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Celeste and Jesse Forever Blu-ray Review



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#1 of 9 Richard Gallagher

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Posted February 03 2013 - 08:37 AM

Celeste and Jesse Forever is a pleasant but bittersweet romantic comedy which is being released on Blu-ray just in time for Valentine's Day. Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) have been separated for six months and are going through a divorce, but they remain best friends and continue to hang out together. Their problem is that Celeste is a driven, successful woman who is judgmental and highly focused, whereas Jesse is an unemployed sometime artist who shows signs of being a perennial adolescent. Nevertheless, they continue to enjoy each other's company and Jesse is still living in an apartment/art studio behind Celeste's house.





Celeste and Jesse Forever 
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Year: 2012
Rated: R
Program Length: 92 minutes                  Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 1080p
Languages: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French

The Program

I actually have a date tonight. I should probably shower, right?

Celeste and Jesse Forever is a pleasant but bittersweet romantic comedy which is being released on Blu-ray just in time for Valentine's Day. Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) have been separated for six months and are going through a divorce, but they remain best friends and continue to hang out together. Their problem is that Celeste is a driven, successful woman who is judgmental and highly focused, whereas Jesse is an unemployed sometime artist who shows signs of being a perennial adolescent. Nevertheless, they continue to enjoy each other's company and Jesse is still living in an apartment/art studio behind Celeste's house.

They go out to dinner with Beth (Ari Graynor) and Tucker (Eric Christian Olsen), who are engaged to be married. After watching Celeste and Jesse amuse each other while reading the menu aloud with German accents, Beth explodes. "You two are not together. It's not normal, okay? You guys have been separated for six months. You're getting divorced, all right? And you spend every day together hanging out as if, like, it's no big deal."

Celeste is a "trend forecaster" who comments on cultural issues and runs a public relations firm with her business partner, Scott (Elijah Wood). She is taken aback when she learns that Scott has signed a marketing deal with a vapid singer whom Celeste despises, Riley Banks (Emma Roberts). "I don't understand," Celeste complains, "she's like a vagina and a hairdo." In the meantime, Jesse's pal Skillz (Will McCormack) encourages him to begin dating, but it is apparent that Jesse is still hoping for reconciliation with Celeste. However, that hits a major roadblock when Jesse learns that he is now an expectant father as a result of a one-night stand he had several months earlier with a woman named Veronica (Rebecca Dayan). The news upsets Celeste but also gets her motivated to begin dating again. She finds herself on one miserable date after another until she meets Paul (Chris Messina) at her yoga class. Celeste likes Paul, but she is still attached to Jesse and she has not yet gotten around to signing the divorce papers.

One of the nice things about Celeste and Jesse Forever is that it does not follow a predictable arc, leaving the viewer uncertain about what is going to happen next. The film benefits greatly from fine performances by the two leads, who demonstrate some real chemistry in their relationship. Andy Samberg stretches out here, showing considerably more acting range than was evident in his one-note performance in the Adam Sandler film That's My Boy. Rashida Jones gives a nuanced and sometimes very funny performance in a role she wrote for herself (with the assistance of her co-writer, Will McCormack).

Potential viewers should be warned that the dialogue gets a bit raunchy at times and, while there is no nudity, there is a bit of unconventional but funny sexual content which might make some people uncomfortable. The film is ably directed by Lee Toland Krieger and I expect that we will be seeing more from him in the future.

The Video

The 2.40:1 1080p image is terrific, making for another outstanding Blu-ray from Sony. The action takes place in Los Angeles and the film includes many beautiful shots of the city, both in daytime and at night (there also is an outdoor wedding scene which was shot in Providence, Rhode Island). The film appears to be properly framed. The high definition images are sharp and detailed, with vivid and accurate colors, inky blacks and excellent shadow detail.

The Audio

The lossless DTS-HD MA is outstanding. Every word if dialogue is clear and understandable, and the musical soundtrack includes thirty songs which are given a wide and pleasing soundstage. Apart from the music, the surround channels are used primarily to provide realistic ambient sounds.

The Supplements

There are a number of entertaining and informative extras on this Blu-ray release.

There are two commentary tracks, one with Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg and the other with Rashida Jones, Will McCormack and director Lee Toland Krieger.

"The Making of Celeste and Jesse Forever" is a fourteen-minute featurette which gives the principal actors and filmmakers an opportunity to talk about how real-life experiences played a major part in bringing the story together.

"On the Red Carpet: Premiere and Q&A" was filmed at the L.A. Film Fest. On hand to take questions from the audience are Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Will McCormack, Ari Graynor, Chris Messina and Lee Toland Krieger. It has a running time of fourteen minutes.

"Chris Pine Outtakes" - actor Chris Pine makes a cameo appearance in the film, and this brief extra shows several different ways in which his one scene was filmed.

Also included are three deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer.

Sony also has included previews for Searching for Sugar Man; Rust and Bone; Smashed; Chicken With Plums; and Seven Psychopaths.

The Packaging

The single disc is packaged in a standard Blu-ray case.

The Final Analysis

Celeste and Jesse Forever is an original romantic comedy which explores the plight of two people who love each other but have not been able to figure out a way to live together. It features an engaging cast, a few big laughs, and more than a little heartbreak. It is recommended for fans of the genre.

Equipment used for this review:

Panasonic DMP-BD50 Blu-ray player
Panasonic Viera TC-P46G15 Plasma display, calibrated to THX specifications by Gregg Loewen
Yamaha HTR-5890 THX Surround Receiver
BIC Acoustech speakers
Interconnects: Monster Cable

Release Date: February 5, 2013


Rich Gallagher

#2 of 9 Cameron Yee

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Posted February 03 2013 - 09:29 AM

I watched this on the plane ride to Taiwan and appreciated it for its more realistic take on love and relationships. However, be prepared to be slightly bummed out as a result.


One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#3 of 9 Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 03 2013 - 09:30 AM

Rich,


Thank you for the review.  Saw this film, recently, and really

enjoyed it -- especially since I have always had a crush on
Rashida Jones since first seeing her in the TV series, The Office.


You described the film perfectly in saying that it has "a few big

laughs and more than a little heartbreak."  The chemistry between

Jones and Samberg is fantastic, which really makes the viewer
hope this duo's relationship does last forever.

I would highly recommend this movie and I will be looking to

purchase it on Blu-ray the first sign of a price drop.


Ronald J Epstein
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#4 of 9 TravisR

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Posted February 03 2013 - 10:31 AM

I saw it in the theaters a few months back and I liked it quite a bit. Jones and Samberg are both really enjoyable together.

#5 of 9 Colin Jacobson

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Posted February 03 2013 - 11:02 AM

Also think this is an enjoyable movie.  I don't think Samberg is much of an actor, but the movie asks much less of him than it does Jones.


The Jones/Samberg commentary's terrible!


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#6 of 9 Richard Gallagher

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Posted February 03 2013 - 01:03 PM

Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein 

Rich,


Thank you for the review.  Saw this film, recently, and really

enjoyed it -- especially since I have always had a crush on
Rashida Jones since first seeing her in the TV series, The Office.



That was where I first became aware of her, too. She has an interesting background - she is the daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton.


Rich Gallagher

#7 of 9 Cameron Yee

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Posted February 03 2013 - 01:11 PM

Yes, sometimes she looks like Lipton quite a bit.


Ron, I'm sure you are already watching Parks and Recreation?


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#8 of 9 Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 03 2013 - 10:04 PM

Quote:
Ron, I'm sure you are already watching Parks and Recreation?


No, but I am guessing I should as Rashida is in that show?


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#9 of 9 TravisR

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Posted February 04 2013 - 12:59 AM

No, but I am guessing I should as Rashida is in that show?

Yep. In my not so humble opinion, Parks And Recreation is easily the best comedy on TV and other than Breaking Bad, it's the best thing on TV. I will say though that the 6 episode first season isn't great but between the first and second seasons, they made some changes and the show immediately took off in its second year.





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