Movie review: ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’
Vail CO, Colorado
“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is full of all kinds of familiar relationship scenarios, but it is delivered with a refreshing amount of funny and sometimes shocking flare. Such has become the trademark of Judd Apatow (“Knocked Up,” “40-Year-Old Virgin,”), who definitely put his stamp on this film, although he only produced it.
“Sarah Marshall” is the script-writing debut for actor Jason Segel, who also stars in the film, and the directorial debut of Nicholas Stoller, who wrote “Fun with Dick and Jane” and a few other less commercial numbers.
“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is a lost-love, found-love story that begins with Peter (Segel), the unlikely boyfriend of TV star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). The Fruit Loops-eating, sweatpants-wearing Peter composes music for his girlfriend’s show, but looks and acts a little less than most of his Hollywood counterparts. In other words, he’s not much of a stud.
The story begins when Sarah comes home from a trip and dumps Peter, who, fresh out of the shower and naked (not the only time Segel writes a frontal nudity scene for himself in the film), takes the news badly. After a spell of house-ridden, melodramatic depression, Peter decides he needs a vacation and heads to Hawaii.
No sooner does he get there than he discovers that Sarah has come to the exact same place, the exact same hotel. She is not alone, either. She’s come with her new boyfriend, the hilariously raunchy British superstar musician Aldous Snow (Russell Brand).
Rachel, the gorgeous hotel front desk rep, mercifully puts Peter in the best suite in the hotel as long as he cleans up after himself.
Peter makes an effort to learn to surf and befriend the locals but is still heartbroken, and the sight of his ex and her new lover doesn’t help him overcome his sorrow. Luckily a new interest begins to blossom and, while still a little flabby and awkward, old Pete begins to somewhat redeem himself.
“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” delivers a barrage of amusement from witty dialogue to slapstick stumbles, eliciting everything from chuckles to guffaws.
One of the greatest aspects of the film is how each of the characters ” even the superstars ” are deliberately and very realistically flawed, though all still loveable.
Even Sarah Marshall herself, who the entire theater was booing as the film progressed, has some really punchy, if not outright laugh-out-loud lines.
Although the boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-meets-new-girl scenario is painfully hackneyed in comedies by now, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” manages to glaze its story with a fresh gloss of uncanny details. Peter, for example, has a predilection for puppet shows that, despite being quirky as all get out, somehow gets convincingly weaved into the plot. The supporting cast of Hawaiian hotel staff also is odd, interesting and strangely believable. From the stoned surf instructor (Paul Rudd) to Matthew the waiter (Jonah Hill), everyone’s role is simultaneously silly and pertinent to the story.
There was scarcely a moment throughout the entire 112 minutes of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” that someone in the theater wasn’t laughing. Plus, you know it’s not a bad flick when the place breaks into applause for the closing credits.
“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is memorable enough to keep you smiling through the offseason.