Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Directed by: Nicholas Stoller
Starring
: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis

Peter Bretter, the composer for a primetime television crime drama, is happily in love with his television star girlfriend, Sarah Marshall. When she unexpectedly dumps him after spending roughly five years together, for another guy no less, Peter starts on a self-destructive descent into a world of drunken one-night stands and borderline crippling depression. After a short while, Peter and his stepbrother make a unanimous decision to have him take a much-needed vacation offshore to Hawaii, where he can essentially try to get his life back on track. Little does he know, his ex-girlfriend is already there at the very same resort with her new beau, eccentric musician and “notorious lothario,” Aldous Snow. Despite this, Peter manages to befriend a wide array of friendly (and hilariously offbeat) locals and other hotel guests, one of whom becomes a potential prospect for another shot at love. Hilarity indeed ensues.

I could conceivably watch this film once a day for an entire month and never get tired of it. Such a statement on my part can ultimately be attributed to a variety of things Forgetting Sarah Marshall has to offer, but Segel’s nearly flawless script is  essentially what keeps me coming back for more, providing us with an ample amount of raunchy laughs coupled with some truly genuine interaction between all of the characters, major or minor. Segel also does a terrific job of more or less crafting this obviously fictional, yet completely believable Hollywood atmosphere his character Peter and TV star girlfriend Sarah are wholly a part of; something that effectively contributes to the strength of the already fantastic story that further aids the film in standing out amongst a slew of mediocre romcoms.

The film is also brilliantly cast, with Segel simply nailing his role as the hilariously vulnerable yet endlessly charming lead, even if some may find it hard to sympathize with him on the basis of the actual circumstances surrounding his break-up with Sarah. Futhermore, Kristen Bell has successfully proven, to me at least, that she’s a worthy female lead when taking the excellent chemsitry she, Segel, and even the always hilarious Russell Brand exhibit into consideration, thanks once again to the intelligent script and a pretty terrific directorial debut from Nicholas Stoller.

Leads aside, the supporting cast is often hit-or-miss when it comes to their involvement in the story. Yes, I do realize that the offbeat locals and hotel employees Peter encounters throughout his stay in Hawaii are more or less used to accentuate the obvious departure from that which he’s familiar with, but it’s sometimes overdone, especially during the scene with Kunis and Segel at the late night party on the beach. However, Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, and even Jack McBrayer swoop in to save the day with their efforts and seriously hilarious exchanges with one another.

To wrap it up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall isn’t just one of my favorites of the ever-growing romcom genre; it’s safely becoming one of my all-time favorites.  Segel’s truly excellent script coupled with some great acting and the beauty of the numerous Hawaiian locales are ultimately responsible for this, as is a noteworthy debut from Stoller. So, at the risk of sounding a tad redundant, I implore you: SEE THIS FILM! It has something for everybody, and I guarantee at least a laugh or two from even the most jaded of viewers.

Rating: 9/10

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