Celeste and Jesse Forever (2013)
Starring Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Chris Messina, Ari Graynor, Eric Christian Olsen, Will McCormack, Rebecca Dayan, Elijah Wood, and Emma Roberts
Directed by Lee Toland Krieger
Married couple Celeste (Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) recently separated, but despite this life change, they still remain the best of friends, hanging out with each other whenever they have spare time. Their friends (Ari Graynor and Eric Christian Olsen) find Celeste and Jesse's situation uncomfortable and odd -- how can they move on with their lives if they never are separate from one another? To Celeste and Jesse themselves, they're simply the best of friends who have come to realize that they are better friends than lovers, but this revelation doesn't change the fact that they care very much about each other. When Jesse ends up meeting a former one-night stand (Rebecca Dayan) and re-connecting with her, Celeste is thrown into a tailspin despite the fact that of the duo she was seemingly the one who was more amenable to moving on.
This is Rashida Jones' first crack at screenwriting and she crafts a well-rounded role for herself that fits her like a glove. Andy Samberg also gives a solid performance that is a bit more subdued than we've come to expect from his Saturday Night Live-Lonely Planet persona and it's pleasant to see this side of him. Unfortunately, when the film slips away from the titular characters, the script slips a little bit into some tired comedic tropes we've seen before. We've got the pot smoking best friend (co-writer Will McCormack), the quirky co-worker (Elijah Wood), and even a Lady Gaga-ish pop star (Emma Roberts) -- none of whom add anything to plot and only weigh it down.
But with this debut screenplay giving her a debut starring performance, Rashida Jones is certainly a positive takeaway from this witty film. Hopefully we'll see more from her in the future.
The RyMickey Rating: B-