Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 5/5

Rated R. Click here to see the trailer.

Here are seven reasons why Forgetting Sarah Marshall is easily my favorite movie of the year so far:

1. A Cake song plays over the opening credits.
2. Billy Baldwin pretends to be David Caruso from CSI: Miami
3. It co-stars Jack McBrayer (Kenneth from 30 Rock).
4. There is a shot of Japanese tourists posing with silverware.
5. The main character and I have the same model MacBook.
6. Jonah Hill is funny… for once. The same goes for Bill Heder.
7. The main character is writing a rock opera… for puppets… about Dracula.

Jason Segel is Peter, a loveable sad sack Everyman who composes the “dark, ominous tones” for a crime drama starring his smokin’ hot girlfriend, Sarah Marshall, played by Kristen Bell. She dumps him while he is… um… in a very vulnerable state and to get over her, he jets off to Hawaii where nothing can remind him of the past.

Of course Sarah shows up with her new rocker beau in tow, Aldous Snow, played by a very funny Russell Brand. This makes Jason more than a little bit weepy, but things begin to look up for him as the hotel staff takes him under their wing, especially Mila Kunis’ Rachel (Rolling Stone calls her “illegally adorable”). Mahalo!

The plot sounds a little cliché and you can more or less figure out where things are going to end, but Segel’s script is so darn tight and consistently funny, you really don’t care. That’s the best praise I can give a movie: it’s consistent. I laughed out loud probably ten times at jokes from ten different characters.

If you want to be a jerk about it, it does feel a tad too long and the Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill characters aren’t necessary. However, one should never cut Paul Rudd from a comedy, no matter how long it is and if Jonah Hill is actually being funny, I say let ‘im in. Everyone here is funny, that greatly helps the aforementioned consistency. I hated Jason Segel’s slimeball in Knocked Up, but in this movie he’s a funny, relatable guy. His goofy normalness wins you over. Even Sarah’s new boyfriend, the lothario rocker from the UK is likable and very, very funny.

It’s rated R for a reason. The only things that keeps the movie from being among the upper reaches of my all-time favorites list are two instances of male nudity that are inexplicably gratuitous and absolutely unnecessary (there are also a few very brief bits of female nudity). The scenes in question are so brief and oddly edited that I have no idea why they were included. They’re not funny and they aren’t sexy and that’s just sad.

I don’t recall all that much offensive language, but that’s not to say it’s not there. If you’re ready and willing to cover your eyes for a few seconds, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a can’t miss.


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