Comes a comic look at one guy’s arduous quest to grow up and get over the heartbreak of being dumped – if he can only make himself start Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Struggling musician Peter Bretter (Jason Segel, Knocked Up) has spent five long and wonderful years idolising his celebrity girlfirend, television star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell, Heroes). His perfect world comes crashing down when Sarah suddenly dumps him for ‘that guy” (Russell Brand) from ‘that band’. But his plan to leave his troubles behind backfires when he arrives to find his worst nightmare has only just begun!
For mere mortals liked us, the misery of going through a breakup can be the saddest thing in the world. And the coincidence of bumping into your ex with a new partner on the streets is the least you want to encounter.
"Forgetting Sarah Marshall" rides on this bizarre yet believable scenario involving a down-and-out composer Peter (Jason Segel who also co-wrote the screenplay) whose attractive actress girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristin Bell) dumped him for a rock singer, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). But when Peter’s stepbrother Brian (Bill Hader) advised him to go on a trip to Hawaii for a getaway, Peter encounters Sarah cozying with Aldous at the same resort.
The setup is simple enough in fact it’s such a no-brainer. But as the plot progresses, Peter’s journey of finding the person he truly loves and discovering his passion for life somehow ends up sweeter than the cocktails he sipped in the movie. Don’t let the red-band trailer distract you with all the zany sex scenes and full frontal male-nudity, the main idea is for Peter to move on with his life and I find myself rooting for Peter to give up his crying and tries to pursue his relationship with the resort’s staff, Rachel.
As this is a Judd Apatow’s produced movie, you will spot the usual familiar faces. Paul Rudd (40 Year Old Virgin) is a surfing instructor while Jonah Hill (Superbad) plays a waiter cum obsessed fan of Aldous at the resort. Plenty of colourful characters surround the depressed Peter including a pair of newly-wed who has difficulty consummating their marriage.
Particularly, Jason Segel portrayal of Peter as a gentle giant is rib-tickling although never veering to absurd territory. British comedian Russell Brand is another comedic gem to watch out for, his performance as a self-indulging rock star is simply spot-on.
The humour might be slightly exaggerated for laughs at times but some scenes truly display the communication and affection between couples for example the scene where Sarah explained the real reason for her spilt up with Peter and Peter’s baring the truth to Rachel over his intimate moment with Sarah.
I believe "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" belongs to the more enjoyable Apatow productions after the success of "40 Year Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up" even though he himself never helmed it. Credit has to go to director Nicholas Stroller and Jason Segel for carving a sweet, heartwarming romance comedy that few will be able to top and the last act to round up the story is just amazingly cool.
The Feature Commentary has the director, producers and the cast Jason Segel, Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Russell Brand and Jack McBrayer on board resulting in a totally crowded but fun track to follow.
Six Deleted and Extended Scenes especially the one with Peter bidding farewell to Sarah at the airport deserves a look.
What’s an Apatow production without 7 minutes of Line-O-Rama and 5 minutes of Gag Reel?
Dracula’s Lament is those rare seldom see onscreen table reads where the cast and crew gathered to read their lines before the actual shooting.
The 6 minutes feature A Taste for Love shows Segel’s own personal passion for Muppets and his ingenious deployment of the Jim Hensons’ Muppet Company for the movie finale.
Raw Footage - Video Chat is a 7 minutes featurette whereby Jason Segel and Bill Hader fumbles their lines over and over again in a particular scene.
The Code 3 DVD is round up with the Red-band trailer (where Segel’s character shows his butt), Trailers from Universal upcoming releases and lastly "We've Got to Do Something", the full version of the outrageous music video that Aldous Snow performs in the movie.
The visual is clear and free of any visible artifacts. The movie is mostly shot on actual location in Hawaii which explains why everything is so natural. For a dialogue based movie, the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is strong and clear. You might like to turn down the volume during the ‘moaning’ sequence unless you unintentionally wish to impress your neighbors.
Review by Linus Tee