Even among the mindless carnage and endless superheroes of summer, August tends to be a bit of a drag; studios put the blockbusters they’re less certain of in the late-summer slots, so for every Bourne Legacy, there’s sure to be two or three Premium Rushes. But that just means it’s an even better time to go off the grid and see what’s playing in the art houses, and indie distributors have stocked several gems into the upcoming months; check out our recommendations after the jump.
Celeste and Jesse Forever
RELEASE: August 3
DIRECTOR: Lee Toland Krieger
CAST: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Ari Graynor, Elijah Wood, Chris Messina, Emma Roberts, Will McCormack
There’s something to be said for taking the lack of quality women’s roles into your own hands; like Zoe Kazan, Rashida Jones had quite enough of the long-suffering girlfriend/wife roles, and went off to write a vehicle for herself (with co-star Will McCormack). The result is Celeste and Jesse Forever, a falling-out-of-love story in which Jones and Andy Samberg, a separated couple who’ve remained best friends, must finally figure out how to let each other go. It’s a funny picture — mostly via Celeste’s dating misadventures, a reliable source of comedy — but also a bittersweet one that gets at some truths about painful break-ups (which seldom make their way into the fluffy rom-coms of mainstream Hollywood).