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Forgetting Sarah Marshall

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall: A Comedic Take on Obsession and Depression.

Apr 19, 2008 (Updated Apr 19, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Bang For The Buck

Pros:Some very funny moments, talented cast.

Cons:Not their very funniest, what was up with that boom mic?

The Bottom Line: Worth a watch, overall.


Hoping for some raunchy laughs, mr_chelledun and I scoped out Forgetting Sarah Marshall last night. This R-rated comedy is the latest installment from Apatow Productions, AKA “the people who brought you 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up.” Forgetting Sarah Marshall isn’t among the most memorable of the company’s many funny films, but it does have enough hilarious moments to make it worth a watch.

Plot Information
Forgetting Sarah Marshall tackles the subject of post-breakup depression and obsession as experienced through the eyes of average guy Peter Bretter (Jason Segal). The film kicks off with Bretter being dumped, while in the nude no less, by his seemingly perfect television star girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). Peter attempts to get over Sarah by taking a trip to Hawaii. Predictably, he picks a resort she has told him about and chaos ensues when Sarah arrives with her charismatic and slightly drug addled new beau, musician Aldous Snow (Russel Brand). Peter bonds with hotel staff, particularly attractive desk clerk Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis), while alternately stalking and trying to forget Sarah Marshall.

My Thoughts
Forgetting Sarah Marshall offers a premise ripe for comedic moments. Most viewers will relate to Peter and his agony over his out-of-nowhere, totally unwanted breakup. There’s some comedy gold here. The comedy tends toward the sexual and R-rated, but for the most part Forgetting Sarah Marshall steers clear of dumb gags and body humor. I particularly loved the concept that Peter’s aspiration in life was to make a rock opera based on Dracula to be performed by puppets. It turns out that this portion of the film was actually based on Segal’s real life experiences, which makes sense to me – you can’t make that kind of stuff up.

The film’s leads play their parts well, for the most part. Jason Segal plays Peter Bretter as a sweet, loveable guy, despite being kid of a slacker. Kristen Bell exaggerates her character early on but manages to add some complexity toward the end of the film, when it becomes clear that there are two sides to every breakup. Mila Kunis is a pleasure to watch throughout, and smoking hot. The supporting cast also boasts some substantial star power. I love Maria Thayer and Jack McBrayer as a newlywed couple with sexual disfunction. Jonah Hill is customarily hilarious as starstruck waiter Matthew. Only Paul Rudd feels underutilized, as a surfing coach whose character feels like he was written in just to give Rudd a chance to join in the fun. That happens from time to time with this crew.

Although I enjoyed the film, for the most part, I’m not totally convinced it deserves all the accolades it has been receiving critically. While I laughed out loud on several occasions, Forgetting Sarah Marshall didn’t have me rolling to the extent of 㦔-Year-Old Virgin” or “Superbad.” I’d actually probably place it closer to the funniness level of “Knocked Up”, which was certainly a decent film but not a completely hilarious one. As was the case with Knocked Up," Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a little heavy on the cheesy romance for my taste. This film has a few segments that are just plain odd, not least of which being a five to seven minute stretch in the middle when the boom mic is in full view over the head of whatever character is talking at a given time. Really? No one noticed that? Everyone in my showing was whispering about the boom mic. This distracting image really yanked me out of the movie and it took me a good ten minutes to get back in the story.

Overall…
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a good comedy, although I’m not sure I’d call it great. Still, it’s certainly better than most of the crap I’ve seen this year and gets four stars for making me laugh and keeping my attention. If you typically appreciate the efforts of this production company, you should walk away reasonably happy after viewing this film.


Recommend this product? Yes


Movie Mood: Funny Movie

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