Celeste & Jesse Forever | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Celeste & Jesse Forever

This Rashida Jones/Andy Samberg doesn't deviate much from the rom-com formula


Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) speak to each other in exaggerated Russian accents, which is how you know that they're so great together. The young married couple is not, however, as blissful as they first appear — she's on the fast track to success, he refuses to grow up — which is why they're getting divorced. They want to stay friends, though, and Lee Toland Krieger's Celeste & Jesse Forever (which Jones co-wrote with Will McCormack) follows their attempts to move on, separately but together.

Despite the too-hip dialogue and abundance of pensive close-ups, Celeste & Jesse doesn't delve much deeper than your average mainstream romantic comedy. It has a lot of familiar characters, too, albeit quirkier versions: the horny stoner, the tell-it-like-it-is best friend, the gay confidant. Celeste is the focus — she's a less comedic Liz Lemon (career-driven, klutzy, occasionally mistaken for a lesbian) — and goofball Jesse's more intriguing plot line is never fully fleshed out. 

It often feels self-conscious and under-developed, but Celeste & Jesse does have its affecting moments. If the lessons are obvious, it's probably just because they're kinda true. And with a target audience of twenty- and thirtysomethings, it might resonate with those just old enough to realize that divorce happens to them, too.