Friday, August 24: Tonight I went, for the first time since I arrived back in the USA, to my favorite independent and first-run movie theater in Fairfax, the Cinema Arts Theatre. My intention was to see “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” but the theater had posted the wrong time on their website and when I got there, I had to pick another movie I really didn’t know anything about: “Celeste and Jesse Forever.”
In the movie, Celeste (Rashida Jones from Parks and Recreation) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) have been separated for about 6 months, but they still spend every waking hour together, enjoying their private jokes and making each other laugh. They have been best friends since 10th grade, but when they got married their relationship failed, mainly because Jesse, a struggling artist, is irresponsible and unambitious. Celeste works as a high-power marketing guru who has a knack for predicting trends. While Jesse hopes for a reconciliation, Celeste just wants Jesse to grow up.
When Jesse meets Veronica, who turns out to be pregnant with his child from a one-night stand months earlier, he decides to try to grow up and do the responsible thing by marrying her. This sends Celeste into a tailspin of compulsive running and drinking and smoking weed; she doesn’t know what to do with the feelings she obviously still has for Jesse.
I thought this would just be another cutesy movie like so many I’ve seen before, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the characters. Some of their shared jokes were pretty obnoxious though, and I could see why their long-time friends walked out on them during a double dinner date. I did like the depiction of their shared and underlying emotions for each other, which they didn’t quite know what to do with. I enjoy this kind of movie, where characters slowly come to an awareness of their deep feelings for each other.
The main thing I loved about the movie, though, was the cinematography. I liked the filming with its interesting camera angles and its moody scenes. Though this movie will probably be forgotten along with all the other romantic drama-comedies I’ve seen in my life, it did provide a surprisingly enjoyable evening of entertainment.