Thursday, October 2, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell): Do you want to put some clothes on!
Peter Bretter (Jason Segel): Oh, would you like to pick out the outfit that you break up with me in!

Surfing Instructor (Paul Rudd): I once saw him beat a guy up with a starfish!
Peter Bretter: That's ridiculous.
Surfing Instructor: That guy was me.

Kemo (Taylor Wily): [finding Peter in bed alone] Are those sad tissues or happy tissues?

At a glance: Writer/star Jason Segel shows his comedic talent and his vulnerability in this laugh-out-loud funny, ambitious film about a songwriter whose trophy girlfriend breaks up with him

Peter is a songwriter is in love with his trophy TV star girlfriend. When she unexpectedly breaks up with him, he gets away to Hawaii, only to find that she – and her new boyfriend – are staying in the same hotel. Writer/star Jason Segel is atypical and naturally quirky both on screen and with pen, and he is aided greatly by an excellent, funny (and attractive) supporting cast (Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Bill Hader, and Jonah Hill). There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, but, even so, there is still the semblance of a real love and redemption story too. And some of the seemingly throwaway bits (like Peter’s unfinished Dracula opera for puppets) are brilliant on their own. If you’ve been watching a string of Judd Apatow movies and are enjoying them, each one is a little bit funnier, as you are in sync with the silliness, the cadence, and even the sincerity. The characters end up in slightly unbelievable situations, but their motivations almost always are anchored in reality; it wasn’t a surprise to find out that some of the script (naked breakups and Dracula) came directly from Segel’s real life. Generally speaking, movies from the Apatow stable place their antiheroes through plenty of personal pain, but it remains funny, because the underlying message is that life is good and fun and beautiful and exciting, and our personal setbacks are, in the big picture, just humorous little blips on a greater journey. Rating: 3 of 4

"Segel is as vulnerable on screen as any actor I can think of in recent memory, and he bookends his character's journey as a writer just perfectly. It's a funny, lovely movie, and I look forward to more from Segel."
- Karina Montgomery (Cinerina)

"[The film] works, first and foremost because of Segel, who knocks it out of the park in both his first starring role and first produced screenplay."
- Stephen Silver (The Trend)

"Judd Apatow takes the sexual hijinks of guys-night-out cinema and bitch-slaps it with chick-flick emotionalism, an unlikely combination, but it works."
- Lori Hoffman (Atlantic City Weekly)

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