Thursday, June 03, 2010


Written by Jason Segel
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd & Bill Hader

On the eve of Nicolas Stoller's GET HIM TO THE GREEK, Black Sheep takes a look back at his first feature, FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, which spawned the character of rocker, Alduous Snow.  Russell Brand brings the character back and throws him even further in your face this time around and, alongside Jonah Hill, brings many a laugh with him.  But has Stoller grown too?  Read the Black Sheep review tomorrow.  In the meantime ...

The writer/star of FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, Jason Segel, is the kind of artist who isn’t afraid to let it all hang out there for everyone to see and subsequently appreciate or pick apart. He writes his pain on to the screen and isn’t afraid to get naked on the path to true understanding. In the writer’s world, naked is a fairly obvious metaphor for vulnerability but here it just means nude. And so, as Segal’s penis flaps back and forth against his painfully pale body, moments before Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) breaks up with him, the Judd Apatow movie machine unleashes its latest raw comedy from the mind of the modern male.

This particular male is Peter Bretter (Segel), a slob who can barely pick up after himself but somehow manages to maintain a serious relationship with a gorgeous actress girlfriend and holds down a job as a composer for schlock television. He’s not unattractive nor without his charms but he does raise the question as to how he ever managed to get himself this well positioned. He also has no trouble at all finding numerous beautiful women to help him take his mind off Sarah. And while forgetting Sarah Marshall proves much more complicated than Peter had hoped - it doesn’t help that they have found themselves both at the same Hawaiian resort – he can at least have the last laugh by vilifying her as a horrible human being before the credits role. Without giving too much away, he will have the option, as the sympathetic character, to walk away happy but Sarah, as the heartbreaker, has been doomed since Hester Prynne was sent to prison with that darn scarlet letter across her chest.

If I were Apatow, I would be a little tired of hearing my name being attached to all of these projects. If anything, he should make sure to have a firmer hand in the process in the future. FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL is not without the hilarity and genuine character development that his past productions have captured so poignantly but its bizarre subplots and many rushed moments make it somewhat forgettable.

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