Sunday, April 20, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

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How is it possible that Judd Apatow slaps his name on multiple comedies per year and the well of hysterical, not-repetitive humor never runs dry? Yet again an Apatow produced film exceeds expectations; Forgetting Sarah Marshall is the funniest film of 2008 so far, that is until another Apatow film tops it. Although the producer extraordinare deserves his share of acclaim, the true stars of this film are the actors, including the star and writer of the film Jason Segel. Segel stars as Peter Bretter, the boyfriend of TV star Sarah Marshall. When Sarah dumps him and brings his life to a crashing halt, Peter goes to a personal hell and back (through Hawaii) to resurrect his life. The casting of the supporting characters by first time director Nicholas Stoller is brilliant. Apatow veterans Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, and Bill Hader are spot-on, as would be expected, and newcomers Mila Kunis (That Seventies Show), Jack McBrayer, and particularly Russell Brand effortlessly join the team, acting as if they have been delivering obscenely raunchy lines for years. Brand plays the rock star Sarah leaves Peter for, and his brain-dead, sex-crazed British lead singer is the most memorable and quotable character in the movie. The script, written by Segel and pitched to Apatow courtside at a Laker's game, is loaded with line after line of in your face vulgarity and subtle quips that may not hit you at first. Scenes with unabashed full-frontal nudity are paired with unthinkably original ideas such as a Dracula-based rock opera, and ingenious quick, cut-in scenes depicting a characters thoughts or words. Whereas Knocked Up combined raunch and unexpected pregnancy, and Superbad mixed the profane with adolescence, the newest film in the Apatow collection fuses a large dose of adult humor with the heartbreak and coping involved with an ending relationship. Each joke about genitals is backed up with a meaningful scene that most of the audience will be able to relate to. Like all romantic comedies there is some cliche, and the film runs a bit long at nearly two hours, but there are so many well-written characters, large and small, that the laughs keep coming, so much so that some jokes will be missed due to excessive cackling. The Apatow brand has added yet another classic to its dynasty, which now includes nearly ten films and countless big-time comedic actors. Forgetting Sarah Marshall isn't easy to forget, and provides enough laughs to make the next Apatow feature the most anticipated movie of the year.

Good for: any adults that laugh, a date

Bad for: uptight people, people offended by nudity and/or profanity

The Gallery
The Film Maker: * * *
The Writer * * * *

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