remarkable as she played Celeste trying to accept and move on. Andy Samberg put away the comedic goofs, and for some moments really delivered a sweet performance.
The rest of the cast worked well. Ari Graynor as usual, plays the best friend well. Emma Roberts plays an edgy teen pop star that Celeste has to market to an audience. Elijah Wood plays Celeste’s gay boss, who I actually found really funny. Will McCormack portrays Jesse’s best friend and Celeste’s smoking buddy. McCormack was funny, and I especially loved the scenes between him and Jones. Chris Messina (who is literally everywhere these days) plays a kind of dorky potential love interest for Celeste. Altogether, they brought lots of humor and heart to the film.
Even with its emotional moments, there are funny jokes and scenes scattered throughout the film. Celeste and Jesse are so weird, but so funny. That’s what I loved about the humor in the film. It wasn’t like the stereotypical kind of jokes that have been rehashed over and over. It was more awkward funny than “hey, watch me crack a joke.” The thing is that everyone can relate to awkward funny. That’s pretty much what my life is made up of.
I can’t recommend Celeste and Jesse Forever enough. It’s definitely one of the two best romantic comedies (the other one is Hope Springs) to come out all year. Don’t miss your chance to go on this funny and emotional journey with Celeste and Jesse.
Celeste and Jesse Forever is now playing in select theaters.