Friday, April 18, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Review)

I do not ever want to be Jason Segel. He is the writer and star of this film and frankly I think he is exactly like this in real life. I always thought Apatow cast him as a stand in for himself but now I’m sure that he is just this way and Apatow used him effectively as such.

Segel plays Peter, a well to do musician who scores the TV show that made his titular girlfriend (that sounds dirty) a star. After 5 years together she breaks up with him and he become a wreck… well more of a wreck than he was before. Peter is a schlub with a big heart who is overly sensitive to everything but his own shortcomings. In order to clear his head he goes to a Hawaiian resort that Sarah had always talked about… surprise she’s there as well and with her new lover, an English rock lothario. Hijinks ensue. In fact, I think this was how the first 40 minutes of the script was “written.” There is almost no story and everything is improv. While this is par for the course for the Apatowniverse, first time director Nicholas Stoller’s sloppy handling of it took me out of the film. Yes, its mostly funny but you can only take so much of Paul Rudd looking into the camera and running lines before it gets old. You could see the improving which is not a good thing. Still when the story gets back on track after what seems like forever it turns into a decent romcom. Mila Kunis is actually good in this (I usually can’t stand her voice) and Segal plays his role like a well worn sock. And there are a lot of laughs but more dead jokes than I’m used to from this crew. If the beginning of the film was tightened up and focused more on story this would be close to the top of the Apatowniverse films but as it is its middling at best.


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