Brummitt and I had a couple of free movie tickets, so we went to go check out Judd Apatow's latest comedy tonight at the local drive-in. The girls from the sock hop next door came over and we partied and listened to Beach Boys records long into the night after the movie was over. It was one of the best nights of my life.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis
[I used to be able to come up with halfway-decent intros to these things. I seem to have lost the ability to do that with my lack of posting on this site, so hopefully I get my mojo back or else all of them will have to be made up like this from now on. Which may not be a bad thing.]
Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from this one. Looked like your run-of-the-mill funny movie, with a vaguely recognizable cast and some good one-liners in the trailer. It surprised me by how funny it was, and if you go in like I did (with no expectations) then I think you'll be pleased with it. Then again, I can't exactly recommend that you pay the requisite $9.00 or whatever it is nowadays to get in and see this in a theater, because, as I'm sure you could tell, this isn't one of "those movies" like Cloverfield or something that needs to be seen in a theater.
Jason Segel, the star, wrote the screenplay and did a great job at crafting some very memorable characters in this movie. That's the aspect that really separated this film from the other Judd Apatow usuals (Knocked Up, Superbad, etc): the characters. Aldous Snow, the sex-crazed British lead singer that Sarah hooks up with, was my favorite character of the movie and he was played by an unknown actor/comic named Russell Brand. Good stuff from this guy - he was really funny. Kristen Bell was decent enough as Sarah Marshall, although they could have replaced her with one of 20 different actresses and had the same success with the movie. Before I saw this, I didn't really think that Segel had it in him to carry a movie as a leading man, but he was pretty respectable in my opinion and he earned a little more respect in my book. Mila Kunis (pictured) was absolutely stunning in every scene, which almost hid the fact that she's a pretty average actress.
The hotel staff (including regulars Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd) was funny and added to the charm of the movie, which increased for me as the film progressed. I found myself becoming more and more attached to the characters as the movie went on, and that's a sign of good writing. Nicely done, Mr. Segel - get to work on that new Muppets movie you're doing; as long as it's as quality as The Great Muppet Caper you'll be doing fine by me.
I only found two main problems with Forgetting Sarah Marshall:
1. The CSI: Miami spoofs were funny in the beginning, then wore out their welcome. They could have been a lot funnier if they had tried a little harder with the writing in this section. I almost think our one-liners from CSI: Gainesville were better than the ones they used in the movie.
2. There was way too much male frontal nudity. About five shots too many, as far as I'm concerned. The good part was that you knew when they were coming so you could easily avert your eyes. Still, filmmakers - that's not cool. (Update 04/22/11: It's ridiculous that I would complain about something like this considering the massive double standard in Hollywood regarding nudity on screen. For the record, I'm cool with it now - in moderation, of course.)
Anyway, those issues aside I thought it was pretty funny and definitely better than I anticipated. If you've got a hankerin' to see a movie, then this is probably the one to see right now. Otherwise, wait a couple weeks, save your money, and go see Iron Man and Speed Racer. Until next time...