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In the expanded Judd Apatow universe, Jason Segel has always had the
role of the oddball character, be it on TV in Freaks and Geeks or,
later on, Undeclared, or in Apatow's directorial effort Knocked Up.
Now, following the lead of former co-star Seth Rogen, he takes his stab
at starring in a picture, with an additional, significant contribution
in the form of the screenplay (with Apatow producing, of course). And
despite the implications of the title, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a
more than decent effort.
Segel plays Peter Bretter, a TV composer who gets unceremoniously dumped by his girlfriend, small-screen star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell in slightly self-spoofing mode) while in the buff. As per the recommendation of his brother (Bill Hader), he goes to Hawaii on a little trip to find happiness again. And it all seems to go well, what with the company of hotel employees Rachel (Mila Kunis) and Matthew (Jonah Hill) and surfing instructor Chuck (Paul Rudd). However, one big problem has to be dealt with: Sarah is also there, with her new boyfriend Aldous Snow (Russell Brand)...
Sticking close to the Apatow template (hence the presence of regular players Rudd, Hill and Hader), Forgetting Sarah Marshall attempts to deftly mix sweeter material and rude comedy. The former comes in the form of Peter's very real and affecting relationship with Rachel; the latter is best embodied by Segel's infamous full frontal nude scenes (based on real events, apparently). The balance works quite well but is somewhat disturbed by Segel and director Nicholas Stoller's show business-satirizing agenda. Some ideas (the Seinfeld reference, a Dracula musical with puppets) work brilliantly, others - including the titular character - fall a bit flat.
The lead performances are equally uneven: though he lacks the weird charm of Seth Rogen, Segel is a likable protagonist; Bell, on the other hand, is stuck with a very clichéd character and isn't able to elevate her above a basic starlet caricature. The supporting cast is, fortunately, up to the challenge and effectively lifts up the movie. Best of the bunch is Brand, also in a vaguely autobiographical zone as a British rock star with various addictions. Profane, honest and hilarious, it's no wonder he got his own movie recently.
In short, Forgetting Sarah Marshall isn't exactly the best of the Apatow bunch, but it's got solid laughs, an ace soundtrack and, for better or worse, Jason Segel's penis. Oh, and did I mention the Dracula puppet musical?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was the first feature film to star of Britain's most well known up and coming comedy stars, since Big Brother's Big Mouth he has shot to fame, I confess I saw the follow up, Get Him to the Greek, before this, but it doesn't really matter. Basically musician and composer Peter Bretter (Jason Segel, also writing) is unmotivated, and is shocked to have his girlfriend of five years, and star of hit television show Crime Scene, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), dump him for another man. The situation is made worse as he works on the set of her show, so his step-brother Brian Bretter (Bill Hader) suggests he should take a vacation to try and get over his love, so he chooses Hawaii. Arriving at the tropical paradise, Turtle Bay Resort, a place that Sarah had mentioned wanting to go to, and not very coincidently she arrives on the same day with her new boyfriend. She is now with the pretentious lead singer of the band Infant Sorrow, pop singer Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), making his plan to forget about her impossible, and all staff and guests of the hotel are aware. Neither Peter and Sarah are leaving the resort hotel though, even with everyone knowing, and he instead, with the help of advice from Brian and his wife Liz Bretter (Liz Cackowski) tries to get with another woman. Customer services concierge and agent Rachel Jansen (Family Guy's Mila Kunis) is the one who gave him an expensive suite at a lower price, and as he spends time with her he does feel attraction. Of course Sarah is not too far away, she and Aldous are having a little rough patch, so with things like overhearing sex she is jealous and tries to compete, and not long afterwards Aldous ends their relationship. Next day Peter and Aldous are surfing together, he finds out about the split, so he goes to see Sarah and admits he still loves her, and they start a sexual reunion, but even getting a blowjob he feels he feels more for Rachel now. She finds out about what happened and refuses to see him, he tries to get her back by getting the bar owner take down her humiliating nude photo from the men's toilets, but he flies back to Los Angeles thinking it hasn't worked. Peter being alone and feeling sad he decides to continue the inspiration he got abroad for his Dracula musical, "A Taste for Love", and completed he sends Rachel an invitation for the opening night, and after the success they rekindle their affections, and the end also sees Sarah getting a new show. Also starring Jonah Hill as Matthew the Waiter, Paul Rudd as Chuck the surfing instructor, William Baldwin as Detective Hunter Rush and Jason Bateman as Animal Instincts Detective. Segel is very amusing and did a pretty good job writing, Bell is cute as his ex-girlfriend, Kunis is attractive and likable, and Brand does his best to make some good laughs in his debut, there are some surprisingly funny sequences, so you won't be disappointed, a worthwhile romantic comedy. Good!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When actress Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) dumps her long-term
boyfriend Peter (Jason Segal), his world falls apart. Stuck in a
horrible depression, he decides to go on vacation to Hawaii;
unfortunately for him, Sarah also happens to be there with her new
boyfriend, world famous rocker Aldous Snow (Russell Brand)...
After the surprisingly charming "Knocked Up" and the surprisingly gross-out "Superbad", "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is a nice mixture of the two for the Judd Apatow crowd. It has a good, solid script, though the tendency for improvisation does become a little too regular at times. It also looks beautiful, a perfect picture postcard for Hawaii.
If you have ever been dumped you can probably sympathise with Peter, played convincingly for the most part by Segal. However, at times the reliance on him being a bit of a cry baby does damage the character a little bit. What's nice, however, despite the initial finger of blame being pointed solely at Kristen Bell's Sarah, is that Peter too was at fault for the problems in the relationship. This makes the situation a lot more 3d and realistic.
The two stars of the show are undoubtedly Mila Kunis as Peter's new love interest, Rachel, and Brand as Snow. While Kunis underplays and conveys the character that she is needed to be, Brand is a force unleashed, though thankfully he isn't let too far off the lead. His Snow is a wonderfully stereotypical and, in the end, monstrously pig-headed rocker; in a sense, Brand is really playing himself. It was always going to be a success.
There is good supporting work from Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd as two dysfunctional hotel employees, though they do become a little annoying after a time. Bill Hader is much more successful as Peter's friend.
Towards the end of the film the story attempts to go into clichés, and though it ends on a really big one, the blow is softened by the previous five minutes; the puppet musical of Dracula is laugh-out-loud funny, entirely reminiscent of the wonderful "Avenue Q" in its brilliance and its audacity.
At times one could argue that the film doesn't really know which audience it's aiming for: frat boy or genuine Rom-com lover? It is however a very decent effort, and should certainly not be forgotten in a hurry. We are waiting to hear about the movie rights to the Dracula Puppet Musical.
Peter (Jason Segal) is dating Sarah (Kristen Bell), has been for a long
time. Peter is supposedly nerdy while Sarah is hot and famous.
Sarah dumps Peter.
Peter shows his doodle and pleads for her to come back. Sarah then says she is already seeing someone else.
Peter is very sad.
After the obligatory "Peter tries out a bunch of skanks" montage, which at least allowed the filmmakers to add Bill Hader as his step-brother, Peter decides to take some time off and heads to Hawaii to recharge the batteries.
The holiday is unplanned, he literally gets on a plane and arrives at the airport without any other structure. So the first hotel Peter gets to is fully booked, and who do you think shows up?????
That's right Aldous Snow the famous rocker...
No wait, I haven't told you about him yet. Sarah Marshall his ex-missus, that's it. She is there with her new beau Aldous Snow the famous rocker (Oh so that's where he comes into it!) and they are celebrating their new love in paradise.
Peter is understandably unsettled by this unexpected (but totally expected) turn of events, and imagine his surprise when the desk clerk Rachel (Mila Kunis) helps out by allowing him to stay rent free in one of the more luxurious suites, happens all the time right? I mean she has that power. Who else wouldn't risk their job for someone they never met before?
I bet you would!
As Peter continues feeling sorry for himself and boozing his way through the week he keeps bumping into the new happy couple which depresses him more, and other guests and staff try to cheer him up which leads to encounters with Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd, and more and more meetings with Rachel.
Peter learns that Aldous Snow is actually quite cool, as well as being a world famous rock star he is a recovering addict and a pretty nice guy, which sh*ts him. He also finds out that Aldous and Sarah have a past that goes a little further back than he first thought, that sh*ts him more.
As Peter gets along better with Rachel a mistimed polite gesture becomes an awkward double date, with both chicks trying to one up each other. (For the record: Mila by a mile, even if she has absolutely no arse.)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall definitely has its share of potty talk and there are some dirty bits for the grown ups, but in the main it is kept pretty light and likable. Thankfully there are no fluid or put down jokes that seem to be the thing these days.
As well as being pleasing and almost constantly funny Forgetting Sarah Marshall managed a few other notable things:
* It announced the now seemingly ever-present Russell Brand.
* It showed Mila Kunis as more than merely Meg's voice, but that she is hot, friendly and spunky, a pretty winning combo.
* It showed Jason Segal can carry a film, he even made I Love You, Man seem more fun than it was.
* It showed that Kristen Bell is harmless enough but imminently forgettable, even now writing this I had to IMDb her name as it slipped me.
Aside from the much publicised doodle showing and some low key sex scenes Forgetting Sarah Marshall is basically a feel good comedy. There is little to detest or recoil at, and even if you don't agree with Aldous Snow's philosophy on women it's still pretty hard to dislike the guy.
Final Rating - 8 / 10. Throwaway fun with jokes aplenty and a beautiful backdrop, both Hawaii and the two leading ladies.
I must have missed this one when it came out because I didn't know what I was getting when I caught it on cable but I was greatly surprised by how clever and funny it was. The characters are great fun and the plot just seems effortless in it's ability to make you forget you are watching a movie and just flow with it. Jason Segel is convincing as a lovable loser and Russell Brand's character is just retarded funny. A great date movie with all the right pieces, the fake TV show Kristen Bell is on is hilarious and she is very cute in this too, but the show stealer is Mila Kunis who can be both beautiful and approachable at the same time. Do not miss this great comedy.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is the lifeline that spares all hitched men
from watching a plot-less Patrick Dempsey film and enduring the single
dimensioned antics common to the 'chick flick'.
The film revolves around Peter Bretter (Jason Segel), a music composer who dates Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), the lead actress of a crime fiction television show. After an unusual break up, Peter heads to Hawaii in an attempt to flee from his unbearable reality.
Upon checking in, Peter bumps into Sarah and 'the other guy'. Caught between the pursuits of winning his love back and moving on, the film exploits almost every awkward scenario in a truly whimsical fashion.
Jason Segel (knocked up) effortlessly balances his heart wrenching torment with peculiar and raunchy humour that favours both sexes. Solid characters coupled with a refined script make this an enjoyablelaugh until your spleen achescouples movie.
I loved, loved, loved this film. It had great actors, a great plot, and the perfect balance of drama and comedy. I didn't know what to expect when I was watching this movie. The beginning was funny so I was like "Oh, a comedy!" Then there was a devastatingly upsetting part. "A tear jerker?" Then a few parts where I was sitting on the edge of my seat. "A suspense film?" It had it all. I was laughing hysterically until I couldn't breathe, I was crying, I was on the edge of my seat Though I had some issues with the ending, overall I enjoyed it greatly and would love to see it again. I will not discuss my issues with the ending because I do not want to give anything away. There is nothing worse than seeing a movie and knowing the ending.
"Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is another in the sequence of comedies
bearing Judd Apatow's imprint. Here Apatow acts as producer while the
direction is handled by first-timer Nicholas Stoller and the script
comes from the pen of star Jason Segel.
The story concerns a guy who gets dumped by the titular Sarah Marshall and has a tough time getting over it. When he follows his brother's advice and vacations in Hawaii he arrives only to find that his ex is staying at the same resort with her new boyfriend. Awkward. Needless to say, hilarity ensues.
I find Jason Segel to be a likable presence in films and this one is no exception. Kristen Bell is also quite likable as Sarah Marshall though I think I wouldn't have much trouble forgetting about her with the lovely Mila Kunis around. Meanwhile, Russell Brand makes a fine addition to the mix with his effortless delivery and cocksure attitude. Add to these some notable individuals in support - including Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill and Bill Hader - and you've got an enviable comedic ensemble.
Nicholas Stoller's direction does the trick though there's not really anything special about it. It competently presents Jason Segel's script, which is funny, insightful and original. I've also got to single out the soundtrack for some special praise; opening as it does with Cake, closing with a Hawaiian translation of "Nothing Compares 2 U" and featuring a number of good tunes in between.
In the end, what elevates this comedy above most of its brethren is the story. The simple premise paves the way for a story that feels authentic while also hitting the right notes for a romantic comedy. Certainly worth viewing in my opinion, though I should note that Segel goes full frontal in a couple of scenes, so you might want to choose your company accordingly.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a consistently funny and at times utterly
hilarious movie. Can't ask for much more than that from a comedy. That
the movie has some heart to it is a nice little bonus. Yes the movie is
somewhat raunchy but it's also kind of sweet. It's a delicate balance
but one which works. Full credit to writer Jason Segel for pulling that
off. Of course Segel is not just the movie's writer, he's also the star
and his performance provides much of the film's ultimate appeal. He
plays Peter Bretter, a composer for a popular CSI-style television show
in which his girlfriend, Sarah Marshall, stars. Unfortunately for Peter
his carefree, blissful and somewhat sloth-like existence is about to be
rudely interrupted. Sarah dumps him. Peter, to put it mildly, does not
take the news well. You can't help but feel for the big lug and that's
a feeling that stays with you throughout the whole movie. Segel has
created a character who is so easy to like. But as much as you like him
you can laugh at him too. And as the movie plays out there will
certainly be plenty of opportunities to laugh at the expense of poor
After wallowing in post-breakup grief for a while Peter decides that perhaps a vacation will help him forget Sarah Marshall. So off to Hawaii he goes. Unfortunately it turns out that Sarah is vacationing at the same Hawaiian resort. With her new boyfriend, the pompous, narcissistic British rock star Aldous Snow. Awkward. But this situation is a potential comedy gold mine and hilarity most assuredly will ensue. Segel is great throughout but Russell Brand threatens to steal the show with his portrayal of Aldous. I am not really a fan of Brand at all but there is no denying he is perfect for this role. Mila Kunis has plenty of good moments in playing Rachel, the hotel receptionist who helps Peter break out of his funk. And the likes of Bill Hader, Jack McBrayer, Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd are on hand in smaller roles and each of them is very funny as well. Ironically, given the movie's title, the most forgettable character is Sarah Marshall. Kristen Bell plays the role and there's nothing wrong with her performance. Her character just never seems to get the big comedic moments. She's the straight woman who is largely left to react to all the antics going on around her.
Funny throughout the movie really kicks into high gear near the end. The big climactic scene is rather bizarre but delightfully so. It's a fitting cap to a thoroughly enjoyable movie-watching experience. The movie clocks in at nearly two hours which you might think would be a little long for a movie of this type. But the movie never really drags. The story keeps moving forward and there are plenty of moments of comic genius sprinkled all along the way. It's a movie that has big laughs and big heart. There's also room for some memorable songs which are all performed wonderfully and which provide some of the movie's funniest moments. Everything comes together quite well. This is a movie to remember, one which definitely leaves you with a smile on your face.
**A WORD OF WARNING: This film features brief but full-on frontal male
nudity of the star actor (Jason Segel). The scenes are short and don't
spoil an otherwise good movie, but viewers should be warned up front to
avoid any possible movie night embarrassment. (It is a rated-R comedy,
The movie is about a man (Jason Segel, also the writer) wallowing around in self-pity after being dumped by his girlfriend of five years, who happens to be a famous TV star. To clear his mind the man treats himself to a Hawaiian vacation, but runs into his ex-girlfriend (Kristen Bell) with another man (Russell Brand). Unlikely as it may seem, the film takes an uplifting turn in the second half. The man learns to stop feeling sorry for himself and move on with his life. I'd say that FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL is a great film about breakups, as it shows how depressing they can be, but leaves the viewer with a sense that people can pick up the pieces of their lives and get back on track.
I think this film is overlooked when it comes to recent comedy hits. Everybody loves THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, KNOCKED UP, SUPERBAD, and THE HANGOVER, but SARAH MARSHALL seems to be forgotten in a sort of second-tier of also-rans. I think this movie is plenty funny (and plenty raunchy, if that's what you're looking for), with a lot of heart and soul. I think the taboo of frontal male nudity probably scared some people away, but looking past these brief sight gags the movie is a winner in my book.
I also think that people don't appreciate how great this film is on a couple different levels. The character of Aldous Snow (Brand) is a world-famous singer and the film includes two of his original songs. It's really worth checking out the full music video for "We've Got To Do Something" on the DVD. The film itself only shows snippets and they can't do the song justice. The whole thing is hilarious, both the lyrics and the accompanying video. Also, Jason Segel's character in the movie stages a Dracula-themed puppet musical. The concept for such a musical was an actual idea Segel had in his mind for years. The songs are all original, the puppets were created for the film by the Jim Henson Company, and some actors actually get to do some puppeteering. The hit TV show that stars Sarah Marshall is a over-the-top parody of shows like "CSI" or "Law & Order", with Billy Baldwin providing terrible and inappropriate one-liners.
A lot of effort had to go into these songs/shows-within-a-show, and I feel that the creativity goes under-appreciated. The film is funny at the surface, but it's even more impressive upon further consideration.
Russell Brand is great at delivering hilariously constructed bits of dialogue, and his performance here is a minor revelation to viewers unfamiliar with the British comedian. The cast also includes many Judd Apatow regulars, notably Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, and Bill Hader. Rudd's supporting role has some great moments. Some less-famous actors stand out in supporting roles as staff at the Hawaiian resort. The whole ensemble (which include's Mila Kunis and "30 Rock"'s Jack McBrayer) is pretty solid.
FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL is full of depictions of and references to sexual intercourse and features quite a bit of profanity as well as brief nudity. It is rated R for a reason. But it's one of those "raunchy comedies with a heart", produced by Judd Apatow. Much of the humor is sex-related and/or vulgar and, as one would expect, the film features trademark Apatovian improvisation.
It's a lot of fun, from the endearing characters to the comedic performances to the charming Dracula puppets. Shot on location, the film really captures what I'd like to believe is the feel of a Hawaiian vacation, with the sun always shining and the blue ocean in the background.
The movie didn't impress me at first, but it had grown on me by the time it ended. There's plenty of funny R-rated comedy, but the uplifting spirit of the film is what really won me over. This film makes me feel good.
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