Monday, September 03, 2012

Celeste & Jesse Forever

Today I saw Celeste & Jesse Forever, starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg.

They're not your average divorcing couple—Celeste (Jones) and Jesse (Samberg) still live on the same property, still go out with friends together and still say "I love you" at the end of each night.

So what's wrong with that? Well, it annoys their friends and keeps the pair from moving on to other people (and signing those every-so-important legal papers). Like the end of any relationship, a major catalyst is needed and this couple gets one, though it's a surprise to both.

How they handle it is very gender stereotypical: Celeste cries a lot, eats a lot, gets publicly drunk and asks friends how Jesse is doing. Jesse finds comfort in intimacy, avoids confrontation and goes on with his life.

The man accepts things as they are (even if he's not 100 percent happy) and the woman can't let it go.

Instead of being bitter about this portrayal, I chose to go with it and was satisfied all the more for doing so. Without over-romanticizing things, Jones and co-writer Will McCormack draw the characters away from a film-friendly unreality and thrust them into human reactions and behaviors.

Although it wasn't as happy as I may have hoped it would be, it was refreshingly authentic, and the two leads did a wonderful job of communicating both their joy and pain.

If more movies were this honest, perhaps none of us would have ridiculous delusions of grandeur in our love lives.


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