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 Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Word from the wise: if you want to be in a movie, make friends with producer Judd Apatow ("Knocked Up, "Superbad")

But seriously, I didn't see this one coming. Sure, I knew what it was and I went in hoping for the best, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that this movie would be as funny as it was.One look at the trailer and you'd think know everything about the premise.Yes and no.

It’s based on a tried and true formula: boy-loses-girl, boy-meets-new-girl story line. The premise of a movie that would usually be pegged a “chick flick” and transformed it into a film that anyone would not only love.

Need more details? Alright then, a sweet but somewhat gawky guy (played by Jason Segal- who incidentally wrote it too) gets dumped while being buck naked by his TV star girlfriend (played by Kristen Bell) and let's just say he's got the breakup blues bad! He decides to take his mind off her and takes off for Hawaii.

SideNote: Jason Segal told the New York Times that the naked breakup scene was drawn from his real life experience. In the article, Segel admitted that he really did once have a girlfriend who broke up with him while he was completely naked. Although instead of being devastated during it, he thought to himself, "This is hilarious. I cannot wait for her to leave so I can write this down."

Anyway back to the story shall we, he ends up at a tropical resort where she and her new boyfriend (who of course is a real jerk!) are ironically also vacationing. Enter the new love interest. An employee at the hotel Racheal (played by Mila Kunis), takes pity on him, then she actually starts to like him, she hangs out with him, and makes him feel better about himself and the break-up. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

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Since it's done by the same guys who brought us "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and "Superbad" you're probably wondering "is it raunchy?" Oh yeah! Very. But oddly enough, it 's raunchy in a tasteful way. It isn’t filled with endless scenes showing topless girls- as a matter of fact, it’s a film filled with male nudity. (It actually has 4 full-on male frontal nudity shots, but who’s counting right?)

Heck, at this point I’m pretty sure I could draw writer and star Jason Segal's wee-wee from memory alone. But that's a good thing for this romantic-comedy; as horror writer Stephen King once said," nothing gets laughs like a glimpse of “Mr. Happy” in a flaccid state."

How Peter tries to move on with life without Sarah, is the real meat and potatoes of the movie, what's surprising, though, is how fresh "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" feels, even when you think you know what's coming.

There’s no clear cut villain of the story. Sure Sarah has broken Peter’s heart, but she’s really not a bad person; she just has some character flaws, but so does Peter. It fits into what one critic has called the “cinema of discomfort.” Comedies that put characters in socially awkward situations over and over again.(think,"Meet the Parents").

It does have it's flaws - like most Apatow productions-it’s overlong (with a running time of 112 minutes, it could have used a nip here and a tuck there) and things get a little predictable towards the end. But I'll cut it some slack, mostly because I had a smile on my face throughout almost every scene of “Sarah Marshall” and laughed out loud more times than I can count. I still have the Hawaiian version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” in my head and I hope it never leaves.

EndNote:Don’t go anywhere when the credits start to roll (I mean it! I don't care how badly you have to pee!) There’s a little scene during the credits you’ll want to see.

Rated R

Posted by oxyjen on May 4, 2008


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