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Movie review: 'Celeste and Jesse Forever'

Star and co-screenwriter Rashida Jones starts with an amicable parting and then really messes with the lives of the title couple, giving herself a strong seriocomic showcase and finally letting Andy Samberg confirm suspicions that the former “Saturday Night Live” star can really, truly act.
Oklahoman Modified: August 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm •  Published: August 31, 2012

Directed by Lee Toland Krieger, who made an impressive debut with 2009's “The Vicious Kind” (starring Jones' “Parks and Recreation” co-star, Adam Scott), “Celeste and Jesse Forever” is bolstered by nice supporting performances by Elijah Wood as Celeste's boss and Emma Roberts as Riley Banks, a Ke$ha-like pop star who the contemptuous Celeste is forced to market. But this is Jones and Samberg's show, and both give impressively emotional performances as people who smile and laugh a lot but are secretly — and then not-so-secretly — sad and getting sadder. Fortunately, the funny moments and sweet chemistry between Samberg and Jones keep “Celeste and Jesse Forever” from becoming a study in miserable-ism a la “Blue Valentine.”

The film does meander and occasionally traffics in overly familiar characters and behavioral tropes, but “Celeste and Jesse Forever” is brave enough to suggest, against the strict laws of romantic comedy dynamics, that some things cannot be fixed and true love might not conquer all. But the consolation in the post-married life of Celeste and Jesse is that smart people, if they start paying attention, can learn from their many mistakes.

George Lang


MOVIE REVIEW

“Celeste and Jesse Forever”

R1:293 stars

Starring: Andy Samberg, Emma Roberts, Elijah Wood, Rashida Jones, Ari Graynor, Eric Christian Olsen.

(Language, sexual content and drug use)

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