SXSW FILM FESTIVAL
SXSW Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall
by Alex Billington
March 11, 2008
As much as I'd love to go into an in-depth discussion on the intricacies of the comedy within Forgetting Sarah Marshall, it's entirely unnecessary. It's a very funny film that follows the Judd Apatow formula to the core (including with a running time of nearly two hours) and delivers. While not the absolute funniest of Apatow's recent features, Sarah Marshall is still one of the better comedies to arrive this half of the year and that shows both the struggles of break ups and the brighter side on the other end. If you're unsure of whether Jason Segel could pull it off, I'll be the first to tell you that he can, and does.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall follows Peter Bretter (Jason Segel), a newly heartbroken ex-lover of TV celebrity Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). When his friend suggests he visit Hawaii to ease his pain, Peter quickly discovers that Sarah has vacationed to the exact same hotel with her new boyfriend Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Not only is it almost too much for Peter to handle, but he begins falling for the hotel's front desk hostess Racheal (Mila Kunis). From there you can only begin to imagine the excessive amount of relationship mayhem that ensues within its 111 minutes.
Jason Segel is as natural in the lead as Seth Rogen in Knocked Up, if not even more! This truly is entirely Segel's show, as I could tell that he wrote the script and developed all of the humor and jokes around his exact style. Like Superbad before it, allowing the same actors to appear in the movie they wrote is the best thing that could ever happen to a comedy. It allows Segel, who I won't claim is the most experienced actor around, to feel 100% naturally comedic in a world he built.
Sure there is full-frontal nudity (of the male kind), sure there are some extremely over-the-top comedic moments and ridiculous scenes with Russell Brand, sure there are vampire puppets, sure Jonah Hill makes a damn appearance, but oh well, the movie was still great. I will gladly add it to my collection alongside of Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin, and Superbad, and pull it out whenever I need to be cheered up. Although I didn't laugh out loud as much as I did in Superbad, in the end I had a good time and that's what counts the most.