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Peter is a composer and a likable sad sack who's devastated when his girlfriend of five years, Sarah Marshall, the star of a cheesy CSI-style crime show, dumps him. He weeps, he rails, he mopes. Finally, his step-brother Brian suggests Hawaii, so Peter heads for a resort on Oahu where, as he's checking in, he sees Sarah and her new beau, Aldous, a polymorphously perverse English rocker. The weeping and moping start again, until Peter is rescued by Rachel, a thoughtful hotel clerk who invites him to a luau and to hang out. Although he constantly runs into Sarah and Aldous, Peter starts to come alive again. Will Sarah realize what she's lost, and what about Rachel? Written by
Prior to the release of The 40 Year Old Virgin, it is likely that few people knew the name Judd Apatow. Now, just three years later, that name has become almost a stamp of comedy quality, with such films as Knocked Up and Superbad following on the heels of The 40 Year Old Virgin. Now, the Apatow steamroller moves forward with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and once again it has mined comedy gold, with lots of laughs, but also, as with many of the previous film's from Apatow's company, a nice streak of sweet romance to go along with the laughs.
Fogetting Sarah Marshall focuses on Peter Bretter (Jason Segel), a Hollywood composer who's girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), is the star of a CSI-style police procedural series. Jason is a bit of a layabout (who also isn't afraid to walk around his apartment naked), and Sarah has decided she has had enough of him, so she is breaks up with Peter, leaving him in a seemingly unending pool of despair.
To try to take his mind of Sarah, he takes an impromptu vacation to Hawaii, but quickly discovers, to his horror, that Sarah is also at the same hotel as him, with her new boyfriend, recently on the wagon British rocker Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). However, while doing his best to avoid Sarah, Peter finds himself falling for a hotel staff member, Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis).
As with such films as The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a comedy that isn't afraid to mine the more vulgar for comedy, nor does it shy away from some rather frank nudity, including plenty of footage of star Segel (who is also the screenwriter). The upside is that, unlike many other sophomoric comedies these days, the raunchier material actually produces laughs. Much of the film's best humor comes from Brand's performance as off the wall Snow. The character has lots of great scenes and lines, capitalizing on the characters seeming insatiable libido.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall doesn't just provide lots of laughs, it also features an involving and touching romance between Peter and Rachel. Both Segel and Kunis have a nice chemistry between them that fuels an involving romance. As the film progresses, we can't help but root for the characters to find themselves together in the end.
In addition to the previously mentioned Brand, the cast of Forgetting Sarah Marshall gives us both great laughs and characters we can be involved with. Segel proves to be relatively low on insecurity as he puts himself almost completely on display (literally). His Peter is an character whose rather unassuming nature wins you over. Kristen Bell makes the films titular character at times apparently self-involved, but also someone who has a soft spot for her ex-boyfriend. Kunis' Rachel is a character that is both no-nonsense and full of sweetness.
In the end, Forgetting Sarah Marshall proves to be another winner from "Team Apatow", and belongs right next to the previous hits from his creative team. If you are looking for both laughs and a dash of romance, look no further than Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
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