Forgetting Sarah Marshall Review

There's two ways to look at Forgetting Sarah Marshall. On one hand it follows the Romantic Comedy formula to the letter - with no aberrations. On the other hand, the hand that really matters, it's perhaps the funniest, laugh out loud movie to come out all year. Yes, it's from the Judd Apatow camp so there's a bit of raunch but the overall effect is a heartwarming comedy that delivers on the funny.

Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) has a pretty sweet life. He creates music for the hit television show "Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime" and dates its star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). Despite his blooming relationship he seems to be living the bachelor life in an apartment decorated with the sensibility of a tornado. Before Peter has any idea what's happening Sarah has arrived on his doorstep with the end of their relationship in tow. It's over. Too bad. So sad. After receiving consolation from his brother (Bill Hader) he decides to flee to Hawaii with hopes of forgetting Sarah Marshall. See what I did there?

But it wouldn't be a Romantic Comedy if Sarah Marshall didn't show up to rain on his luau with new beau super-rockstar Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). But all is not lost - sexy resort receptionist Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis) shows Peter a helluva time.

As I said - there's no real new territory tread plot wise. But the comedy...oh how I laughed. Not just me though, that would have been awkward. The audience laughed as well. We were rolling in the aisles causing massive safety hazards and fire code violations. So it goes.

Seriously, Comedy Lovers - this film is not to be missed.

Jason Segel, who's proven himself time and again in How I Met Your Mother, Freaks & Geeks and even Knocked Up, goes over the top with Forgetting Sarah Marshall. As he wrote it, it only seems right that he puts his character through countless trials purely for our enjoyment. But Segel really shines when he brings his musical talents to bear in full comedic force. Whether crying over a piano or playing a few bits from his Dracula puppet opera in a crowded Hawaiian bar Jason Segel is in his element endearing his foolish character to the audience. Forgetting Sarah Marshall could've gone differently. The very nature of Peter Bretter could've come across as creepy, overly pathetic or even hateful - but Segel salvaged it into a comedic triumph.

Mila Kunis, goddamn she's gorgeous. She always has been, true. But in That 70s Show she never quite radiated pure hotness like she does here. She's fantastic. She lights up every scene and complements the mopey Segel in perfect harmony. While I think Kristen Bell is incredibly talented, compared to Mila's performance no other actress could have filled the sandals quite as well. Just damn.

Kristen Bell, despite having a film named after her fading memory, plays such a minor role. Even as Peter mourns the death of their relationship most of the film's activity has very little to do with her character. When she finally does come into the picture she does perform quite well. However, it's her boyfriend, Aldous Snow as played by British comedian Russell Brand that scores the most points.

When we first see Brand he's dry-humping nuns in an airport terminal while singing a generic song for bleeding heart bands everywhere. I never expected that the film would give him nearly as much attention as it did - but I'm glad in retrospect. Russell Brand's Aldous is hilarious. Reciting pompous, abstract lines typical of singers with a cause, the character elevates the truly awkward situation into levels of undistilled awesome.

The cast pulls together to form a truly eye-opening experience. Forgetting Sarah Marshall proves that Hollywood can still be funny without drawing upon the pop-culture-nodding indies like Juno. Sure Juno was funny but funny in that very particular way. Forgetting Sarah Marshall resembles the more classic comedy and shows that it's not the formula that's lost its edge but the people up-top choosing the scripts.

I can't stress how much you need to see this movie. It blows away any and all comedic competition thus far this year. And when you take into account that all the big summer blockbusters on the movie geek's radar are action flicks...well Forgetting Sarah Marshall just looks even better. The Judd Apatow crew has redeemed themselves from the tripe that was Drillbit Taylor (wow, that sucked).

The final scene of Forgetting Sarah Marshall is incredible - it's just too perfect for words.

"Forgetting Sarah Marshall" opens April 18, 2008 and is rated R. Comedy. Directed by Nicholas Stoller. Written by Jason Segel. Starring Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Russell Brand, Mila Kunis, Bill Hader, Paul Rudd, Jack McBreyer.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


New Reviews