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I often go see advance screenings in my area, especially now that I
must officially be on "the list" as I am constantly finding tickets in
my work inbox. This was the second Apatow production I've seen in
advance and just like "Superbad", this did not disappoint. At the same
time, while many of the cast members may be recognizable, there seems
to be something different about this installment than I've seen in the
likes of "40 Year Old Virgin", "Superbad", or "Knocked Up".
For starters, there was a definite presence of the "TV actors on the big screen" theme here, but I am pleased to report that Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, and Mila Kunis take to movies like naturals. Like many Apatow productions, Segel penned the script and takes over as lead Peter Bretter, proving yet again that with this crew the writer is best suited for the leading role. Segel delivers a character we all know too well from our own personal experiences and never breaks role from the shocking beginning to appropriate ending. I even give Segel extra credit for not completely victimizing his character and pointing out apparent flaws on both ends of the ending relationship.
Kristen Bell plays Sarah Marshall, the iconic ex of the film, but her role sits on the back burner along with the truly hilarious Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) to make way for a leading role in Mila Kunis. From the beginning it is clear that her not-too-smart and shallow role of "That 70s Show" didn't follow her to "Forgetting"'s script. Kunis plays Racheal, a hospitality girl for the hotel that "Forgetting" takes place, and subsequently deals with Peter as he tries to get over Sarah Marshall. Her character is intelligent, charismatic, and appreciative of the good in people, a strong juxtaposition to the seemingly selfish starlet Sarah Marshall. Kunis owns the role with pride, even slipping in gestures and glances that didn't seem to initially be in the script. Hopefully this will open her up for more serious roles than "American Psycho 2" and the typecasting that often happens with TV actresses like her.
The star of the film, in my opinion, easily has to be Russell Brand, who plays the over-conscious over-sexed rock star Aldous Snow. Snow adds the necessary level of comedy that could have been missing from what is truly a tragic plot. About halfway in the film, I couldn't help but snicker to myself just with the presence that Brand creates (complete with perfect costume choices). The only downfall to a character who is truly the Mercutio of this tragedy is that Brand clearly overshadows Bell's performance as Sarah Marshall, who is ironically the most forgettable character of the film.
The writing flows with well-timed jokes, apathetic digs, and shocking vulgar humor. There is even a few moments where you feel Segel was digging on the cast with jokes involving crime dramas (Segel did time on "CSI") and TV actresses in horrible horror movies (Kunis did the atrocious "American Psycho 2"); not sure if it was intentional, but I caught what I thought was a reference. Just as with most Apatow productions, leave the kids at home. Unlike the rest, however, the crude humor doesn't overflow and turn off most audiences (like I noticed with "Superbad"). It also doesn't get very heavy in the least (which is what I felt hurt "Knocked Up"). I think Apatow has found a great balance with this production and Segel's script. I also want to give credit to Nicholas Stoller , who proved that he can be successful as a director after the hit he took from helping write "Fun with Dick and Jane".
All in all, this comedy is just another example of a good time for adults. It keeps a consistently flowing script, unlike many recent comedies that seem to lose pace as they close the story. While crude, the jokes are just light enough to appease most adult audiences and the short 100 minute run time will ensure you won't be glancing at your watch waiting for it to end, just laughing hysterically.
This film was shown at my university tonight and Stoller was there for a Q&A after the screening. The film was the typical Apatow romp that we have seen as of late (Superbad, Knocked up, etc.). There was the usual crude and creative humor as well inappropriate sexuality to make another great Apatow team production. People should not come in with the expectation that this is another romantic comedy reincarnation of "Knocked Up". This is more of a typical and organic romantic comedy. The heavy emotional weight and issues in "Knocked up" are not present in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". The casting and comedic pacing was done very well and though it may not be a cinematic heavy hitter, it was very good for a directing debut and it was what movies all strive to be, entertaining.
I'm going to be honest, walking into the advanced screening tonight I was expecting an overly chick flicky somewhat dull comedy. What I got instead was a pretty hilarious movie with just the right amount of romance and a whole lot of vulgar comedy also. I can honestly say this is the funniest movie of 2008 so far. The entire Judd Apatow crew has overall had about 4 or five great comedies in the last 3 years, putting them up with all the other great comedy film makers since 2005. This movie makes me feel like I can now trust any movie they make most the time. When this movie hits theatres in April, GO SEE IT. I promise you won't find a funnier movie out any time soon.
I know, I went for the obvious.
I was lucky enough to see an early screening of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" a few days ago and I am more than happy to start spreading some buzz for this film. It was consistently funny and highly quotable with a strong cast and well developed characters. I have been continually impressed with the multi-talented young actors under Judd Apatow's wing and Jason Segel--who, I'll admit has been one of my favorites since "Freaks and Geeks"--does not disappoint.
There are many familiar faces here from other Apatow projects, but for good reason. Paul Rudd, whom I love equally in comedy and drama (true fans must view "The Shape of Things" but be prepared to be uncomfortable), Bill Hadar, and Jonah Hill hit just the right notes in their supporting roles. There's Russell Brand--whom I was unfamiliar with but apparently evokes strong feelings one way or the other across the pond--is hysterical and delivered some of my favorite lines. Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis are sympathetic straight women to the goofy men around them. It was particularly nice to Mila Kunis outside of the 70's Show/Family Guy worlds. And, last, but certainly not least, there's 30 Rock's Jack McBrayer playing an equally lovable and funny newlywed version of Kenneth.
Though I did feel that the film ran a little long, it never once dragged. There were also a few shots that I am sure will not be available until the unrated DVD hits stores because though they are truly hilarious, they are essentially the only thing keeping the film from a PG-13 rating.
Finally, I will say, that those who liked Knocked Up, Superbad, and 40 Year-Old Virgin, will certainly enjoy this movie. I, personally, would rank it above the other three and will enjoy debating my friends about that come April.
I normally do not go out for sappy, romantic roller coaster romantic
fare; and Forgetting Sarah Marshall (FSM) pretty much falls under the
romantic "date flick" rubric.
And I can't, for the life of me, quite figure out why I liked this so much. I guess the filmmakers succeed in making the welter of comic bits, scenes, and images come across like genuine romantic sweet chaos. How they succeeded is beyond my comprehension.
And maybe that's the point. Some films are good, some are bad, and some are sort of like miracles. Their power is inexplicable; and that's how FSM felt to me.
It was boffo, a bit over-the-top, a tad muddled, a mix of character study, revelation, and farce. And, as things unfolded, by dint of pacing and sheer comic/character acting power, I came to really care about the characters; and I loved it! I glowed through most of FSM.
Here's a way of looking at it: FSM was sort of like Shakespearean romantic farce. Maybe that explains why I liked it; because my mind already has a little engine for processing this kind of narrative stuff, built up from past experiences watching Shakespeare In The Park!
It also comes down to artistic sincerity. Most romance flicks are a little insulting because they're not sincere. There was something, in the end, believable and therefore redeeming about the characters and their silly little Hawaiian comedy of errors and feints.
And that's a miracle, in my book! This is not an ordinary date flick.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall - A slacker composer Peter (Jason Segel from
"Knocked Up") has a breakdown after his girlfriend Sarah (Kristen Bell
of "Heroes"), the star of a hit TV show, dumps him for a British pop
star. Peter goes to Hawaii to try and forget about Sarah, which proves
to be a poor choice when he finds Sarah is not only in Hawaii, but they
are staying at the same hotel. Paul Rudd, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill and
Mila Kunis co-star.
This was a funny movie! It's a more mature than your average comedy. It survives comedically without leeching off too many other bits of pop culture, unlike Knocked Up. There is the exception of some funny spoofs of CSI and Ghost Whisperer, two fatted calfs rip for killing. Everyone is allowed to be funny, even the women, and they are. I enjoyed the occasional "Scrubs" style cut-aways which were frequently funny. The best one has to be the week Peter spent in the same pair of sweat pants.
This was a lucky stroke from from first time director Nicholas Stoller and first time writer (in addition to lead actor) Jason Segel. I hate making comparisons to other actors, but I kept thinking of Judge Reinhold when I saw Segel. Not that that's a strike against him.
Segel is a fresh face in the comedy genre, and is adept at playing sympathetic slacker and funny man in one. Kirsten Bell acts much better in this than Heroes, and it's a nice change of pace to not recognize Paul Rudd in appearance and character immediately. Bill Hader is funny as always. What really comes across in this film is that everyone, even Sarah Marshall, seems like a 3-dimensional character. Hopefully the days in comedies when people are bitchy or vile just for the hell of it are gone. Even the shallow pop star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), who is the rival to Peter, is likable. There's no animosity between the two men. It's nice to have a comedy where we don't have to demonize anyone.
It's a cute film, sometimes hilarious, but the first half is definitely funnier than the second half. I might pick it up on DVD sometime.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall, definitely the biggest movie that everyone
was looking forward to seeing this year. Apatow has had nothing but big
success with his comedies: 40-year-old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad,
Walk Hard, and now Forgetting Sarah Marshall, their next big hit. Also
Jason Segal's first major script brought to life, I have to say he's
got talent, the reason I say that? These characters... they're likable!
Not only are the likable, they are real and people you could relate
too! For example, Sarah Marshall's new boyfriend that she broke up with
Peter for, yeah, he's a little bit of a moron, but you know what? You
could understand why people liked him, he was pretty cool, even the
girlfriend, Sarah, yeah, she was a jerk, but so real and also you don't
get too mad at her with her reason on why she fell out of love with
Peter. Forgetting Sarah Marshall has great laughs and a fun story.
Sarah Marshall: hot actress, beautiful, and a fun person, just broke up with her musician boyfriend, Peter. He's just heartbroken and needs to get away for a while, so he goes to Hawaii, but guess what? Sarah is there with her new rock star boyfriend, Aldous Snow, and things are not seeming to go his way. But when he meets Rachel Jenson, the nice and really pretty hotel clerk, they go out and he ends up realizing that maybe this break up wasn't such a big deal after all.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a funny movie, I guarantee you are going to laugh. I do have one complaint, the male nudity, now it's not that I'm a prude at all, just this was more uncomfortable than funny with Jason exposing all his assets. I don't know, just that type of humor isn't funny with me, male or female, just depending on the joke, but this was more awkward. But I do think this is a fun movie, it has a great story and really makes you laugh and just have a good time with these characters, it's a good recommendation from me.
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.
An amusing and sometimes awkward breakup film, this pic was written by
and stars a long-time Apatow cohort, Jason Segel. The pic centers on
lost, hypersensitive slacker Peter, who after being broken up with by
his TV star girlfriend copes with its end poorly, eventually escaping
to Hawaii where he subsequently books himself into a hotel that she is
coincidentally staying at.
Immediate warning to those sensitive to full frontal male nudity: it is present and more than once. That out of the way, the pic was pretty affable, containing more than a handful of good laughs as well as more than a lot of generally comically captured sex scenes. Many of the secondary characters also play enjoyably silly roles. And there is a funny musical component to the pic that also includes an amusing rendition of puppet-related works.
I suppose I do have to level a little criticism for the theme being a little slight, but there still is something to be said for healing of personal wounds and learning to "move on". Those that have seen other Apatow relationship pics will probably see a number of similarities (slacker dude learns to grow up, gross out comedy, etc), even though Apatow didn't write or direct this piece. The film is also a bit on the long side, like many comedies that come from the Apatow crew and you do notice it. Some judicious trimming and relegating of some scenes (including numerous flashbacks) to DVD extras would've been helpful.
Finally, I wish that more character could be drawn from both Sarah Marshall and Peter's newfound love interest, hotel employee Rachel as they played fairly two-dimensional, but I'm glad that Sarah didn't end up a one-note character as well. I didn't love the conclusion of the breakup story arc because I felt that it was a bit of a cop-out, but it didn't ruin the film. Lastly, Peter was written a little on the edge of believability in terms of being oversensitive, so you really have to buy his character, otherwise the film will break on you.
Essentially, this is a congenial, enjoyable, but rude/crude film with a share of laughs and more Jason Segel than you probably ever wanted to see. Recommended for those who like some story with their laughs and can handle the vulgar, sexual, and nude content. 8/10.
I'm not a big fan of Judd Apatow and his recent crop of movies.
That said, I got to see "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" April 11 at a preview screening with some friends, and I was impressed. It's a joke movie, but it has a story that pulls you along, and the jokes are outrageously funny. I nearly died laughing. It doesn't try to push the envelope of "How immature and disgusting can we be?", which was what I have come to expect from these sorts of movies. It's just funny actors doing a great job of telling a good story that most adults will relate to in some way. It's honest fun, and I wish there were more comedies like this coming out.
All my friends enjoyed the film, too (aged 20-27). It's a good date movie, though certainly NOT one for the kids or younger teenagers.
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