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With Jim Sabatini

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Celeste and Jesse Forever
Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Emma Roberts, Chris Messina and Elijah Wood

Rated: R 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: August 17, 2012 Released by: Sony Pictures Classics

This new independent romantic comedy is smarter than most even if it succumbs to convention more often than not, having something interesting to say regarding the newly divorced titular couple after being married for a half-dozen years.
Celeste and Jesse Forever stars Rashida Jones (Our Idiot Brother) and Andy Samberg (That's My Boy) who both have a fine screen repartee before the proceedings let them down a bit in the latter going before a noticeable rebound afterwards. Her driven media consultant with a book on the way and his irresponsible attitude in early adulthood get things going with the filmmaking modulating its way from frothy to serious. Having Emma Roberts, Chris Messina (who made an impression in Ruby Sparks with brotherly sensitive candor), and especially Elijah Wood (popular on f/x small-screen series Willard) as a gay best-friend and colleague is a bonus.
The production often exceeds its modest scalings as the material co-written by Jones and costar Will McCormack may not always hold up even if one gets by the premise. Yet, the way Jones and Samberg manage to engage their reality with varying ambivalence goes against the grain of viewer expectations and the former delivers the kind of piquant performance that may be the kind of stepping stone that big stars like Reese Witherspoon made in their younger days.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Celeste and Jesse Forever        C+                  B-   C+ 

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