Feature

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Divorce proves a challenge for a pair of soul mates.

Directed by Lee Toland Krieger
(R)

***

This “highly imperfect” romantic comedy “represents a breakthrough of sorts,” said Stephanie Zacharek in NPR.org. The story of a marriage that’s coming apart, it refuses to paint a near-perfect pairing as a failure but instead asks us to marvel at “the funny sadness of the whole damn thing.” Co-writer Rashida Jones stars as a successful young marketing executive who’s decided she needs to part ways with her likable slacker husband but has so far merely had him move into the studio in their backyard. Playing a “sweet dorky guy” is nothing new for Andy Samberg, but the Saturday Night Live alum also gives Jesse real depth, said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. Still, this movie “rests on Jones’s very slim shoulders,” and she convincingly displays a wide range of emotions. Unfortunately, Celeste and Jesse feels enamored with its own cleverness, said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. To underline the leads’ compatibility, Jones and Samberg engage in a steady patter of pop-culture in-jokes. The result is a movie that “plays like a Facebook page”—another example of a culture “choking on data overload.”

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