When Celeste (cowriter Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) got married, their wedding cake was inscribed with the word forever. Six years later, forever is already over and the two are comfortably separated, in title if not in practice, living together and going on double dates where they unsettle friends with their excessively cutesy baby talk. The separation is largely careerist Celeste’s idea—“The father of my children will own a car!” she proclaims—but when the previously aimless Jesse starts dating and finally gets his act together, she begins to have second thoughts about pushing him away.
At work, Celeste is a “trend forecaster,” and as a cable-news talking head promoting her new book, Shitegeist (the title rhymes with zeitgeist), she claims that the more audiences consume crap, the more they want crap. She predicts a “move toward simplicity” in popular culture, and true to her words, Celeste and Jesse Forever is a very simple romantic comedy, coasting along on its likable leads’ chemistry through their bittersweet breakup. Jones writes herself a couple of powerful scenes and plays them well, but she and director Lee Toland Krieger don’t find many memorable uses for Samberg as her blandly schlubby hubby. The result certainly isn’t crap—more like three-day-old wedding cake.
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