Box art for Celeste and Jesse Forever

Celeste and Jesse Forever

comedy, drama


When a young married couple find themselves going in different directions in life, they decide to get divorced and try to remain friends.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    70%
  • Audience Score
    61%

common sense

ON for kids age 16
Consumerism
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
0 out of 5

Talky hipster romcom explores the "perfect" divorce.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Celeste and Jesse Forever is an indie romcom that adds an interesting twist to the genre's typical formula but falls short of greatness, despite hip stars Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg. Older teens might find the concept refreshing, but the divorce/break-up-centric material could be a tad heavy (and the scenes talky) for younger teens and tweens. Expect plenty of swearing (particularly "f--k"), a scene of pot smoking (as well as additional references to drugs), some drinking, make-out scenes, lewd jokes, and implied sex and masturbation (though no outright nudity).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how Celeste and Jesse Forever handles the theme of romance. Is it saying anything different than other romcoms? Does it rely on stereotypes?
  • Do you think Celeste and Jesse's situation is realistic? Is their "solution" manageable?
  • Parents, talk to your kids about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh:

- Amanda Mae Meyncke, Film.com, Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rotten: Yet one more of a series of summer films in which attractive, ambitious young women are punished for not accepting the man-children in their lives despite their torn-teddy-bear flaws.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, August 10, 2012

Fresh: Yes, the characters are impossibly beautiful and hip, but beyond that, they seem real.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, August 16, 2012

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Certainly not formulaic, or ably put into a specific genre (whether romantic comedy, dramedy, or a variation) "Celeste and Jesse Forever" is quite possibly one of the best romantic films of the year, and surely one of the funniest. Starring and written by Rashida Jones and writing partner Will McCormack, this film is date night perfection, heartbreaking and yet so hilarious and real, it's a far cry from the trailer which heralded it as a romantic slosh through the lives of a married couple unable to let go. Most of the time it's about Celeste, navigating the horrible journey from repressed divorcee and best friend to her ex, to broken woman, and finally finding herself outside of her past, outside of her own mistakes. The characters are all vaguely if not intrinsically interesting, and the humor ranges from bro comedy and gross out humor at times to black comedy surrounding the embarrassing escapades Celeste gets herself into. There is certainly art, there's a broad approach to character development, and an actual respect for what the characters need to do to accomplish their goals. There's never a time when the plot wins out and makes the characters do things uncharacteristic of what we've seen so far. The shots of the city are majestic, sallow, wide and approachable, as if we're there in Los Angeles and Boston. Some of the outside characters do come off as rather unnecessary at times. Skillz, who is portrayed by screenwriter Will McCormack, only exists to tie together the estranged couple and add his own bits of insight into Jesse's challenges over getting over his ex-wife. Riley, played by Emma Roberts, is a pop star who is represented by Celeste's firm, and is the only reminder to the film that this is a romantic comedy. She's so formulaic and annoying as the insightful and yet so young protg with a filthy mouth of her own, that it's strange that she exists. She could disappear and nothing would change. Seriously, a must see for the year, because though you may dislike the genre, this certainly transcends it, difficult especially for an indie movie.

- FrizzDrop, Thursday, December 20, 2012

2 stars

No, Celeste, simple and elegant is good. It's better than what you have here.

- fb100001581602053, Friday, November 23, 2012

4 stars

Two friends break up as lovers, but they find that moving on is harder than it seems. When I went to see this film, I couldn't help but compare it to Breaking Upwards, which has essentially the same plot. But the problem with Breaking Upwards was that the characters found moving on superficially easy, and the characters were never called into question in any serious way. Celeste and Jesse Forever improves on this flaw. We realize Jesse's problems quickly: he needs to grow up, and since Judd Apatow has covered this territory so thoroughly that any other story about men needing to take responsibility would seem like a tired cliche, Celeste dominates the second act. Her flaws are less obvious. She seems to have it all together, but having it all together makes her indomitable, with an air of superiority that makes her unapproachable. Rashida Jones plays the nuances of this character well, and the film isn't afraid to make her unattractive. I agree with Super Reviewer Alice Shen who stated, "Jesse's 0 (still being "in love" with Celeste and too-scared-to-let-go booty calls) to 60 (having a baby and wanting to make it work with someone he just met) transformation is just too inexplicable." She's right, but there are nevertheless a lot of strengths to how sharply these characters are drawn; Jones shows herself to be a very good writer. Overall, I liked Celeste and Jesse Forever, a romantic comedy with more brains than many in its genre.

- hunterjt13, Saturday, October 13, 2012