Celeste and Jesse Forever Blu-ray Review

Celeste (Rashida Jones, PARKS AND RECREATION) and Jesse (Andy Samberg, fresh off of a seven-season run on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE) are high school sweethearts in their sixth year of marriage. They seem happy enough, cracking jokes and faux-masturbating a tube of lip balm. But the last few months have been rough, and now they’re separated and on the brink of divorce. Celeste, a go-get-‘em trend forecaster, has taken the house, while Jesse, a slacker who would rather watch the Beijing Olympics (again) than actively seek employment, is living in his studio in the backyard.

Celeste and Jesse Forever, starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg

Still, they spend all of their time together, foolishly convinced they can be with other people and still remain best friends. Yeah, good luck with that. The basic premise of CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER will right away have the audience thinking, Well, this has to end in disaster…What is wrong with these people? How could they think this would work?

Celeste and Jesse Forever, starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg

Soon, Celeste and Jesse start seeing other people: Celeste a yoga lover named Paul (Chris Messina, RUBY SPARKS); Jesse a one-night stand named Veronica (Rebecca Dayan, CHARM), who is pregnant with his baby. But because you don’t move on that easily after being together that long, the two start to realize that they weren’t meant for each other. Or were they? Their relationship seems to be based solely on their collection of inside jokes, and so we find it hard to believe that they’re a match. How are we supposed to root for them? It says a lot about the quality of the movie that even Jones and Samberg, who are likeable and have great chemistry, can’t make us care what the outcome of their characters is.  The tipping point for me was the moment Celeste asked Jesse, who is doing his best (whatever that may be) to make his new life work, “Why didn’t you change for me?” She feels entitled and, perhaps because she has a better job and more money, superior. She thinks he should have to make her happy.

Celeste and Jesse Forever, starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg

CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER is directed by Lee Toland Krieger (2009’s THE VICIOUS KIND) and co-written by Jones and Will McCormack, who earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Screenplay. Their script has some good ideas and sharp lines scattered throughout, but it frequently borders on the obvious and stale (how many movies and TV shows are going to use the frustration of building Ikea furniture as comedic fodder?), despite best efforts to stand out as the kind of anti-rom-com that’s popular on the indie circuit lately.

Celeste and Jesse Forever, starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg

(Others that turn up in supporting roles: Elijah Wood as Celeste’s gay business partner, Emma Roberts as a pop star and NCIS: LOS ANGELES’ Eric Christian Olsen and THE SITTER’s Ari Graynor as mutual friends.)

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. This Sony Blu-ray has a clean picture throughout, with fine clarity in faces, clothing and scenery.

Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. All of the dialogue is clean and the music (from Lily Allen to Brenda Russell) comes through nicely.

Commentary with Rashida Jones & Andy Samberg: As seen in the movie itself, Jones and Samberg have a terrific chemistry together. This comes across in the commentary, too, which is a playful and fun listen.

Commentary with Rashida Jones, Will McCormack and Lee Toland Krieger: This track between the two writers and the director is the more standard of the two, with the trio focusing on various aspects of the production.

The Making of CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER (13:51) is a standard promotional featurette, with interviews (with Jones, Samberg and others) and clips to give an overview of the movie.

On the Red Carpet: Premiere and Q&A (14:08) offers footage from CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER’s premiere at the LA Film Fest.

Chris Pine Outtakes (1:13) offers a snippet of Pine’s cameo.

Deleted Scenes (2:57): There are three here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “I Guess I’m Getting It,” “Can I Show You Something?” and “Do Any of You Have Jobs?”

Also included are the Trailer and Previews.

OVERALL 3
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