Celeste and Jesse Forever

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Run time 91 minutes.
Not for children.

Rashida Jones and Andy Sam-berg in “Celeste and Jesse For-ever.”

One of the main things that annoys me in modern movies is the unrealistic slice of life dialogue when characters talk to one another. It’s often excruciating to endure. It’s hard to know whether to blame the script or the acting or the directing, probably a combination of all three. In any event, when these silly scenes appear, interest wanes.

Directed by Lee Toland Kriegar and written by Rashida Jones, who also plays the leading role, and Will McCormack, who plays a supporting character, Skillz, this is an acute, perceptive story of a girl, Celeste (Jones), who is too smart for her own good.

What makes this film such a gem is that the scenes and dialogue are straight out of today’s world. The people talk like people would actually talk, only they are much funnier than most people actually are. The film is replete with laugh out loud lines, even though the story is bittersweet.

Celeste and Jesse (Andy Samberg) have been married for a decade and Celeste, who is successful, thinks the best thing to do is get a divorce, as Jesse is just kind of going along, accomplishing nothing. The result tugs at your heartstrings when you are not laughing.

Jones gives an Oscar®-quality performance and Samberg is not far behind. Good as Samberg is, however, Jones carries the film, and it takes talent to play a role like this because of the dichotomy between a love story that seems to be taking the wrong path and genuine comedy.

The dialogue is acute. This is a romantic comedy for the 21st century, one that realistically captures life as it is today.

Nuit #1

Runtime 91 minutes.
Not for children.

Dimitri Storoge and Catherine de Léan in “Nuit #1.”

The first fifteen minutes of this two character film consists of graphic sex between Clara (Catherine de Léan) and Nikolai (Dimitri Storoge). The remaining 76 minutes consists of them talking.

Set inQuebec, written and directed by Anne Émond, this is the story of two people who meet at a rave, have sex, and then get to know one another. Nikolai is a real loser while Clara, a third grade teacher, is unhappy and confused which has driven her to live a life of sexual profligacy. All this is discussed in dialogue between the two of them in detail.

Production values are confusing. The lighting is inexplicable. The film takes place at night inside an apartment but the table light in the apartment is off, leaving one to wonder where the light was coming from because it looks like sunlight. The only way to know that it all takes place at night is when they occasionally stray outdoors and it’s dark.

The film closes with a song written by Serge Gainsbourg sung over the credits. The lyrics sound as if they pertain to the story, but since they are in French and there are no subtitles for the lyrics, one is left in the dark. Except for the graphic sex, this is pretty much a drag. In French.

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