Director: Lee Toland Kreiger
For a movie with two titular characters, I expected to see Jones and Samberg have equal screen time but alas, the destruction of their marriage was mainly from Celeste's point of view. While I'm guessing divorces are generally messy, Celeste and Jesse doesn't make it seem so, until the realization dawns on Celeste that her marriage has ended for real. While the movie started off in a good note, it eventually went downhill.
Celeste and Jesse were two different people. Celeste was career driven while Jesse was laid back. While it was established from the start that they were the best of friends, it was clear that they did not make a good couple. When Jesse got himself into a situation, he decided to be a grown up and take responsibility, leaving Celeste crumbling down. She tried to move on through endless attempts to get over her husband, but one thing was certain, the divorce was hitting Celeste more than it was hitting Jesse. I guess that is why everything seem to be in her point of view.
Celeste was clearly well-written. Her character was going somewhere and she was entering certain stages to grow out of her situation. It's an added bonus that she was penned by the actress who portrayed her, so she knew where she wanted to divert her character. I felt that Jesse was underwritten. He doesn't appear on screen as much and there wasn't a development when it came to his character. He was written with an 'out', and he took it. Also, for a movie trying to pass off the couple as the best of friends, it was really more of the failure of their marriage that was the focus, and their friendship was put aside. I guess it's hard to stay friends when your marriage is over, but they somewhat tried to keep that friendship spark alive.
Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg gave good performances, despite feeling that Samberg was underwritten. Besides the casting of Jones and Samberg, the cast had a pretty good ensemble in the form of Aria Gaynor, Eric Christian Olsen, Elijah Wood and Will McCormack as the couple's friends, and Emma Roberts as Celeste's client. While most of them barely made appearances, they make the best of it when they do. Aria Gaynor is always great, I wish she was able make more of an appearance. I particularly enjoyed Elijah Wood and Emma Roberts' performances. Their characters seem fun; I wish there had more screen time.
The movie did have its moments, mostly showcasing how Celeste was self destructing. In the end though it was sort of a dud. I liked how the movie didn't portray an over sensationalized take on getting a divorce and ultimately, the shifting of their relationship. However, despite that Celeste seems to be a well-rounded character, watching her fall apart can get tiresome. It does show something though, both actors (who are known more for their comedic chops rather than their dramatic flare) can somewhat hit a dramatic film. It's no 500 Days of Summer, but this is not to miss.