Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Reviewed on 2008 April 18
This was a raunchy, stinging Apatow comedy, but this one was funnier than Superbad. And more intelligent.
Peter Bretter (Jason Segel, and he also wrote the script) is a good-natured, somewhat slothful musician that scores the music for his girlfriend Sarah Marshall’s (Kristen Bell) inane cop show “Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime”. Peter thinks he’s got it good, until the shallow Sarah, apparently thinking she can do better when her show becomes a hit despite itself, dumps him.
Peter completely falls apart (and just so you know, we see a lot of Peter here; the year is young but if the Academy gives out an award for “Bravest Dude” Jason earned it). He threatens to go to pieces until his sharp-tongued, level-headed stepbrother Brian (Bill Hader) insists that he at least try to get over Sarah. Peter decides to go to a Hawaiian resort and relax for a few days. Even this goes badly when Sarah shows up at the same resort and not only accuses him of following her, but she has her new boyfriend in tow, and he’s many a man’s nightmare: Rock star and pretty boy Aldous Snow (Russell Brand, and he stole it). Aldous is every granola-brained rich hippie idiot that thinks he’s “spiritual” because of his meaningful tattoos and free-trade jewelry. In fact he’s a derivative poseur horndog and talks a bit like the Geico gecko after someone dropped him on his head, but Sarah just looks at his career (and body) and sees an upgrade. Refusing to slink away, Peter decides to stay at the resort, and we’re off and running.
I mentioned that this is raunchy — it gets going right out of the gate. (Pay attention to Snow’s record label and video clips at the beginning. It was shortly after this the couple behind me left but I about died laughing.) Many parts are just…wrong, but it’s hard to be offended when you’re just hoping you don’t pass a Junior Mint out your nose. The other thing is that Segel could have given us one-dimensional characters, and he avoided that trap. Rather elegantly, in some places.
Three chocolate morsels, and something served in a hollowed-out fresh pineapple (without rum is fine if you’re, y’know, trying to get into your quiet place and save the whales, mate).