I’ll be honest here. Despite my longstanding love affair with Rashida Jones, I went into C&J4evs fully prepared to be underwhelmed. Or, at the most, just whelmed. I am happy to report that I was so, so, so wrong.
The film opens with the obligatory relationship-photo-montage you’d expect from a film with this sort of title. Awww, look! Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl get married. BUT IS MARRIAGE ALL IT’S CRACKED UP TO BE? TOUGH LIFE LESSONS! Full disclosure, by this point I was tossing Swedish Fish into the air and catching them in my mouth, fairly certain that I could just go ahead and start writing this movie review right then and there because I knew exactly where this was headed.
Aaaaand then the movie started. And I was like, “Oh. My bad.”
C&J4evs is the story of Celeste (Rashida Jones), an anal-retentive “trend forecaster” (WTF is that? I’m not totally sure, but I envision some sort of thickly bespectacled meteorologist spouting dire predictions about downpours of jeggings) and Jesse (Andy Samberg), an affable but aimless sort of dude whom Celeste has deemed no longer worthy of being her husband.
It’s a film about a divorce, I suppose, but that’s sort of like saying Citizen Kane was a movie about a sled. More than anything, C&J4evs is a film about mistakes – about how the most perfunctory and careless mistakes can forever alter the course of our lives. It’s a film that rings so incredibly true, in no small part because unlike other “relationship movies” of recent memory, C&J4evs doesn’t fuck around with love. It zeroes in on a pandemic trend among our generation – that we take everything, just everything, for granted. We expect and demand the very best of everything, even when our demands verge on unrealistic. This film is about what happens when those expectations blow up in our faces.
That’s not to say that this is a downer of a movie; it’s totally not. Its humor is smart, and current, and true. And it has far more funny moments than sad ones. (Rashida Jones, you had me at, “How do you get a nun pregnant? You fuck her!”). But C&J4evs does not make the mistake that so many other “relationship movies” make. It is not flippant about love. It doesn’t treat love as something supernatural, something unquantifiable, something that “just happens.” Instead, it treats love as exactly what it is: something you build, something you work for, and something that can be irretrievably lost if it’s taken for granted.
Snacks consumed: Popcorn, Coke Icee, Swedish Fish