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April 29, 2008

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” leaves you with some not so forgettable quotes

Sarah180_3Good films emboss our culture with legendary dialog like, "You had me at 'Hello,'" and "We don't need no stinkin' badges." Forgetting Sarah Marshall's gift to our collective phraseology is this gem: "I saw him beat-up a guy with a starfish."

     When Peter Bretter's girlfriend, Sarah, dumps him, he flees to Hawaii where he can forget about her. But that's not bloody likely because Sarah and her new flame, rock star Aldous Snow, pick the same resort at which to vacation.
     It's the latest, and quite possibly greatest, product of the Judd Apatow and Shauna Robertson factory which also gave us Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
     Best suited for 20- and 30-somethings, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is literally a laugh a minute, and like American Pie, if you render-away the crudeness, even quite charming.
     A great cast--Veronica Mars' Kristen Bell, That '70s Show's Mila Kunis, SNL's Bill Hader, 40-Year-Old's Paul Rudd and Superbad's Jonah Hill--and a wildly witty script make for an enjoyable 112 minutes, the capstone of which is a Dracula opera performed by puppets.

3 Honks
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, language and some graphic nudity.


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Read this and all of my reviews on my site:

Growing up as a child of the 80s, raunch comedy was where it was at back then. The Porky's franchise thrived in theaters, putting a dirty spin on a Grease-ish high school. The entire goal of the comedy films I grew up on was to see a girl naked. Seeing a bare shot of a topless woman was considered comedy. The storylines of those films are worthless for the most part and the movie was considered successful if the lead guy hooked up with the blonde cheerleader. Comedy goes through spurts of creativity in theatrical releases. There was slapstick in the 50s, raunch in the 80s, gross out in the 90s and now Judd Apatow in the 2000s. Judd Apatow has had a hand in nearly every successful comedy this decade, from Superbad, to Knocked Up and now into Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Apatow stays consistent with comedic talent in his casting, keeping most of the same actors throughout his films.

Peter Bretter (played by the film's writer Jason Segel) is a music writer. Peter primarily writes background music tracks for network television shows. Peter is in a long time relationship with Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). Sara is the star of one such show, Crime Scene. The film begins with Sarah crushing Peter by breaking up with him in a manner all too visual to describe here. Devastated Peter, with the helpful advice of his brother Brian (Bill Hader), decides to take a Hawaiian vacation in order to better deal with the recent break-up. Little does he know Sarah's traveling to the same resort as her ex ... and she's bringing along her new boyfriend. Meeting up with the resort worker Rachel (Mila Kunis), Peter struggles to get over his ex and start to live life again.

I didn't know exactly what to expect with this film. Superbad was pure raunch, with an interestingly tender sincerity. The 40 Year Old Virgin depended upon the raunch, rather than a story for success and in my opinion failed. When I heard that some of the critics I trusted loved it, I decided we must see it opening night. I was not let down at all.

Where Forgetting Sarah Marshall succeeds over movies with similar storylines is that it is truly genuine in certain moments. Hearing Peter express his sadness over the loss of his girlfriend using a tupperware container as a metaphor for how good she was to him is hysterical. Flashbacks are scattered throughout the film and their influence on character development is far superior to that of most romantic comedies. You do truly care for the characters in this film.

Mila Kunis is as cute as can be as Rachel, but wears a tad too much makeup at some moments in the film, looking supertan and a little orange. Paul Rudd is perfectly cast as a stoner surfer dude and Jonah Hill (of Superbad) does a great turn as a resort attendant with a little more than a man crush on Sarah's new love interest. Acting is top notch all around and Bill Heder, who only has a few short lines in the movie, fires on all cylinders. I was laughing out loud multiple times in this one and would rank this one right up there with my favorite romantic comedies ever.

Overall Rating: A

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