It take a real effort to produce a film as ineffective as Celeste and Jesse Forever. It feels like a couple friends spent a few hours in Starbucks, scribbling ideas on iPads in between orders of soy lattes, prior to calling in a few favours and before you know it Elijah Wood is “so up” for playing the gay boss and there you go… the film is made before you can say the word ‘macchiato’.
The premise lies on a snorefest of a relationship between Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg), a married couple who for reasons unexplained have separated but remain best friends. They strangely still do everything together whilst awkwardly trying to date and move on with their lives despite (apparently) holding affections for each other but for more reasons unexplained, it’s not meant to be. Its emotional core is at best confused and at worst completely vacant. The whole film feels rushed and unfinished. The casting is so poor, no one looks comfortable in their shoes because they can’t seem to get off the set quick enough.
This seems like something that’s been in the can for a while and struggled for distribution – even its pop culture references already look dated (whether it’s the gag about Bieber’s haircut or the old Facebook layout). It’s the dullest film of the year because it doesn’t even inspire anger or frustration. It’s just a bad film and everything in it is lazy and poorly executed, producing the most tiring cinema experience as nothing happens and these characters don’t do or mean anything of any significance. Their words mean absolutely nothing, their relationships seem unnatural and forced throughout simply because the writers haven’t got a clue how to structure and weave a story. It’s an empty shell of a film, you’re given no reason to care about any of these people and their trivial, insignificant problems, adding up to something hollow, wholly forgettable and unforgivably bad.
Review by David Rank
Celeste and Jesse Forever is out on 7th December in the UK and out now in the US. Certificate 15 (UK). Running time 92 mins.
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