Netflix Film of the Week: Celeste & Jesse Forever

The FILM IN WORDS Netflix Film of the Week: helping you navigate the filmic minefield of the nation’s favourite video streaming service.

Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones star in Celeste & Jesse Forever

Words: Brody Rossiter
Twitter: @BrodyRossiter


Sometimes writing in the first person is necessary when it comes to film criticism. Most teachers, lecturers and film journalists such as myself (I am honestly) would ultimately advise against presenting your opinion as though it’s actually your own because it essentially removes a sense of impartiality and introduces an overarching hue of bias. This bias undermines your argument, therefore lessening the critical legitimacy of the points you present. Unfortunately for this rigid convention of film criticism, movies are often bold, beautiful, and deeply personal – irrespective of their many constructs and concepts. Sometimes they need a more personal touch in terms of a written recommendation.

Celeste & Jesse Forever is a film about two people who love one another, yet for numerous reasons can’t be together, and as with many romantic dramas it is this simple, affecting, and often empathetic premise which is explored throughout – sometimes in a comedic manner, though primarily through a collection of deeply heartfelt and attractively filmed sequences. It is a film which slowly wooed me, stripping me of my cynicism and turning my low expectations into a series unexpected pangs of emotion.

The film isn’t particularly unique in terms of storytelling. Fans of romantic dramas such as Definitely Maybe and 500 Days of Summer will be accustomed to the Celeste and Jesse’s bittersweet narrative of unrequited love and its many tear-jerking pitfalls. However the charming performances from all involved, but especially Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg – who tones down the Lonely Island goofiness and injects a sense of broken up sincerity – ensure that the films focus upon its characters excuses its generic plot-lines.

Aesthetically speaking, the picture’s dislocated depiction of Los Angeles’ self-centred nightlife, whitewashed luxury interiors, and hemp-lined hipster hangouts is both a perfect foundation upon which to build a love-story full of tenderness and an unexpectedly evocative attribute to the picture as a whole.

I expected just another Rom-Com, ninety-two minutes later I was left with an unexpectedly mature and heartfelt experience that is now one of the best romantic dramas that have had the pleasure of viewing. You now how I feel, know feel it for yourself.

Celeste & Jesse Forever is available on Netflix UK now.

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