Monday, April 21, 2008

Man on Film: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

In the latest release from the "Freaks and Geeks" sect of the Apatow clan, Jason Segel follows in Seth Rogen's footsteps and tries his hand at screenwriting. The resulting film is one which certainly measures up well to the latter's "Superbad" and assuages the fears of the reactionary Apatow fans who worried that a drop-off in quality was already underway. For the doubters, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" serves as a reminder that when "Freaks and Geeks" people are involved in the creation of Judd Apatow productions the end product will be of the highest quality.

"Forgetting Sarah Marshall" follows the downtrodden protagonist, Peter, the composer for a comically horrible CSI-style show, as he tries to cope with having been dumped by the star of the show, the titular Sarah Marshall. In an effort to get over his relationship, he decides to escape to a resort in Hawai'i that she had spoken of before. When he gets there, he sees that Sarah is also there, and she is with a new man.

Any more talk of the plot would be futile. If you've seen any romantic comedies, you can tell where the film is going. The plot is not the important part of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". This is a character-driven film. From the leads to the supporting cast, the film is brimming over with great characters, like Paul Rudd's sunbaked surf instructor, Chuck, Jonah Hill's gay fanboy waiter, Matthew, or Da'Vone McDonald's sea turtle enthusiast/bartender, Dwyane. Of particular note, though, is Billy Baldwin, who channels the spirit of David Caruso to great effect in his cameo as the TV detective in Sarah Marshall's show. His one-liners are priceless, especially his play on frozen treats.

The true test of the film is whether or not the film is funny, and it is. The comedy is fresh; the jokes are funny; and the audience is given a film that is not simply stock moments with stock reactions. It is not your typical romantic comedy. It plays on awkwardness. It embraces pain. There are three full-frontal nude shots of Jason Segel, all in uncomfortable situations.

Honestly, I think this film works better than last summer's hit "Superbad". While "Superbad" was great, there seems to be a depth to this film that "Superbad" did not reach. It does explore relationships in an adult manner, showing instances in which the disintegration of the relationship is not simply one person's fault, even if that isn't the crux of the film.

And lastly, what Peter's depression culminates into is outstanding.

All in all, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is a great comedy, which is certain to have one particular line involving the letters B, L, and T repeated around the world.

1 comment:

Little Brother said...

you'll check it i'm sure, but i put up my "review" of the film on the rumble.

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