Forgetting Sarah Marshall

April 20, 2008 at 9:00 pm | Posted in movies | 3 Comments

Matthew: What did you think of my demo? Did you get it? I mean, did you get it?
Aldous Snow: I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
AMC Stony Brook – April 18, 2008

Takes super human strength to resist the obvious puns… Not Forgetting… Unforgettable… eh, screw it.

Fantastic and Hilarious! Going into it, I had a certain expectation of comedic value, based on previous work of Executive Producer Judd Apatow (40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked up). The trailer plays up the college humor aspects of the film, while still giving a sense of the love (or lack of love) story within.

Scathing New Yorker Review by David Denby

I guess not everyone agrees with me. However, this review is a worthy mention, if only for the blasphemous mention of Joe Versus the Volcano for comparison as a “lame beach comedy” Shame on you. IMHO, Joe Versus the Volcano is one of the overlooked and under-appreciated comedies from the early nineties. (more examples include Crazy People, Defending Your Life, L.A. Story, etc.)

The essence of the Forgetting Sarah Marshall plot is pretty straight forward. Boy loses girl (while bucknaked). Boy becomes brokenhearted and goes to Hawaii. There, Boy meets Sassy but attractive girl who befriends him through this rough time. (Overnight Delivery anyone?) Boy and Sass girl fall in love. Circumstances pull them apart. Insert Romantic Comedy ending = they realize the error of their ways and find their way back to each other. However, the beginning of the story is truly where it all began…

According to IMDB, screenwriter and star Jason Segel (of HIMYM fame) revealed in a New York Times interview that the naked breakup and Dracula puppet musical scenes were both drawn from his real life experiences. Segel admitted that he really did have a girlfriend break up with him once while he was completely naked. Rather than being devastated during it, he thought to himself “This is hilarious. I cannot wait for her to leave so I can write this down.” Resulting in Full Frontal Comedy! (A little too much, if you ask me.) Ahh, the everlasting battle between the appropriate amount of literal dick jokes and the “less truly is more” approach. Props for an original idea though, one that ponders on how someone would honestly react in that situation. When writing, he tried to capture four people with different viewpoints in the trails of love. No one person is purely evil or malicious, showing the many levels of gray in relationships, how complicated and intricate love is. Even the girl who dumps him has her reasons. In break-ups, no one ever wins.

True Story: Before he was a successful actor, Segal tried to write a musical adaptation of “Dracula” for puppets. These scenes really made me want to see Avenue Q. Never seen it, but I get these waves of excitement for performing puppets. Must be my Muppet roots. lol Segal has previously worked with Judd Apatow on the Brilliant but Cancelled teen comidrama, Freaks and Geeks. He now stars in How I met your Mother, an Orgconfuz fave. Wait… his character name on that show is Marshall too! Bad coincidence or subconscious ploy? Hmmm…

All in all, a solid comedy with genuine laughs throughout. After Superbad, I thought I had become jaded to college humor films. Its sort of like Nintendo – go with me for a second… I used to love Nintendo. Played Mike Tyson’s PUNCHOUT and Super Mario Brothers until my heart was content. Then Super NES came out. I could see the future of Nintendo on the horizon, with more and more system updates along with the repurchase of every game. So I stopped and have boycotted every system since. Enter the Wii. I have seen and played a few rounds on friends systems and fell in love all over again! My analogy equivalent to Super NES was American Pie 2. Once that was released, I could just see the barage of films to follow; some I might nominally enjoy but ultimately the bad would overall outweigh the good. Admittedly, there have been a rash of smart teen comedies as of late that may have eased this transition (aka Juno). But that has no relevance here.

In tribute to a friend, the immortal words of Bob Dylan come to mind… Don’t think twice, its allright. This is not a head piece. Sit back and enjoy!

RATING: ****/5 (One star was cock-blocked, like the movie should have been. wakka wakka… but seriously folks… 4 times??)
Recommendation: It’s funny. See it in the theater or see it on DVD. Just see it.

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3 Comments »

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  1. I will def see it

  2. Minus one star for a penis? Seriously? After the literally thousands of teen comedies with gratuitous boob shots?

  3. Point taken. Still 4 stars though. 😛


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