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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

*** Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Romantic comedy.

Directed by: Nicholas Stoller.
Starring: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand

We saw this at the Embassy theater during our month in San Antonio this summer. It was the first movie we saw. We'd actually decided not to see it at AAFES before leaving, because the previews didn't sound that good, but Dagny wanted to see it, and it was still on a couple of shows a day, so we went.

It wasn't as bad as I'd expected. In fact, it wasn't really bad at all.

Sarah Marshall is an actress. Peter writes mood music for movies and TV. Sarah's moving up; Peter is stuck in a rut. What he really wants is to write rock operas.

As you've no doubt seen on the previews, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) breaks up with Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) while he's naked. And hey, kudos to Segel for showing a less-than-Hollywood-perfect body onscreen. We need more of that. If only they'd extend it to women as well.

Peter doesn't take it well. He's taken by surprise, and can't get over it. He's turning into a stalker; his work is suffering; and every date he tries to go on ends in disaster.

Finally, he takes the advice to just get away for a while, and goes to Hawaii--something he and Sarah had talked about doing but never did. When he gets there, Sarah's there too--at the same resort. With her new boyfriend Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), rock star and in-your-face sex god.

So he spends more time obsessing, but he gradually gets distracted by the various resort personnel, and by falling in love with reception clerk Rachel (Mila Kunis). Being Hawaii, their advice is all "don't worry, be happy," and "live one day at a time."

Possibly my favorite part of the movie was Rachel taking pity on Peter when he's humiliated by Sarah and Aldous, and helping him out. For some reason, that just made me grin.

There were quite a lot of funny moments, a lot of which you've seen in the previews.

But there were also a lot of unbelievable parts or one-joke threads that just got old. The premise itself was pretty unbelievable--that Sarah and Peter just happened to end up at the same resort--but you have to accept that, or there's no movie. Aldous Snow's in-your-face sexuality got old pretty quickly, as did the surf instructor's (Paul Rudd) drugged-out persona. The virgin newlyweds (Maria Thayer and Jack McBrayer) were pretty funny at first, but they got old, too.

And I had trouble with the falling-in-love-with-Rachel part, at least as a happily-ever-after. They wanted completely different things out of life, and all I could see between them was lust on his part and sympathy on hers.

Maybe I'm just low on patience, because this movie has great reviews, and I found it pretty average and predictable. Not horrible, certainly, but definitely not great.

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