First Hit: Earnest at times while failing to state the obvious at other times. In the end it left me wanting something with more growth and substance.
This is a film about a couple who are best friends but weren’t willing to really work on making their romantic relationship work.
One of the best lines from the film, and I’m paraphrasing here, came from one of Celeste’s (played by Rashida Jones) clients, a pop star named Riley (played by Emma Roberts), “you are contempt towards people without doing any homework or knowing anything about them.”
This perfectly captured Celeste’s attitude in the film, which I disliked about her character. She was self-righteous and right. She was oblivious to the truth about her and others. Her codependent partner Jesse (played by Andy Samberg) lived in a studio behind the house they once lived in together.
His character was like a lost little boy who depended on his strong former wife to maintain him. Their friends didn’t like how they were together and actually I thought it was unreal and their private games together, like masturbating a small tube of lip-balm or baby corn was OK maybe once, but multiple times?
There were moments in this film where the point for making this film was going to stand tall, only to be dragged down by self-indulgence of the characters.
There is a good film in the subject matter, couples have to work on their friendship in a romantic relationship and vice versa, but the inconsistency of this effort mimicked my dislike for each of the characters or actors, I don’t know which.
Jones felt self-absorbed and self-righteous both as a person and character. Samberg was too weak to be the second lead. Roberts was very good as Riley the pop-star. Ari Graynor as the couple's friend Beth, did well to show and hold her contempt for Celeste and Jesse while balancing with her love for them. I also liked Rebecca Dayan as Veronica the woman who was attempting to let Jesse grow up. Her quite demeanor was one of acceptance. Jones and Will McCormack (who also was a character in the film) wrote a script that required some subtlety and balance in the characters. Lee Toland Krieger directed this mediocre film.
Overall: This film could have said a lot more than it did about the importance of couples nurturing a friendship and each other as people while embracing romance.