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Celeste and Jesse Forever

This thoroughly modern rom-com tackles a 30-something relationship drift with wit and great insight.

Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.


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  • Director Lee Toland Krieger
  • Producer Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd, Lee Nelson
  • Screenwriter Rashida Jones, Will McCormack
  • With Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Ari Graynor
  • USA 2011
  • 92 mins
  • UK distribution Buena Vista International

Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Saturday Night Live regular Andy Samberg) met in high school, finish each other’s sentences and have the perfect marriage – except that they’re divorcing. Celeste, a savvy and ambitious trend-spotter in a high-end marketing firm, decides she wants more from life than Jesse, who gets by on shaggy looks and charm alone. Smartly paced and bristling with great dialogue, this thoroughly modern rom-com tackles the 30-something relationship drift with wit and great insight. The luminous and extremely talented Jones proves herself a comedic force to be reckoned with both as actor and the film’s co-writer (with Will McCormack, who also plays Jesse’s dealer friend).
Clare Stewart

Screenwriter statement

After dating for three weeks in the late 90s, we realised we were better suited as friends – and eventually, as writing partners. After several failed attempts, in the summer of 2008 we agreed upon an idea of Rashida’s that we both felt could be approached with honesty and a fresh take. What if a young married couple, who grew up together, realised they should get divorced but didn't want to lose their friendship? Is it possible to stay friends after separating? Can you preserve the best parts of a relationship without taking time to process the worst parts? Can you love someone to the moon and back but still not be 'right' for each other? These were questions that seemed to be common amongst people in our generation. Ultimately, we wanted to make a comedy about a broken heart. What it’s like to endure real heartbreak. How devastating it can be, how funny, and how you feel like the whole world is ending. But the world doesn't end. You don't die. And you do grow.
Rashida Jones & Will McCormack

Director biography

A 2005 graduate of USC’s School of Cinema and Television, Lee Toland Krieger directed the one-hour TV drama The Wilton in 2006, and the show sold to the CW Network after a bidding war. In 2008, he directed The Vicious Kind from his own original screenplay, with his mentor through college, Neil LaBute, serving as executive producer. It had its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and went on to earn two Independent Spirit Award nominations, one for Best Actor (Adam Scott) and another for Best Screenplay. The film also garnered Lee the top honour of the Emerging Filmmaker Award at the 32nd Denver Film Festival. Currently LA-based, he has also worked extensively in the commercial and music-video space, directing for clients like Universal Music and Island Def Jam.

Filmography

2006 The Wilton [TV]; December Ends
2008 The Nature of Space and Time [s]
2009 The Vicious Kind
2012 Celeste and Jesse Forever; Denise [s]

Celeste and Jesse Forever is released in the UK on 7 December.

Read the Time Out review.

 

Paperman

Paperman

  • Director John Kahrs
  • USA 2012
  • 7 mins

A fleeting encounter leads to romance, but first a little skill and determination is required. This pioneering animation merges hand-drawn and computer techniques.
Clare Stewart

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