‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’: So very likable

Wed, 04/23/2008 - 9:55am
By: Michael Boylan

Yes, this film comes from the guys behind “Knocked Up” and “Superbad,” and yes, the humor tends to be on the more suggestive side, but if “Knocked Up” and “Superbad” are like swarthy, foul-mouthed lotharios at a singles bar, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” wants to take its time and get to know you better and it’s O.K. if you just want to be friends. That amiable and genial attitude puts a smile on your face early on, keeps you laughing and chuckling throughout and will have you remembering it fondly for days afterward. “Knocked Up” and “Superbad,” two films I loved by the way, are great for the occasional one night stand a few times a year, but “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” just might be marriage material.

The film starts with Peter getting dumped by his television actress girlfriend, Sarah Marshall, and not dealing with it very well. After weeks of crying in his cereal bowl, he gets convinced to go on a vacation to get his head together. He goes to a resort in Hawaii that Sarah had always talked about going to and, darn the luck, she’s there too, with her new boyfriend, Brit rocker Aldous Snow. Peter’s awkward situation becomes more bearable when Rachel, a girl at the front desk, starts to take Peter under her wing for some much-needed lightening up, but it is a small resort and the ex-lovers continue to run into each other.

Every performance in this film is terrific. Jason Segel makes Peter likable and doesn’t let the character’s misery bring the audience down and Mila Kunis’ Rachel is the perfect breath of fresh air for Peter and the film. Kristen Bell doesn’t get to do much as Sarah Marshall but look uncomfortable, but her scenes from her TV show, “Crime Scene,” are priceless. The film is completely stolen by Russell Brand, though. His Aldous Snow is gut-bustingly funny throughout. Cameos from Paul Rudd, Bill Hader and Jack McBrayer are also great, punching up every scene with some big laughs.

Everybody seems perfectly placed in the film and the credit should go to Segel, who wrote a solid script, producer Judd Apatow who seems to assemble great casts with every film and director Nicholas Stoller who gives us beautiful shots of Hawaii and lets his talented cast hit a comedic home run.

In a summer that is certain to be filled with action-packed blockbusters and the return of some television favorites, the studio was right to release “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” a little early. Hopefully, it will garner the great word-of-mouth it deserves and attract good sized audiences while “Iron Man” and “Speed Racer” are filling up three theaters apiece.


login to post comments