Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Comedy, Drama, Romance
Kristen Bell, Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Mila Kunis
Devastated Peter takes a Hawaii vacation in order to deal with recent break-up with his TV star girlfriend, Sarah. Little does he know Sarah's traveling to the same resort as her ex ... and she's bringing along her new boyfriend.
With ample laughs and sharp performances, Forgetting Sarah Marshall finds just the right mix of romantic and raunchy comedy.
  • Universal Pictures Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 18 Apr 2008 Released:
  • 05 Oct 2008 DVD Release:
  • $62.7M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

You Won't Soon Forget It!9/10
I know, I went for the obvious.

I was lucky enough to see an early screening of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" a few days ago and I am more than happy to start spreading some buzz for this film. It was consistently funny and highly quotable with a strong cast and well developed characters. I have been continually impressed with the multi-talented young actors under Judd Apatow's wing and Jason Segel--who, I'll admit has been one of my favorites since "Freaks and Geeks"--does not disappoint.

There are many familiar faces here from other Apatow projects, but for good reason. Paul Rudd, whom I love equally in comedy and drama (true fans must view "The Shape of Things" but be prepared to be uncomfortable), Bill Hadar, and Jonah Hill hit just the right notes in their supporting roles. There's Russell Brand--whom I was unfamiliar with but apparently evokes strong feelings one way or the other across the pond--is hysterical and delivered some of my favorite lines. Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis are sympathetic straight women to the goofy men around them. It was particularly nice to Mila Kunis outside of the 70's Show/Family Guy worlds. And, last, but certainly not least, there's 30 Rock's Jack McBrayer playing an equally lovable and funny newlywed version of Kenneth.

Though I did feel that the film ran a little long, it never once dragged. There were also a few shots that I am sure will not be available until the unrated DVD hits stores because though they are truly hilarious, they are essentially the only thing keeping the film from a PG-13 rating.

Finally, I will say, that those who liked Knocked Up, Superbad, and 40 Year-Old Virgin, will certainly enjoy this movie. I, personally, would rank it above the other three and will enjoy debating my friends about that come April.
Same Apatow clan, slightly different take.8/10
This film was shown at my university tonight and Stoller was there for a Q&A after the screening. The film was the typical Apatow romp that we have seen as of late (Superbad, Knocked up, etc.). There was the usual crude and creative humor as well inappropriate sexuality to make another great Apatow team production. People should not come in with the expectation that this is another romantic comedy reincarnation of "Knocked Up". This is more of a typical and organic romantic comedy. The heavy emotional weight and issues in "Knocked up" are not present in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". The casting and comedic pacing was done very well and though it may not be a cinematic heavy hitter, it was very good for a directing debut and it was what movies all strive to be, entertaining.
Apatow's Crew Sets the Comedy Bar for Hollywood8/10
I'm going to be honest, walking into the advanced screening tonight I was expecting an overly chick flicky somewhat dull comedy. What I got instead was a pretty hilarious movie with just the right amount of romance and a whole lot of vulgar comedy also. I can honestly say this is the funniest movie of 2008 so far. The entire Judd Apatow crew has overall had about 4 or five great comedies in the last 3 years, putting them up with all the other great comedy film makers since 2005. This movie makes me feel like I can now trust any movie they make most the time. When this movie hits theatres in April, GO SEE IT. I promise you won't find a funnier movie out any time soon.
A miraculous movie!5/10
I normally do not go out for sappy, romantic roller coaster romantic fare; and Forgetting Sarah Marshall (FSM) pretty much falls under the romantic "date flick" rubric.

And I can't, for the life of me, quite figure out why I liked this so much. I guess the filmmakers succeed in making the welter of comic bits, scenes, and images come across like genuine romantic sweet chaos. How they succeeded is beyond my comprehension.

And maybe that's the point. Some films are good, some are bad, and some are sort of like miracles. Their power is inexplicable; and that's how FSM felt to me.

It was boffo, a bit over-the-top, a tad muddled, a mix of character study, revelation, and farce. And, as things unfolded, by dint of pacing and sheer comic/character acting power, I came to really care about the characters; and I loved it! I glowed through most of FSM.

Here's a way of looking at it: FSM was sort of like Shakespearean romantic farce. Maybe that explains why I liked it; because my mind already has a little engine for processing this kind of narrative stuff, built up from past experiences watching Shakespeare In The Park!

It also comes down to artistic sincerity. Most romance flicks are a little insulting because they're not sincere. There was something, in the end, believable and therefore redeeming about the characters and their silly little Hawaiian comedy of errors and feints.

And that's a miracle, in my book! This is not an ordinary date flick.
Surprise Solid Comedy9/10
I often go see advance screenings in my area, especially now that I must officially be on "the list" as I am constantly finding tickets in my work inbox. This was the second Apatow production I've seen in advance and just like "Superbad", this did not disappoint. At the same time, while many of the cast members may be recognizable, there seems to be something different about this installment than I've seen in the likes of "40 Year Old Virgin", "Superbad", or "Knocked Up".

For starters, there was a definite presence of the "TV actors on the big screen" theme here, but I am pleased to report that Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, and Mila Kunis take to movies like naturals. Like many Apatow productions, Segel penned the script and takes over as lead Peter Bretter, proving yet again that with this crew the writer is best suited for the leading role. Segel delivers a character we all know too well from our own personal experiences and never breaks role from the shocking beginning to appropriate ending. I even give Segel extra credit for not completely victimizing his character and pointing out apparent flaws on both ends of the ending relationship.

Kristen Bell plays Sarah Marshall, the iconic ex of the film, but her role sits on the back burner along with the truly hilarious Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) to make way for a leading role in Mila Kunis. From the beginning it is clear that her not-too-smart and shallow role of "That 70s Show" didn't follow her to "Forgetting"'s script. Kunis plays Racheal, a hospitality girl for the hotel that "Forgetting" takes place, and subsequently deals with Peter as he tries to get over Sarah Marshall. Her character is intelligent, charismatic, and appreciative of the good in people, a strong juxtaposition to the seemingly selfish starlet Sarah Marshall. Kunis owns the role with pride, even slipping in gestures and glances that didn't seem to initially be in the script. Hopefully this will open her up for more serious roles than "American Psycho 2" and the typecasting that often happens with TV actresses like her.

The star of the film, in my opinion, easily has to be Russell Brand, who plays the over-conscious over-sexed rock star Aldous Snow. Snow adds the necessary level of comedy that could have been missing from what is truly a tragic plot. About halfway in the film, I couldn't help but snicker to myself just with the presence that Brand creates (complete with perfect costume choices). The only downfall to a character who is truly the Mercutio of this tragedy is that Brand clearly overshadows Bell's performance as Sarah Marshall, who is ironically the most forgettable character of the film.

The writing flows with well-timed jokes, apathetic digs, and shocking vulgar humor. There is even a few moments where you feel Segel was digging on the cast with jokes involving crime dramas (Segel did time on "CSI") and TV actresses in horrible horror movies (Kunis did the atrocious "American Psycho 2"); not sure if it was intentional, but I caught what I thought was a reference. Just as with most Apatow productions, leave the kids at home. Unlike the rest, however, the crude humor doesn't overflow and turn off most audiences (like I noticed with "Superbad"). It also doesn't get very heavy in the least (which is what I felt hurt "Knocked Up"). I think Apatow has found a great balance with this production and Segel's script. I also want to give credit to Nicholas Stoller , who proved that he can be successful as a director after the hit he took from helping write "Fun with Dick and Jane".

All in all, this comedy is just another example of a good time for adults. It keeps a consistently flowing script, unlike many recent comedies that seem to lose pace as they close the story. While crude, the jokes are just light enough to appease most adult audiences and the short 100 minute run time will ensure you won't be glancing at your watch waiting for it to end, just laughing hysterically.