Saturday, April 19, 2008

REVIEW: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Year: 2008
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Bill Hader
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA: Rated R

I first heard of Forgetting Sarah Marshall a while back. After seeing the trailer for the film, I was eager to see it. Superbad, Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin were all great films so I knew this wasn't going to disappoint. After reviewing Knocked Up and seeing how Seth Rogen did a great job in the main role, his Hollywood status began to garnish. Its really nice to see Jason Segel finally playing as the lead role instead of being a co-star like he was in Knocked Up. The movies plot also interested me because of how well many people can relate to it. Having an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes also isn't a bad thing. With positive reviews everywhere, I just had to give this movie a look. Having just seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall only a couple of hours ago on opening day, I can admit that its yet another hit from producer Judd Apatow.

Plot Outline:
Peter Bretter (Jason Segal) is a lovable, but lazy music composer for a television drama. After his famous girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) dumps him, he decides to take a vacation to Hawaii to deal with it. Little does he know, that his ex-girlfriend is travelling to the same resort as him with her new flamboyant musician boyfriend, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Peter meets a receptionist at the resort named Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis) who ends up freeing Peter from his memories of Sarah.

The movie is written by Jason Segel who co-starred in Knocked Up and ends up being the main character in this film. The movie works on so many levels because like Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin, the movies plot is realistic. It could very much happen to anyone. Its got many laugh out loud moments that Knocked Up and Superbad had. The films jokes are very much in line with those found in Superbad and their mostly raunchy jokes that you would expect from a Judd Apatow produced film. If their is anything that I found bad about this film its that it does tend to linger during the third act meaning we get the same thing over again and again. I should also throw it out their that the film is somewhat predictable from the start. The characters in the film are all wonderful and work for the most part.

The cast of Forgetting Sarah Marshall is pretty great. Jason Segel who wrote the script also stars in the film as Peter Bretter. He does a great job in his role and I'm really happy he finally got a lead role in a movie. The fact that he isn't shy of exposing his genital is also a plus, but that he isn't afraid of making his character seem more broken up is simply amazing. Kristen Bell plays as Sarah Marshall and she looks pretty good around Segel's character. She does tend to look alittle too young around Segel, but its hardly a bad thing. Mila Kunis plays as Rachel Jansen and being somewhat of a fan of That '70s Show, I knew she would do good. Kunis has never looked this great in person and I'm happy that she managed to land a big role in a film like this. We also have Russell Brand playing as Aldous Snow and he gives an enjoyable performance. I have never heard of him before this film, but he definitely had alot of moments in this film that made me laugh my ass off.

The visual look of Forgetting Sarah Marshall is pretty good. Being a recent release, the film's source is in pristine condition. I wasn't able to detect any grain or noise. The movie is mostly set in Hawaii in outdoor areas and for the most part they look damn good. Theirs definitely alot of scenes that will look great in High Definition for example the scene when Peter and Rachel are hiking near the cliffs, the outdoor shots look wonderful. Flesh tones look accurate for the most part although they do look alittle ugly in some outdoor scenes. Detail is also pretty spot on for the most part although they could have been alittle more cleaner. I wasn't expecting much from this movie in terms if visuals, but I was quite surprised with the results. The movie has many scenes that look wonderful and some scenes that could have looked better.

The soundtrack in Forgetting Sarah Marshall is good for the most part, but it could have been better. The music is composed by Lyle Workman who also composed the music for The 40 Year Old Virgin and Superbad. The music is used very lightly with some scenes getting the better treatment. The movie doesn't offer a whole lot of music, but whats their is good enough. The movie relies heavily on its dialogue because their is so many parts where the jokes kick in. The dialogue is good and it isn't too quite or too loud, but it works. I was kind of expecting alittle more music since Knocked Up managed to have enough music and jokes that it worked perfectly, but I guess what we get works. Bass is also on the quite side with some rumbling here and their.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a smart comedy and another winner from the Apatow gang. Its got a good story that's filled with many raunchy jokes that made us laugh just like Superbad did. The cast is great with many of them giving good and enjoyable performances. The visual look of the movie is great for the most part although their are some scenes that could have looked better. The soundtrack works for the most part, but is kind of lacking when compared to Knocked Up. I thought this a good movie that's definitely up their with Knocked Up, Superbad and The 40 Year Old Virgin. I thought the audience enjoyed the movie and I certainly thought It was money well spent. I can recommend this movie to anyone who enjoyed the previous Apatow produced films.

Grade: B-

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