Celeste and Jesse Forever does have some things going for it like the chemistry between Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg but how the main character, Celeste, was written (partially by Jones herself) made her come across as awfully self-centered and the key scene where she seeks redemption doesn’t help matters as it takes place at her best friend’s wedding.
Genre(s): Drama, Comedy, Romance
Sony | R – 92 min. – $35.99 | February 5, 2013
Directed by: Lee Toland Kreiger
Writer(s): Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (written by)
Cast: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Chris Messina, Ari Graynor, Eric Christian Olsen, Will McCormack, Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts
Theatrical Release Date: August 3, 2012 (limited)
Features: 2 Commentaries, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French
Disc Size: 28.7 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 3.25/5
Plot Outline: Celeste (RASHIDA JONES) and Jesse (ANDY SANDBERG) are high school sweethearts who married young and are now at a crossroads at the age of thirty. While Celeste is a success in business, Jesse is unemployed and adrift. Celeste thinks that if they divorce now they could still remain friends. Jesse passively accepts the decision even though he is still in love with her. As reality sets in, Celeste slowly and painfully realizes she has been cavalier about their relationship, but her timing with Jesse is less than fortuitous.
Quick Hit Review: Celeste and Jesse Forever is an indie romantic comedy which, on the positive side, starts out in the genre with plenty of laughs and even flipping the character’s relationship on its side at the very beginning when showing the couple having a great time only to have their best friends (ERIC CHRISTIAN OLSEN and ARI GRAYNOR) point out they had been separated for six months. And as the movie went along, it turned from a comedy to a bitter drama as the couple examines their own relationship.
There’s also a bit of a side story about Celeste’s professional life, working at a marketing firm, and dealing with a “rebel” pop princess (EMMA ROBERTS) which nearly blows up thanks to an oversight with the singer’s artwork logo. This is where I feel the movie goes off course and loses its way, though Celeste’s bitterness also is off-putting and only grows during an emotional speech she makes at her best friends’ wedding which was nice and summed up her feelings well enough, but also comes across as self centered and disrespectful to the bride as she makes a spectacle on her big day…
All in all, Celeste and Jesse Forever is an effective if not forgettable indie rom-drama. The performances are mostly good but the main character tends to get annoying as she’s oft self-centered to the point one wonders how she holds any relationship, even with her best friend. But the jokes, when there are, are funny and I know it’s not a cool thing to say especially on the Net, but Andy Samberg is quite good as what seems like a secondary role.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5
Audio Commentaries – There are two tracks included: The first is with stars Rashida Jones (who also co-wrote and executive produced) and Andy Samberg while the second is with Jones, co-writer/executive producer/actor Will McCormack and Director Lee Toland Krieger. Both tracks are loose (esp the Jones/Samberg one) but they give different pieces of info on the writing and filming.
The Making of Celeste and Jesse Forever (13:51; HD) – This is a fairly basic ‘making-of’ featurette where the actors and crew members talk about the characters and plot set against scenes from the film.
On the Red Carpet: Premiere and Q&A (14:08; HD) shows footage from the premiere where the actors answer questions on the red carpet as well at a presser following a screening at the LA Film Fest.
Chris Pine Outtakes (1:13; HD) – Here you get some alternate footage with Pine in his cameo appearance.
Deleted Scenes (2:57; HD) – Three scenes that didn’t make the final cut are included and for good reason as they all make Celeste sound like a beeyotch.
Theatrical Trailer (2:13; HD)
VIDEO – 4.25/5
Celeste and Jesse Forever arrives on Blu-ray presented in its original theatrical 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and in 1080p high-definition. The picture here looks excellent showing off fine detail levels throughout, a good color balance and no noticeable artifacting or pixilation. For what I assume was a low budget film, I was relatively impressed with the transfer even if it’s not something that will pop off the screen.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track isn’t amazing though for the genre, it’s suitable. The audio mainly comes to life whenever there’s music, such as the opening titles song by Lily Allen. Dialogue levels though sound nice and clear and some of the ambient noises make use of the surrounds.
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, Celeste and Jesse Forever does have some things going for it like the chemistry between Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg but how the main character, Celeste, was written (partially by Jones herself) made her come across as awfully self-centered and the key scene where she seeks redemption doesn’t help matters as it takes place at her best friend’s wedding. Still, as a rental this might be worth it as there are some nice moments and it doesn’t take the typical path in the genre. The Blu-ray, though, does have a fair amount of features highlighted by two commentary tracks. The audio/video transfers are also very nice.