Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Romantic comedies are usually about finding true love, but a good breakup can also be pretty amusing. In Forgetting Sarah Marshall it's absolutely hysterical -- as well as smart and surprisingly touching.

Peter Bretter (Jason Segel, How I Met Your Mother) lives and loves his girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars), the star of a C.S.I. - type show which he composes music for. When she dumps him -- something he tries to prevent by remaining naked as long as possible -- he cries and cries and cries, then tried a number of disappointing one-night-stands. On the advice of his former stepbrother Brian (Bill Hader), Peter goes on vacation to Hawaii. However, he hasn't even checked into his resort when Sarah shows up... with her famous British rock star boyfriend Aldolus Snow (Russell Brand) with her.

There is hope for Peter on his vacation. First and foremost is the beautiful and spunky Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis, That '70s Show), the hotel worker who takes a liking to the depressed Peter. There are assorted other friends Peter makes on his vacation: Darald (Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock), a religious newlywed who can't seem to make sex work with his bride; Brian (Bill Hader, Superbad), a hotel employee who harbors a big crush on Adolus; and Chuck (Paul Rudd), a very stoned surfing instructor. Brian and his wife Liz (Liz Cackowski) also appear through a computer link to offer Peter advice.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is produced by Judd Apatow, and his signature blend of crudeness and niceness are fully present here. There are plenty of adult jokes, from Peter's frequent full-frontal nudity while being dumped to a demonstration of sexual positions using giant chess pieces. But there's also a lot of heart and depth to the characters. If Peter were a little less likable he'd be utterly pathetic, but Jason Segel makes us like the big lug even in the middle of his crying fit. Sarah has a lot of depth to her, and instead of being the evil woman who dumped a nice guy, she makes it easy to understand why she left him. Kunis' Rachel has her own history and beliefs -- she's not just there to make Peter feel better -- and even the pretentious rock-star Adolus has some niceness to him.

It's a pleasure to have a comedy with rich characters -- and one that makes you laugh so much! From several one-liners to the puppet-musical version of Dracula, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a strong contender for the best comedy of the year. Go see it!

Overall grade: A

Reviewed by James Lynch

1 comment:

My Social Standards said...

Forgetting Sarah Marshall was one of my favorite movies of the year as well as one of my favorite romantic comedies of all time. We reviewed it to on our site at http://mysocialstandards.blogspot.com/ if you want to check it out!