Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Starring: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts
Release: January 20 2012, viewed on demand
Rating: Meh. 2 and a half out of 5 unfinished divorce papers. This underwhelming film is like the crumbling relationship it presents to us– if it had tried a little harder, with the amazing potential it put forth early, maybe it would have been a little less tedious and a little less of a failure.
I love rom coms that go against the grain. But sometimes, every once in a while, I see one that makes me wish the story was actually MORE typical and didn’t try so hard to be something different. This was one of those films for me.
It had a lot of promise and I really liked it for the first half hour or so, and then it began to feel like I was watching the movie forever.
The promising part was the chemistry between Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg, and the fact that the first few scenes they share together, they are so funny and a genuine joy to watch interact. Then we realize that this whole time, they’ve already been separated and in a pending divorce! I suppose I commend the film for how un-Hollywood it felt throughout, how everything you expect or hope will happen kind of never does. And the conflicts these two characters go through with themselves and each other seem authentic too, simply because of how messy everything is. BUT the film doesn’t really move anywhere beyond or even within that: the whole middle is stagnant, and we find ourselves following Celeste and Jesse not really changing much (I’d argue that Jesse does more than Celeste does but we don’t see much of his character’s development, it seems like a switch or shift rather than arc, meanwhile Celeste just mopes and messes some personal/ professional stuff up while smoking a lot more pot).
The end was satisfying enough but considering the middle felt like a whole lot of repetition and redundancy, any end would have been satisfying. I didn’t hate this film or even remotely dislike it. It had a lot going for it, I just think it meandered too much to ever reach that potential.