You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. This banal platitude is the essence of “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” a romcom that recalls those heartwarmin,’ chick-pleasin’ love stories of the 1990s and early 2000s.
Cowritten by Rashida Jones (Quincy Jones’ daughter, who also plays the titular Celeste), this is an old-school romcom with old-school sentiments, i.e., it’s dead serious about stuff like love, monogamy and happiness. The characters are convinced these three factors are crucial to human existence.
Celeste and Jesse (Andy Samberg) were high school sweethearts who got hitched. Now in their 30s, the couple still have it — only they’ve quit being married. Celeste is a successful trend forecaster, while Jesse is an out-of-work artist who spends his days on the couch replaying highlights from the 2008 Olympics. So now they live separately (but in the same building) and sleep in separate beds, except when they don’t. They are, in fact, still so close it causes a friend to walk out in fury during a dinner party (“What are you two doing? … You’re getting divorced!”).
Celeste gets a nasty surprise when Jesse ups and leaves after a big fight, making her realize it’s time to see other people (such as Chris Messina, who plays a guy in her yoga class). But she misses her Jesse, a big baby with a fresh, chubby face. Can she get him back? Is it too late? Don’t laugh, just bask in the late-20th-century vibe.