For Your Renting Pleasure

Celeste Jesse_Forever headerIn this edition of “For You Renting Pleasure” we’re going with two representations of love that couldn’t be further from each other in both tone and effectiveness.

Celeste_Jesse_PosterCeleste and Jesse Forever – This film, co-written by one of its leads, Rashida Jones, is miles beyond the other film in this write up.  Miles.  And that’s not just because that one sucked.

Jones and Andy Samberg play best friends who were once married to each other, overcoming the evils of divorce by washing all bad blood away from the relationship.  Mixed feelings do come into play throughout, creating more emotion than I expected from this pair as it grounds the high level of big laughs that never lose their prominence as relationships change and new characters are added.  There are no small roles in this one, with great scenes including Elijah Wood and Emma Roberts, but if I wore a hat it would be off to the two leads.  Not to sound all cheesy, but if I was related to these two I’d seriously be proud of what they did here because they give what is probably their best performances yet (not to knock anything they’ve done before).

No matter how you want this movie to end for the leads, you won’t be disappointed with it.  Go rent Celeste and Jesse Forever right now!

Final Grade:  B+

Lucky_One_posterThe Lucky One – I’ve never been one who had anything against Zsc Efron and his acting abilities, and have honestly thought he’s improved since High School Musical, but he hits a low in The Lucky One.  There are scenes from him that are actually pretty laughable, such as his one too many freak outs due to his post traumatic stress disorder after returning from the war and a scene on the porch when he wants to tell the truth to the girl he’s fallen for about why he came to her home in the first place… Then again, the only person that I can’t say this about is Blythe Danner because she was endearing in all her scenes.  And the German Shepherd.  He was putting everyone to shame.

The whole premise for this one is Zac Efron finds a picture of a girl while he’s out fighting, and he credits her with saving his life, so he sets out to find her.  And the journey to love begins.  The problem is he doesn’t end up telling her about the photo right away.  You would think this would be the big conflict building throughout the entirety of the film, which is far from original, but it loses out to a story with an obsessed and abusive ex that just won’t let Taylor Schilling’s character move on with her life.  This additional drama pulls focus and eventually makes the reaction to the late reveal seem completely undeserved.

I didn’t expect much from The Lonely Ones, but it still managed to be worse.  The acting is often sub par, the drama unwarranted in the over-the-top scale it reaches, and as it plays out it isn’t hard to imagine that it reads ten times better in book form no matter how nice spending time looking at Efron’s arms is.  You fail me again, Nicholas Sparks’ book adaptations…

Final Grade: D

See anything great these past weeks?  Let me know and it might show up in the next “For Your Renting Pleasure.”  Or you can always and send your suggestions there if they come to mind later.

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