FILM: Celeste and Jesse Forever

You don’t see many amiable divorces these days which might be why you don’t see many films about them but it’s certainly a novel idea, at least in theory, and it’s also the concept behind the terrific new romantic comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg.  The film might best be summed up as ‘When Sally Left Harry’ as it mixes some terrific laughs into a situation that is both heartbreaking and somehow romantic at the same time.

Samberg and Jones are an engaging and realistic duo and Jones, who proved herself in ensembles like The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Our Idiot Brother has no problem stepping into the lead role as Celeste, the career minded, alpha in the relationship alongside Samberg as Jesse the slacker with potential.  The story might be a bit of a stretch at times but the characters draw you in and the supporting cast helps keep it balanced with Elijah Wood playing a terrifically un-stereotypical gay best friend, Emma Roberts as a shallow pop star with surprising depth, and Will McCormack, who co-wrote the film with Jones based partially on their own relationship, as Skillz the pot dealer and unofficial therapist.  It’s also not surprising that Quincy Jones’ daughter has a standout soundtrack in the film which really aids the contemporary feel and enhances the big moments.

The humor and romance make for a great film even though a film about divorce might be a hard sell but the film is well worth the gamble.

Celeste and Jesse Forever is in theaters August 3, 2012.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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