Forgetting Sarah Marshall

What it's about:

Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) simply adores his sexy, TV-star girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). When she unexpectedly dumps him, he fears his life will be forever ruined without her in it. After misguided advice from his brother Brian (Bill Hader) and many one-night-stands, Peter realises that to forget Sarah Marshall he needs to get her out of his head and jets off to a holiday resort in Hawaii. But it isn't long before he discovers his ex and her new, über-cool rocker boyfriend Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) have checked into the same resort. Luckily, Peter can take solace in his flirtations with a cute resort employee Rachel (Mila Kunis).

What we thought of it:

If you walk into Forgetting Sarah Marshall without knowing it's a Judd Apatow production, you'll soon be schooled. It doesn't take longer than 15 minutes before you're hit by the first scene of full frontal nudity, and depending on your level of prudishness you'll either love it and nestle deeper into your seat or hate it and demand your money back at the ticket counter.

Apatow has a habit of surrounding himself with the same people, and always making the same kind of movies for an (up until recently) untapped audience – guys who want romantic comedies they can have fun watching. The major crew members on Forgetting Sarah Marshall have either worked with him on The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), Superbad (2007) or all three. But Apatow's adult comedy formula seems to be working. His audience can't get enough of the special blend of sexualised comedy, unconventional gags and oddball one-liners.

First-time writer Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother [2005 - 2008]) has penned quite a funny script, that will ring more laughs out of an audience than Knocked Up, but isn't quite on Superbad's level. There are certainly quite a few laugh-out-loud moments and hilariously embarrassing breakup scenarios everyone can identify with. But there's also gross-out, cringe-in-your-seat scenes that if watched with a first date might set an uncomfortable tone for the rest of your evening. Barring the explicit LNS, Segel's debut romantic comedy is highly entertaining.

Unfortunately, in the hands of first-time director and Apatow buddy, Nicholas Stoller, Forgetting Sarah Marshall occasionally feels disjointed and the comedy forced. The cast have yet again been again the freedom to adlib scenes, but every so often there are awkward pauses leaving you with the feeling that the actors are playing their own private game of Comedy Battle.

Segel once again settles into the sensitive guy role, something he's grown into on HIMYM, but explores his penchant for dark humour the PG-rated television series won't allow. Kristen Bell is perfectly cast as the egocentric glamour girl you want to hate but can't help but love, while Mila Kunis keeps up with the comedic pace but unfortunately comes across too inconsequential for her role. Rounding up the cast are the usual Apatow suspects Bill Hader, Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd who will each squeeze a few laughs out of you.

If you're an Apatow fan, you'll definitely enjoy this distinctly masculine brand of romantic comedy.

- Megan Kakora

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