Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
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Review Date: July 15, 2008
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Writer: Jason Segel
Producers: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson
Jason Segel as Peter
Kirsten Bell as Sarah
Mila Kunis as Rachel
A man and his penis are dumped by their actress girlfriend after five years together, and the next thing you know, he’s in a small depression about the whole thing. His brother suggests vacationing in Hawaii for a few days in order to forget about his ex-, but wouldn’t you know that she ends up staying at the same hotel in Hawaii…along with her new boyfriend!! What ensues is a sweet comedy about breakups and hookups…
I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that this film is “revolutionary” or “a masterpiece” or anything of the sort, but for me, it did its job as effectively as possible for a modern day romantic comedy, mixing in equal parts “funny” with equal parts “romance” and “drama”, but more importantly, it had me invested in its characters, which is rare in this day and age (other than in Judd Apatow movies, it seems). Jason Segel, the star and screenwriter of this film, did a particularly solid job as the lead dude, who after being dumped by his girlfriend, finds himself falling into a mini-depression and flying off to Hawaii in order to forget about her. Of course, this is a comedy and a “movie”, so misunderstandings and oddities will occur, as his ex-girlfriend also just happens to be at the same hotel as him in Hawaii. That kinda shit didn’t bother me though, because the humor was consistent, the characters all fun and believable, and even if you’re not necessarily relating to the lead character’s sad plight (I related to him like a son-of-a-bitch, by the way), there are plenty of other secondary characters that made the film an enjoyable whole, including the always humorous Billy Hader, Jonah Hill in a part unlike his previous roles as a dude with a crush on a man, the great Paul Rudd kicking all kinds of ass as a surf instructor who might just be smoking too much weed, as well as Billy Baldwin and all of the fun plays on the “CSI” TV show.

Of course, one of my favorite characters in the entire film (and from any movie this year) was British comedian Russell Brand, who cracked my ass up at every turn. Even though I didn’t fully understand everything that he was saying, I laughed at pretty much everything I did understand (“Look at my limo driver... I'm going to have sex with her!!”), and who doesn’t love a guy who’s a real asshole, but real polite about everything? The film doesn’t have as many memorable moments as THE 40-YEAR OLD VIRGIN, KNOCKED UP or SUPERBAD, but Segel’s “Dracula Opera” was pretty fuckin’ funny. Ultimately though, it was the film’s believability in terms of its relationships that won me over, with the scenes between Segel and Kristin Bell ringing true, as well as the new stuff between him and Mila Kunis. By the way, Kunis is hot as shit…just thought I’d mention that. Much like THE BREAK-UP, the film obviously went for the funny bone first, but the human interactions weren’t just written up as a bonus, but rather, an integral part of the screenplay. I think we’ve all been dumped at some point in our lives, so we can smell phoniness a mile away.

I also really liked the fact that all the way until the final scene, I actually had NO IDEA who Segel would end up with. Why? Because unlike many cookie-cutter rom-coms out there, the characters in this film weren’t obvious one-dimensional “good guys” and “bad guys”, but “real people”, who all seemed to have reasons to act the way that they did. Also, how gorgeous was this movie to look at? I mean, it’s one thing to watch a film like FOOL’S GOLD because it “looks pretty”, but how about some entertainment to go along with that, right? FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL delivers in many categories, and is the best romantic comedy that I’ve seen so far this year. I look forward to watching it again one day and not solely because Segel shows us his penis in several scenes. PS: I don’t mind a man showing off his manhood in a film, especially when you’re hung like Segel (mazeltov!), but after the third time, that was the only thing about the movie that I felt was a little overdone. We get it…the man is hung like a moose...think of us “little people”. Other than that, smashing film! “You shall not pass!!!!” Fun stuff.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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