Celeste and Jesse Forever

Review Haiku

Rashida Jones is

Hot, Rashida Jones is BEE

YOOtiful, &hearts

Rating: Rashida Jones/5 (a good movie made better by the presence of Rashida Jones)

Celeste and Jesse Forever is the first rom-com I’ve watched that really made me question things. Not about romance itself, no, When Harry Met Sally was the perfect introspective into relationships and how people might act when in love. Also, I don’t need to learn anything about romance (fact).

No, Celeste and Jesse Forever (CJF) made me consider my inchoate movie-watching habits, and I pondered deeply the following question: Celeste is a very annoying person, but I don’t find myself annoyed by her. Is that because I find Rashida Jones so ravishing?

The short answer is yes. Does that make me a bad person? If Celeste was played by Rosie O’Donnell, would I become fed up with the character’s considerable flaws? Would I perhaps experience a bout of schadenfreude concerning Celeste’s struggles if a less attractive person was playing the role?

Maybe I would. These are the questions I ask myself. This journey is already making me introspective.

This movie was a feels train at times, and uneven at others

Surprises abound in this one. Let’s start with the overall tone of the movie. It was goofy and certainly had its vagaries, I suppose, but it was far less funny than I expected. CJF is more drama than comedy. It prefers to explore the relationship between best friends recently divorced and most of the laughs derive from the power of the leads’ personalities. When the script actually attempted to inject jokes, they were horribly soporific. This failure was one reason I had to dock a few points.

Ultimately, it’s a story about moving on. In that vein, it’s jarringly similar to My Best Friend’s Wedding – both movies have essentially identical messages: thinking that you’re right about something doesn’t mean you are. CJF is much more…serious about it, I’d say. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s the vibe I got. I don’t cry during movies, but there were a few parts in this one where I wouldn’t blame someone for shedding a tear. I’m actually glad I watched both films back-to-back. It makes me feel like an expert, drawing parallels and conclusions, as opposed to the little amateur scholar I really am.

Also, I just want to point this out, CJF and My Best Friend’s Wedding had nearly exactly the same endings. Not lying, you could probably swap the characters and put them in the other’s respective movie universes and no one in the story would miss a beat. I once again get the feeling this will not be the first time I experience this deja vu.

Let’s talk about the two leads

Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg are no Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, but they have a charming chemistry on screen that is fun to watch. Both are intensely charismatic, though I felt that Samberg’s performance was  a bit taciturn and unspectacular. I love the guy to death but I will never be able to disassociate him with the Lonely Island.

Also, totally irrelevant, but this is now my favorite Andy Samberg gif of all time:

I do think he will be a very well-regarded actor later in his career (by well-regarded, I mean he could be a borderline leading man), and I mean that seriously. He’s talented as hell and he’s funny as shit and he’s got enough personality to take over France.

SPECIAL RASHIDA JONES SECTION

I’d get in the middle of this

And this

Still beautiful

All you need to do is take a gander at my Review Haiku and you’ll know how I feel about Rashida Jones. I think all romantic comedies should included Rashida (yes, we’re on a first-name basis). She’s beautiful and amazing, talented and stunning. For 90 minutes, she made this blog an epicurean endeavor. She is almost perfect in every way………..

….I’m getting a little carried away here. But it does bear mentioning that Rashida (she lets me call her Rash, with a hard “a” sound) is more than a pretty face. She’s actually quite a good actress and her sardonic mien lends itself perfectly to the character of Celeste. While on the surface CJF seems to be about Celeste and Jesse, it’s really more about Celeste because of Rash’s on-screen presence.

And again, as I’m writing this, I wonder if I’m heaping praise because it’s well-deserved or because I’m blinded by Cupid’s arrow.

Alas, exorbitant or not, it was still a very good performance. I’m glad I watched it.

Final thoughts

Rebecca Dayan: Who is Rebecca Dayan, you ask? She’s an actress so unknown she doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. Rebecca plays Veronica, the girl carrying Jesse’s baby. She looks a little bit like Rashida, right? Well, I wrote this down in my notes and lo and behold, not three minutes later, Celeste remarks to Jesse, “She looks like a young me!” I found this amusing.

IKEA can go screw (because no one else wants to): There is a great scene in this movie that might have been stolen directly out of the scrapbook of my life: Celeste needs to assemble an IKEA drawer and calls Jesse over to help; he subsequently becomes frustrated and admits defeat as the drawer collapses into a million annoying pieces. When I took my girlfriend to grad school a few weeks ago, this exact same thing happened. Here’s David, walking into the room with confidence! This desk stands no chance. I defy you, IKEA. Then, two hours later…devastation.

My girlfriend completed the desk but let’s not talk about my worthlessness ok thank you bye

Frodo: Elijah Wood is in this movie! He plays a banana:

He also had the best line in a movie generally devoid of good ones:

“Trust me, you will like him, and also I love cock!”

No context necessary. I can’t even remember. It was just a funny line, mostly because he sang it in a high, singsongy voice.

A clip from my notes:

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 1.22.25 PM

Sappiness rating: 5/10. You know what? Not too sappy. I liked it. The ending, while almost verbatim of My Best Friend’s Wedding, was slightly less sappy. Good job, Rashida.

Conclusion

CJF has its flaws, as most movies do, but I appreciated that it wasn’t imminently predictable. It had a happysad ending (that’s a word I just made up. It means an ending where someone finally accepts they can’t have what they want and they find a way to move on). This was a solid film.

Today, I venture into the depths of the genre. I am watching Gigli today. So get your fill of happy, measured, rational writing on this post because if what I’ve been led to believe is any indication, I will have one hell of an opinion for tomorrow’s entry.

I love you, Rashida.

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