Just a quick reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, it may be best to move on!
As this is the first My Thoughts On… post of the new year, I thought I would change things up slightly. It occurs to me that if you haven’t seen the film in question, you probably don’t read the post for fear of spoilers, not to mention the fact that reading a post about a film that you haven’t seen isn’t that interesting! So alongside what I liked and what I didn’t like, I thought I’d include a new section in which I tell you why you might like this film. So if you haven’t seen this, you can just skip down to Why Should You See This Film.
A divorcing couple tries to maintain their friendship while they both pursue other people. (via IMDb)
What I Liked
- Celeste and Jesse Forever is exactly my type of film. It’s a romantic comedy without being overly schmaltzy or predictable, and it actually made me laugh, which frankly, most romantic comedies do not.
- Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Eric Christian Olsen and Chris Messina are all part of this cast; all four of them are in some of my favourite current television programmes, so it’s nice to see them in a film. Rashida Jones is pretty fabulous, in particular, as Celeste. She starts the film as the career girl, and doesn’t want to be with Jesse because “the father of my children will own a car”, but throughout the film starts to lose it as Jesse starts to grow up and move away from her. I didn’t always like Celeste, but she always entertained me.
- My favourite exchange of the film came from Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Skillz (Will McCormack). “Do you think the Obamas really love each other?” “Yeah, I do. I really do.” Jones and McCormack were also the writers of the film, it’s little wonder that they gave themselves the best line.
- I am not a fan of Emma Roberts, at all. I don’t know what it is about her, but I can’t warm to her, and I don’t enjoy watching her. She’s in this film as Riley Banks, a teenage pop star, and I still wouldn’t say I’m a fan, but her obnoxiousness actually lends itself to this part. She made me laugh on more than one occasion.
What I Didn’t Like
- Celeste and Jesse Forever goes out of its way to avoid all the usual romcom cliches, and unfortunately it kind of shows. It sometimes feels as though it’s trying a little bit too hard to confound expectations. Also, it doesn’t quite succeed; there’s still a drunken wedding speech that provides catharsis for Celeste, and there’s still a gay best friend.
- Even the attempts to subvert the gay best friend trope doesn’t really work; Elijah Wood’s Scott isn’t your typical homosexual confidante that you see so often in these type of films, but he has moments where he tries to be, and Celeste lampshades these moments by saying things like “No, that didn’t work.” It just all feels a little bit forced. Either make him the gay stereotype, or don’t, but don’t try to be super clever about it.
Why Should You See This Film?
I would say that if you enjoy romcoms, then you’d probably enjoy watching this, even if it’s just to watch how it tries to avoid all the usual clichés. It’s certainly not as clever as it probably thinks it is, but it’s still entertaining. It’s not a mumblecore film, but it put me in mind of the ones I have seen, so if you have seen Safety Not Guaranteed you might also enjoy this (if you haven’t seen Safety Not Guaranteed, you should, because it’s awesome). Rashida Jones has proved her comedy chops on Parks and Recreation, and while this isn’t as funny as that television series, she’s as likeable here as she is as Ann Perkins. Celeste and Jesse Forever is on Netflix, so if you have a subscription and you like this kind of film, you should definitely check it out.