Cheesy, yet irresistibly funny `Forgetting Sarah Marshall,' has to be one of the best comedies of 2008. Much like `Knocked Up (Unrated Full Screen Edition)' or `Superbad (Rated)' from last year, the film even manages to poke fun at sleaziness and television while providing a sensitive core about relationships that never comes off as tacked on or hypocritical.
The movie's first purpose is to set up the characters and make us care about the breakup. Sarah Marshall (Kristin Bell) is the star of the TV series `Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime,' (complete with opening film clips with graphic forensic evidence, combined with its redundant title, and we know off the bat we're in for a good time). Watching `Access Hollywood' from his familiar couch, Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) sees old clips of himself with Sarah on the red carpet and other media encounters as she fielded questions.
He does the music for all the scenes in her series. An on looking director ensures he gets the right mood for every scene. Life is good for Peter Bretter. Until the day Sarah comes over to break off their five-year relationship. She finds him naked and asks him to put some clothes on, but he refuses, thinking it will prevent her from giving him the ax. In a short time, we're snickering and commiserating over Peter's loss at the same time.
Pete tries multiple relationships and sorts out advice from his brother Brian (Bill Hadett) and his wife, Liz (Liz Cackowski), but what he does makes all the difference.
Remembering that Sarah always wanted to go to Hawaii as a paradise getaway, he decides to leave her memory behind. And this is when it gets contrived, but its so well done, we forgive and forget the plot devices: She has gone to Hawaii, too, not just to the same island, but to the same hotel. She arrives with her new British boyfriend, Aldous Snow, a singing sensation. As you might expect, Peter has trouble fulfilling the main purpose of his journey, but gets easily distracted and absorbed in some informal detective work. When he has to move out of his bargain suite, he finds himself next door to the new rival couple.
At the hotel Pete finds diversion. There's solace in cocktails, food, and exercise classes. Colorful, laid back people make his journey better. There's Chuck (Paul Rudd) the surfing instructor, Matthew, the waiter (Jonah Hill `Superbad' star) who begs Greg to listen to his demo C.D., and Kemo (Taylor Wily), a native islander who keeps him socially active. But the real connection is made with the hotel's hospitality hostess, Rachel Jensen (a sweet and beautiful Mila Kunis) who gave him a slash discount on a penthouse suite in the first place.
`Forgetting Sarah Marshall' has to have some of the best comic timing provided all year. Superbly edited, flashback scenes of their relationship make us laugh while the finer points of their downfall are brought to consciousness. As a successful music man, Peter understandably yearns for something bigger. How they fit in his composition of `Dracula: The Rock Opera,' a stage musical, is masterful. Despite his melodramatic intentions, his show comes off as a puppet `The Phantom of the Opera' version of 'Dracula' if Meat Loaf penned the project. Rachel can at least appreciate his original for what it is. There's no doubt if Segel didn't play his drowning with sorrow everyman so empathetically, this movie wouldn't play out nearly as well. (He wrote the script, so he knows his part.) What in places sounds like your average TV sitcom is done with comic aces. `Forgetting Sarah Marshall' is funny, sweet, and sure-footed. And that makes a world of difference.
A J.P.'s Pick: 4*'s = Very Good
(I'd like to call this the comedy of the year, but, while I've seen several, I've yet to see `Tropic Thunder,' `Pineapple Express,' and `Burn After Reading'. So, I don't want to be premature here.)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a rare breed of comedy. It's a romantic-ish comedy that will please women and not make men cringe in fear if their girlfriend or general significant other asks them to see it, plus they don't have to be afraid to ask to see it because it will please women too. It's signature Apatow and Co. It has raunchy sex comedy, but its also heartfelt and you feel genuinely sorry for our protagonist. I was uproariously laughing from start to finish, but Forgetting Sarah … more
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is one of those films you approach with low expectations. Despite an intriguing cast -- I've enjoyed both Kristen Bell and Jason Segel on TV -- it just didn't look much different from the constant flood of romantic comedies that threaten to overwhelm the cineplex with a tropical tsunami of blandness. Forget that. It's hilarious. And quirky. SO quirky. We can lay the credit for the film's quirkiness to Segel, who wrote the movie before starring in it. … more
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a favorite of mine. It's a movie I can pop into the DVD player and watch multiple times during a month. The humor in this movie is different from the newer comedies. I feel as if newer comedies now days are down right stupid. Anchorman, 40-year old virgin, etc. I don't like stupidity and I don't think it's funny. But Forgetting Sarah Marshall is actually funny. The dialog isn't just a stupid word and everyone thinks its hilarious. It catches … more
This was a very funny movie with a couple of gorgeous ladies for eye candy. Mila Kunis is very loveable as the laid back/crazy island chick that tries to help Peter get over his ex. The only problem is that its kind of hard to do when she shows up at the same resort with her "new" boyfriend, Aldous Snow. Speaking of Aldous, what a great character. Russel Brand is a hilarious comedian/actor and the new movie about Aldous is pretty damn funny too (Get Him To The Greek). After you watch this … more
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a half and half sort of film. What's good is very good, and what's bad is pretty bad indeed. Here's what I liked: Jason Segal as the guy who gets dumped. He was the picture of morose self pity and the story's beginning, and his performance grew more subtle as the plot progressed. Essentially, it's about a nice but shallow guy who learns from his pain to be a more self aware, emotionally connected man, and Segal demonstrated … more
Yet another venture into familiar Judd Apatow territory. This time it's a telling the tale of some laid back slacker who's trying to get the girl, but is cursed by a lack of cheekbones and buldging muscles. Only this time it's in Hawaii of all places. Our lead is Peter who composes music for a TV cop drama and for five glorious years dated the show's star Sarah Marshall. That is until she dumped him and started dating a rock star, Aldous Snow(great name). Now they are … more
Each time a movie comes out by the guys of the Judd Apatow gang we're immediately bombarded by reminders that Apatow is behind such films as The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. In 2008 there were two films in particular that came around. In the late end of the year was Pineapple Express. That's the one everyone saw. In February 2008 however, Forgetting Sarah Marshall hit the theaters. It wasn't directed by Apatow, he sat on board as a producer. But of all the … more
I rented this movie and was thinking it was going to be a brainless teenager movie but I was pleasantly surprised. All of the actors were excellent and the scenes were beautiful. Russell Brand is quite a quirky kind of guy but hey Katy Perry is dating him he cant be all bad. He is pretty funny in this movie and so is the guy who is off to forget about his ex girlfriend Sarah marshall. His puppet show at the end and the songs were really a plus and made this movie even better because … more
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a 2008Americanromantic comedy film, directed by Nicholas Stoller and starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, and Russell Brand. The film, which was also written by Segel and produced by Judd Apatow, was released by Universal Studios.