Film ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ is unforgettable | VailDaily.com
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Film ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ is unforgettable

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily
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Writer’s note: The views and opinions expressed in the review are solely the writers. Spoiler information may be found in this review, so read at your own risk.

After watching “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” the only thing I wanted to forget about was Jason Segel’s weener. But in all honesty, it’s about time that somebody made male genitalia the butt of the joke. Seriously, we’ve seen thousands of naked females on screen used as sexual objects and we’re just now finding uncomfortable male nudity funny, come on. But I’ll quit preaching now.

Back to the whole penis thing though. Within the first five minutes of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” the audience is treated to several quick glimpses of Jason Segel’s member and I don’t think anybody would call it sexy. Segel ( “Knocked Up”), who wrote the script and stars in the movie as Peter Bretter, is a music composer for a “C.S.I.”- like TV show who happens to be dating the shows star, you guessed it, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). Peter is constantly shown in Marshall’s shadow as the unfamous boyfriend of the hottie celebrity. Then comes the ultimate blow as Marshall dumps Peter while he stands naked in front of her after climbing out of the shower. That’s when the penis makes it’s first on-screen appearance, and while hilarious, it’s also very awkward. I suppose that by reading this some of the magic will be gone when you finally see it, but pay close attention to the audience’s reaction to this historic event ” trust me, it’s priceless.

But enough about Segel’s penis. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is one of the most relatable comedies to come out in the last 10 years, thanks largely to Segel’s script and Judd Apatow’s (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up”) production. What sounds like just another romantic comedy ends up being so over-the-top, gut-bustingly funny because it’s all so true. This movie is for everyone who lost their way after a break up. Only this break up is drained for every last drop of comedy.

After Sarah dumps Peter we painfully (but with much laughter) watch Peter have a string of one-night stands while trying to kill the pain that Sarah has caused him.

Unable to find happiness in other women he takes a trip to Hawaii to escape his sadness but not before multiple takes of him soggily crying during various stages of meltdown. Once in Hawaii, the worst-case scenario unfolds when none other than Sarah Marshall is staying at his hotel in the room next to his. And she’s with her new boyfriend, rock-star/sex symbol Aldous Snow (Russell Brand).

Peter refuses to leave the hotel and find another for fear of coming off as a coward but now he is constantly confronted with his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. Thankfully Peter has befriended resort employee Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis) and slowly begins to find life after Sarah.

Although the coincidental liberties taken by the film may sound cheesy, they lead to many of the film’s funniest and most human moments. And it’s the human side of this comedy that makes it so much better than most movies in this genre. The real moments we’ve all been through, such as not being able to fall out of love with the person who broke your heart, the awkwardness of trying to be social when all you want to do is cry and seeing your ex out with her new lover are peppered throughout the movie. The very fact that this movie doesn’t skirt the messy issues for the sake of plot advancement or a clean ending speaks volumes about Segel’s ability to write interesting, multi-dimensional characters. If you look closely, the messy issues actually advance the plot, even when we may want to see the characters take a different moral route. Love has a way of wreaking havoc on our moral compass though, and Segel uses that knowledge to twist the characters into knots so we can slowly watch them figure out how to untangle themselves. Along the way, guest appearances by Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill and Bill Hader keep things from getting too bleak or monochrome, adding depth to the events in the film.

It’s no spoiler that it all ends on a happy note though, just like any good romantic comedy should. And fair warning, before you leave the theater you’ll be treated to another glimpse of Segel’s weener, and you still won’t know whether to laugh or cringe. Try to forget that.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.


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