I feel as if they should put disclaimers on movies like Celeste and Jessie Forever. Something along the lines of, “WARNING: while the trailer made this movie seem like a light-hearted comedy, it is in fact a romance that will BREAK YOUR HEART” (ever see Young Adult with Charlize Theron? Same deal).
Of course, just because it was surprisingly heartbreaking doesn’t mean it isn’t an awesome movie–it is. In fact its awesome-ness comes from why it is so sad: it realistically portrays the pains of a break-up, and even more so, the pains of loving someone you can’t be with (and watching that is of course, well, painful). It’s a rom-com with a twist; a less-predictable, indie rom-com…the sub-plot with the Lady-Gaga-like Emma Roberts character was definitely more rom-com, but the complexity/realism of Jesse and Celeste’s relationship less so.
AND, the cast is killer. Rashida Jones (Celeste) and Andy Samberg (Jesse) are remarkably natural on-screen together, and Jones masterfully played the smart/funny/slighty-obsessive/goal-oriented business woman (jeez, as if I didn’t already have a girl-crush on her from watching The Office and Parks and Rec…). She actually co-worte the script with Will McCormack, who plays the character Skillz. The story is loosely inspired by her and McCormack’s relationship-turned-friendship, which you can read more about in a Washington post article here.
Yes, Elijah Wood is in this movie (and yes, he plays a gay man).
Alright, now I want to talk about the end of the movie, so MORGAN STOP READING HERE.***
I liked how Celeste and Jesse ended, if only because it wasn’t the typical everything-is-happy-now montage. Now of course the sap in me still wanted that montage, and for things to work out between them…but I think the idea of someone being your soul-mate even if you are not “with” them in the classic dating sense is intriguing/powerful (and a little reminiscent of the Joey/Dawson saga?) STILL, I wasn’t sure what to make of the ending scene in which they kiss. I mean, really? Even if they are “soul-mates,” dude’s having a kid with another woman (and that wasn’t no-peck…).
And STILL, sure, it would’ve been terribly cliché if Celeste and Jesse got back together, but was it making too much of a point that they didn’t? Were they characters who were actually meant to just be best-friends, or were they soul-mates separated by petty and irreparable circumstances? To me, it felt like the latter, and that added a layer of poignancy to the ending…because as this Seattle Times Review aptly put it: “You realize, midway through the movie, that this couple has snuck up on you — that you want them to be happy.”
All for now,