If only Andy Samberg had had the foresight to make this his first big screen release after his exit from SNL. Alas, we were pilloried with the mass exercise in gross-out non-hilariousness that called itself That’s My Boy.
Not that Celeste and Jesse Forever is the greatest movie of all time – or even of the season. But it’s suitably well-told, acted, and feels like it could be the story of any number of real-life couples. Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) were high school sweethearts who got married young with big dreams in their eyes of what life would be like: both professionals in a nice house with lots of kids and a dog (or maybe a kitten). Ah, the American dream.
Cut to 12 years later and things haven’t worked out for them. Celeste is moving up the corporate ladder and finding success while Jesse is unemployed and unsure of what his next step should be. They’ve grown apart and life doesn’t look it’s going to bring them back together. So Celeste decides to be the “man” in the relationship and call it quits. Why draw out the process of something that’s inevitable? Divorce will be the cleanest way out. Or so she thinks.
The movie plays like a lot of romantic comedies where couples just can’t seem to get things right. Only those usually end with a wedding and a happily-ever-after scenario. This movie dares to go into that weird and ugly (and usually confusing) space when two people that were always together decide to start dating other people. It’s uncomfortable in unexpected ways and can wreak havoc on the emotional/psychological system that few would expect. Mostly, it seeks to answer that age old question:
“Why do fools fall out of love?”