BY Jen T. Tuazon
Celeste and Jesse Forever is a simple bittersweet story of two soul mates grown apart. The premise may be simple, and the plot not uncommon, but Celeste and Jesse Forever still touches, moves, and hits the heart.
Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Adam Samberg) have been soul mates since high school but are now growing apart after six years of marriage. They separate and get a divorce, but their decision to remain best friends turns the breakup into a mere pseudo-separation. Neither is really ready to let go of the other, but something big happens that forces them to choose whether to give up or to keep fighting.
Movies about breakups are a dime a dozen, but Celeste and Jesse Forever’s take on dumper’s remorse is refreshing. Dumper Celeste, a Type A girl whose ambitions have become too big for happy-go-lucky Jesse, was played excellently by Jones. She gives a poignant portrayal of Celeste’s struggles in wanting change but not being ready for its consequences. Ditto for Samberg, who shows a tender side that may seem new to those more used to the actor’s comedy. And it’s a welcome surprise, as Samberg gives Jesse an honest and humorous humanity that makes the audience want to root for Jesse’s own happiness, even if it may mean sadness for Celeste.
The movie had light and funny moments and witty lines for the actors including the supporting cast (Chris Messina, Emma Roberts, Elijah Wood and Will McCormack, who co-wrote the film with Jones) but its big moments belong to Jones’ character, Celeste. Jones just shines as Celeste. Anybody struggling to deal with the aftermath of a breakup would be able to relate to her character.
Celeste and Jesse Forever is as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming. Whether you’ve been the dumper, or the dumpee, or just fighting to be in a relationship, the movie is sure to tug at your heartstrings.
Moving Music: The song on the movie’s trailer is “Drifting In and Out” by Porcelain Raft.