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Non-Review Review: Celeste & Jesse Forever

While it’s not quite as novel as the core idea might suggest, Celeste & Jesse Forever has a fascinating central concept. Most romances leave off after the initial courtship – the “and they lived happily ever after” all but printed at the bottom of the end credits. Celeste & Jesse Forever offers a somewhat skewered take on that. We begin at the end of a marriage, and follow the two central characters as they try to deal with living apart from one another. The movie isn’t as subversive as it could be, working hard to integrate conventional romantic formulas into this new framework, but it is something a bit different – and the concept carries it quite far. A winning central performance from Rashida Jones and a charming sense of humour help keep the movie interesting, even if it never quite commits fully.

Celeste & Jesse Forever is well worth a look, if only to demonstrate that there is room to tinker with the conventional formula for romantic comedies.

The long kiss goodnight...

The long kiss goodnight…

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Non-Review Review: The Five-Year Engagement

The Five-Year Engagement is the best romantic comedy of 2012 so far. Reuniting the talents of Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, the film manages to offer a refreshingly frank and honest perspective of romantic relationships. The interactions feel more organic, the third act crisis is rooted in something more primal and relevant than some idle miscommunication and the resolution isn’t based on the notion that people can inexplicably change. Like Segel and Stoller’s superb Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Five-Year Engagement is predicated on the assumption that love must mean accepting and embracing your partner for who they are, rather than what you want them to be. It’s a little depressing that this moral feels almost subversive in this day-and-age of formulaic and generic romantic comedies, but there’s no denying that The Five-Year Engagement is head-and-shoulders above most of its competitors.

They’ll get married this year… in a pig’s eye…

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