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Movies today are filled with overused tropes. The action movie has its over stylized dialogue and Michael Bay–esque explosions. Horror movies have extreme gore and sequential character deaths. Romantic comedies have the standard break-up, and eventually, a character that decides to apologize and everything is suddenly okay. “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” directed by Lee Toland Kriger, is lucky enough to break the patterns that have infected this ailing genre for the past few years. Starring Rashida Jones (who also wrote the screenplay), Andy Samberg and Elijah Wood, “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” forges a new pathway for the romantic comedy.
This movie begins in the most unlikely of places: a divorce. Best friends since the 10th-grade, Celeste (Jones) and Jesse (Samberg) have hit a rough patch and after six years of marriage, they are separating. Celeste and Jesse see no issue, however, with keeping their friendship intact. Following a divorce, they come to learn this isn’t the best of plans.
During dinner with friends, Celeste and Jesse are confronted about the state of their relationship and how they are still acting as friends. After the argument at the restaurant, they continue to sing and play jokes as if everything is alright, but upon their arrival at home, the truth about their relationship is revealed.
The thing that separates this film from other romantic comedies is the lack of clichés. The movie feels fresh and original, thanks to the Jones’ talented writing. Rather than the male character be the antagonist in this relationship, Celeste fills this role. She is a successful professional, while Samberg is a struggling artist who cannot find any work.
In addition to the lack of a clichéd “rom-com” plot line, “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” avoids the standard “wing-man” type of characters. Wood plays Celeste’s gay manager and friend, and he struggles with his own identity even while he listens to Celeste’s dilemma. He seems to find difficulty in what it means to be gay, and it is refreshing to see a homosexual character in this genre not be stereotyped into a flamboyant typicality.
“Celeste and Jesse Forever,” is perhaps the best movie right now that wider audiences have not heard of. Samberg shines in one of his best serious acting roles, and Jones manages to emotionally convey a confused and distraught character in what comes to be a film that is more about doing the right thing, rather than being right. “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” is creative and original. It strays from typical themes of similar movies and is a pleasant film to watch.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Patrick Fort at Patrick.firstname.lastname@example.org.