Saturday, October 11, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Nicholas Stoller, 2008) [5]

The Apatow factory seems to be cranking out the same movie over and over again and this is the point where it starts to get a little old. Once again, another arrested development man-child is the focus of a story that goes for ribald humor but also has a heart of gold. The problem with this film is that is does nothing to make it any better or different than The 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, or Superbad. Nor is it consistently funnier than any of those. Jason Segel, who also wrote the screenplay, play Peter, the above mentioned man-child. Peter, heartbroken over his girlfriend (played flatly by Kristen Bell) decides to take a vacation to Hawaii only to find Sarah there with her new Lothario boyfriend, played by Russell Brand. Peter is the main problem of the film because his constant whining, crying, and neediness are a little pathetic. But then again, Segel is playing off the pathetic nature of the character for laughs, using embarrassment as the main form of humor. Say what you will about the other Apatow films but the main characters of those other films were never there to be laughed at. Segel tempers this by making Peter harmless and ultimately sympathetic, but to me, it's still a character that feels lazy and cheap in a lot of ways. The plot of the film is never really that important as it bounces from one situation to the next, getting enough laughs out of it to make it passable. Peter becomes involved with another girl, a receptionist at the hotel, played by Mila Kunis about as forgettable as Bell plays Sarah Marshall. (It's no surprise that all these Apatow films have women's roles as essentially filler). The only character that makes a somewhat memorable performance is Brand, mostly because he's doing what amounts to his stand up act. Like any Apatow film, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is basically harmless but I think it's time for these guys to slow down a little bit or else any positives of these films will be washed away by the same tired jokes and characters.

Plus, stop giving Jonah Hill a reason to be in movies. The guy's not funny. At all. Period.

1 comment:

Maria said...

I think that they tried to make Mila Kunis' character less shrewd and, well, boring than the other Apatow women but I didn't feel it. What really was the difference between her and Bell's character? When I was watching this I felt like I had seen it dozens of times before, there was nothing original. I could have definitely used less Jonah Hill and I think that for one of the first times ever, I didn't find Paul Rudd hilarious.

I dig your reviews. They're well-written. Keep up the good work! :]

- Maria