It may seem as though critics are preoccupied with how Celeste and Jesse Forever, the new indy film written by actors Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, conforms to the expectations of the “romantic comedy” genre. In the vein of other indy darlings like “500 Days of Summer,” the two wrote a script that strains away from predictable archetypes. But perhaps the preoccupation with the label is because films like these seem rare, even as a young crop of mostly male directors with an eye for the juvenile is credited with reinventing the form.
“I’m happy to be called a romantic comedy,” McCormack said. “Because the spirit in which this movie was written, we were informed by romantic comedies that really just changed my life like When Harry Met Sally and Broadcast News, and hopefully this movie was a throwback to the kind of romantic comedy that totally changed my life.” Jones added, “I think that title has changed. (These days) if you say ‘romantic comedy,’ it has to float above reality. Now things are starting to move in that direction in independent film that romantic comedies that are independently produced can afford (or not afford!) to not have a happy ending.” Our conversation with them about the movie is today’s podcast.