There are some people out there who tout Judd Apatow’s name on a film as if he could do no wrong. While I tend to really like his films, it amazes me that people don’t remember bitter disappointments like Drillbit Taylor and downright bombs like Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.
Still, I tend to like the guy’s movies… even the bad ones. So its no big surprise that I enjoyed Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
The film is written by Jason Segel, who stars as Peter, a Hollywood hack composer living with a hot, sexy actress named Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). When she breaks up with him, Peter falls into a depression. In order to cheer himself up, he takes a vacation in Hawaii where he runs into Sarah and her new flame. Fortunatlely, the cute hotel clerk (Mila Kunis) is there as a consolation prize.
There’s a lot of similarities to this film and Knocked Up. Both were written and starred one of Apatow’s friends. Both got it on with hot, sexy ladies way out of their league. And both are quite raunchy, well deserving of their R ratings.
Overall, Forgetting Sarah Marshall works as a comedy. It has some funny places, and some not-so-funny places. But there’s also some laugh-out-loud moments that really sell the film. The pacing is a bit awkward, and there are random jokes and sight gags (often involving naked people, but not in the good way) that are haphazards crammed into the film for no real reason but to perserve the joke.
Unlike Superbad, which was the last Apatow film that was really funny, Forgetting Sarah Marshall could have been softened to a PG-13, and that might hurt it at the box office. Still, if that happened, I doubt the film would have a running time longer than 70 minutes.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall falls somewhere betwen Superbad and Walk Hard. It’s funny enough to let you have a good time, but you could also just wait for the DVD, which should be loaded with unrated extras.
I do have a soft spot for this film because the female stars are two of the hottest, sexiest girls in Hollywood today. Kristen Bell plays the girl-next-door pretty Sarah Marshall (who looks great in a bikini, by the way), and Mila Kunis plays the rebound girl, who’s a great catch on her own. Unfortunately we have to watch Jason Segel and all of his connect-the-dots moles masking his body to enjoy the eye candy.
FSR’s Executive Editor Neil Miller saw this film early at the South-by-Southwest film festival, and he warned me there was a disturbing amount of graphic male nudity on the screen. With that in mind, I was expecting a sausage-fest. However, I didn’t think the cock shots were overdone, and they were quite funny. Of course, my personal theory is that Jason Segel wrote the film in order to be able to be completely naked while he got a hug from Kristen Bell.
Now, if ony I could figure out a way to do that.
THE UPSIDE: The ladies in the film are adorable and awesome.
THE DOWNSIDE: All the nudity is courtesy of Jason Segel.
ON THE SIDE: The DVD will probably have some great unrated special features, and I’m sure that Jason Segel’s penis is going to pop up again in them… more than once.