Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live) has signed on to star opposite Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) in Celeste and Jesse Forever. The romantic dramedy centers on a couple that wants to remain friends following their impending divorce. Jones co-wrote the script with long-time actor, first-time writer Will McCormack. Lee Toland Krieger (The Vicious Kind) will direct.
Read what Jones had to say about the movie — which she compares to When Harry Met Sally and Blue Valentine — after the break.
Jones told 24 Frames:
“Our movie is about two people who love each other a ton but they don’t know what to do with that love, and how do you let that person go. It’s very different from: ‘I like having sex with this person because I’m so modern but then, ooh, maybe I like them.’ I’m less interested in that story. It’s the version of When Harry Met Sally 20 years later, or Blue Valentine. It’s really about how you break up with someone.”
Looking down his resume, Samberg has hardly ever toed the line of drama — certainly nothing that could be compared to Blue Valentine. But there is a certain sweetness inherent in his personality, so I’m excited to see what he does with this material.
However, Jones’ focus on gender role reversal on screen may end up saddling Samberg with “the girlfriend” character:
“It’s hard to find female leads that are flawed and interesting and dynamic. We wanted to write something that was in the vein of Judd Apatow — you talk like you actually talk with your friends — but with ladies. I want to do that and not just be someone’s girlfriend or wife. I want to be the one to go on the journey.”
After a prolonged development, the film is well on its way now that the male lead is cast. Samberg plans to film Celeste and Jesse next, prior to the summer shoot of I Hate You, Dad with Adam Sandler.
Jones and Samberg both appeared in I Love You, Man, but never shared a scene. The same is true of the upcoming comedy Friends with Benefits, which opens July 22. Samberg can be seen again later that summer in What’s Your Number, which hits theaters September 30. Jones’ 2011 slate also includes The Big Year (October 14) and The Muppets (November 23).