Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Forgetting Sarah Marshall


Reviewed by: Jennifer McGillan

I had never heard of Russell Brand before watching this movie, so I'm unable to tell you if he can act or if he's just playing himself for two hours. I can tell you, however, that whatever he's doing, it's funny. I can also tell you that as far as I could tell he seems to have a gift for being unembarassable, and for Borat-style physical comedy, minus the deliberate gross edges.

All of these things are useful in this movie, which is also very funny, as well as laced with thoughtful moments. The plot may be summarised thus: two people (Sarah Marshall (Kristin Bell), actress, and Peter Brettner (Jason Segal), musician) break up after a very long term relationship. Sarah has a new boyfriend (Aldous Snow, played by Mr. Brand); Peter has an extended freak-out, which culminates in him fleeing to Hawaii to seek solitude and solace. He walks off the plane and into the resort where Sarah and Aldous are staying, and shenanigans ensue.

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There's a welter of side-plots as well, involving several characters including a honeymooning couple, an over-solicitous waiter and a surfing instructor, but these are merely (hilarious) embroidery on the main theme, which is Peter pulling himself back together with the help of front desk attendant Rachel Jensen (Mila Kunis).

The most interesting part of the movie is that while the process of him pulling himself back together is, indeed, very amusing, the laughs are not empty laughs, and the resolution is not as facile (or as simple) as it could be. And, too, all of the characters have three dimensions; even Russell Brand has more to do than stand around and be ridiculous. I left the cinema with the refreshing feeling of having been entertained without being condescended to at the same time.

Reviewed on: 01 May 2008
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Forgetting Sarah Marshall packshot
Trying to get over his girlfried, a depressed young man goes on holiday only to discover that she's booked into the same resort with her new love.
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Craig McFarlane ***

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Writer: Jason Segel

Starring: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Bill Hader, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill

Year: 2008

Runtime: 112 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


SSFF 2012

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