Written by Jason Segel
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Running Time: 1:52
for sexual content, language
and some graphic nudity.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall was a raunchy and very funny comedy that would have been close to perfect if it ended 10 minutes earlier.
When Sarah Marshall dumps Peter, he spirals into a world of meaningless sex and depression. To try and get over the love of his life, Peter takes a trip to Hawaii when he runs straight into Sarah and her new rocker boyfriend Aldous. Determined not to give in, Peter stays, thanks to the help of the lovely desk clerk, Rachel, who puts Peter up in the most expensive suite in the hotel. Try as he might, Peter can't seem to get Sarah out of his head, and she may be feeling the same way. But Peter is also developing feelings for Rachel and has to decide whether to return to his past, or look towards the future.
Let me first say, Forgetting Sarah Marshall has too much frontal male nudity for my liking. OK, now that I've gotten that out of the way, this movie was easily the best movie I've seen this year and one of the funniest I've seen in years. There are three obvious comparisons to the film - The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and
Superbad - mainly because of style and production team, but also with story elements. I think the movie it most resembles would be The 40 Year-Old Virgin because you have a likeable male star who is very unsure of himself and has a bunch of people trying to help him win the girl. Both are romantic comedies at their hearts, but also have a ton of raunchiness about them. But I didn't feel as if either movie went too far to try and shock us (numerous male nudity shots aside).
Jason Segal seems like a very nice person, someone you'd want to hang out with on the weekends. How he managed to land someone as unbelievably hot as Kristen Bell (who may be the hottest blond out there right now - I'm just saying) is beyond me, but there looked like there was genuine affection between the two. And then to be able to land Mila Kunis is another story. But it's like a true underdog story - the guy who doesn't look like he should have a chance with either girl, manages to get them both. But Segal has this quality where you want him to be happy and you cheer for him to get the girl. More so than a Seth Rogan type, who just looks like a party boy (needless to say, I wasn't the biggest fan of Knocked Up).
The film was very well written and was filled with jokes. There were true laugh out loud moments but the lines were never forced. One scene early on in the film, during Peter's many sex conquests in order to get over Sarah, he meets a girl who wants to be gagged and handcuffed, and there's a line right at the end of the scene that was so simple but so funny (I won't ruin it for you). And a lot of the movie is like that. Humor comes from a natural place and doesn't need to be shoved in your face. The one thing I did notice about the film is that all four of the major characters involved in the love square, had both good and bad qualities, but there was no reason to dislike any of them. Usually in movies like these, there's some kind of bad guy so the audience can easily choose sides. In this movie, you liked everyone, but as Peter was the one you saw most often, he was the one you gravitated towards. But even he has flaws, which come out in bunches towards the end. But Sarah, even though she dumped our hero, was still a very sweet girl. She may have acted tough and in charge, but she was still scared about her life and not sure where it was headed. Aldous, the big bad rock star, came right out and said he would sleep with everyone and everything he wanted to, but he was such a larger than life character, who had some of the movie's funniest moments, that you couldn't hate him. And Rachel was another sweet girl who had a rough past. So even though there was no 'bad guy' in the film and you wanted everyone to end up winning, you felt really happy that all of them seem to end up in a good place.
The one thing I didn't like about the film is that because it was so funny at times, the moments where things got serious made the movie slow down a lot. However, Segal (as star and sole screenwriter) never let it get too slow and would always punctuate even the most serious scenes with a joke. It was the extended end sequence of the movie that really felt out of place. The movie clocks in at around an hour and 50 minutes, and they could have easily trimmed 10 minutes from the movie, and chopped the ending down into a more manageable time, and it would have been a really great movie. The length of the end sequence felt really out of place.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I really enjoyed Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I haven't laughed that hard at a movie since Superbad, and unlike that film, this one has a true romantic heart at its core, so it's much more accessible.
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