The goofiness soon passes and real life issues come to the forefront in their relationship. Without realizing it, Celeste takes Jesse for granted, being in a situation where she can’t deal with him as a husband but assuming he’ll always be a close friend without being attached to someone else. There’s no reason for her to think differently because he is hung up on her and has no desire to start dating again.
However, because of her aloofness he forces himself to start seeing other women. His heart’s not in it, but one woman, who he fortunately happens to like, ends up getting pregnant. That changes everything. Jesse is torn because he’s still in love in Celeste but wants to make the new relationship work. An added twist is that he always wanted kids, something that Celeste was ambivalent about.
Celeste is shocked when Jesse tells her. In the blink of an eye she suddenly realizes she might lose him forever and doesn’t know how to handle it. She thought she had the best of both worlds when she didn’t have to handle his lack of ambition but would always have him there. She recognizes that she’s still very much in love and can’t imagine the thought of losing him.
Whatever comedy was in the movie is gone after that. It becomes a serious story about how two people deal with true-life issues when reality sets in. There’s a lot of frustration, sorrow and anger as their lives are turned upside down. What do you do when you pursue a simple but, albeit, unusual solution to a “failed” marriage and suddenly have it blow up in your face?
There’s no silliness in how the movie winds its way to its conclusion. These are two people who have to deal with a difficult situation when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. As the movie progresses the scenes stop being overplayed and the dialog settles down.
“Celeste and Jesse Forever” packs an emotional wallop and makes you appreciate what you have in life. It’s definitely a journey worth experiencing.
David Kent is the director of the Village Library of Cooperstown. He can be reached at email@example.com.