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Forgetting Sarah Marshall

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Comedy of heartbreak and heartmend, under the imprimatur of producer Judd Apatow, but directed by newcomer Nicholas Stoller, and written by its star, Jason Segel, who envisions for himself the role of a would-be serious composer, cranking out mood music for a network crime drama when he would rather be devoting his time to a Dracula stage musical. (When, that is, he’s not devoting his time to eating Froot Loops out of a mixing bowl on the couch.) The vocational aspect of the role, in any case, straightaway gets put on the back burner in favor of the personal aspect: the dumped boyfriend of the lead actress on the aforementioned crime drama. The main point of interest in the movie, fractional though it may be, is Segel’s penis, a raising of stakes over the old reliable tush shot. (“Would you take a look at my penis?” is an actual line of dialogue he has written for himself. It could just as well have been the advertising slogan.) For the rest, the movie gives the game away early when the schlumpy protagonist accidentally-on-purpose runs into his ex-girlfriend at her preferred Hawaiian resort, where she’s cavorting with a lavishly tattooed British rocker, and where the copper-toned hostess at the check-in desk immediately jumps out at us as (a) a ready and willing shoulder for the schlump to cry on and (b) a couple of miles prettier than the ice-sculpture Hollywood girlfriend. Russell Brand’s self-absorbed rock star (“Yeah,” he responds to the fan who had slipped him a demo tape, “I was going to listen to that, but then I just carried on living my life”) and Paul Rudd’s dopehead surfer (“When life gives you lemons, just say ‘Fuck the lemons’ and bail”) are funny enough for skit-level comedy, but scarcely for comedy of character. Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Jonah Hill. (2008) — Duncan Shepherd

Rated R | 1 hour, 51 minutes
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Forgetting Sarah Marshall is both hilarious and honest. The leads are all charming even the ones your not supposed to like. There really is no badguy just flawed characters who are not quite sure what they want (like real people). While both Bell and Kunis are cute it's the men who stand out. Jason Segel is a real expressive actor and one can see his pain through his tone of voice and facial expressions and his screenplay is truley sweet and really very funny. Russel Brand is hysterical as the quintessential, self-righteous, British rockstar type who Marshall falls for.

Furthermore, this one stands with the rest of the Apatow greats. It may not be your favorite, that all depends, but it definitely is in the same league as Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and Superbad; raunchy, but not without heart. If you liked the others this ones made of the same material and still delivers a fresh product. The bit parts by the usual suspects: Hader, Rudd, Hill, and others are laugh-out-loud funny.

Nov. 19, 2008

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