Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunas, Russell Brand and Bill Hader
Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 1.5
Word of Warning: Crude jokes, drug references and plenty of sexual
innuendos, sexual situations and nudity. This movie truly deserves the R rating.
This is a woefully disappointing movie, starring two vaguely familiar television actresses and one utterly unknown comedian. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” straddles the fence, unsure of what it is – a romantic comedy or a silly, sophomoric comedy. While the movie never really figures out what it is, I know what I want: a refund on both my time and money.
I wanted to like this movie. After all, the premise looked promising and the setting (Hawaii) looked delightful. For several months this movie has been marketed as being “from the producers who brought us “˜The 40 Year Old Virgin’ and “˜Knocked Up,'” proving, even before hitting the theaters, it was unable to stand on its own merit.
I am not a prude, nor do I mind occasional sophomoric humor. I like a movie to push the envelope, as long it as works. It does not work in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” The main character is nude so much the stunt loses all humor and there are continuous juvenile references to sex acts. For two hours the movie tries to provoke laughs through antics seemingly intended to entertain thirteen-year-old boys, rather than a Rated R age audience. Ultimately, this movie does not harness the same sort of cleverness as films like “The 40 Year Old Virgin.”
The story is about a guy named Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) who has been dumped by his girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). Sarah has left Peter for a British rock star (Russell Brand). After the breakup, Peter has a string of intentional one-night stands, but this fails to make him feel better. He decides to vacation in Hawaii and unknowingly decides to stay at the same resort Sarah and her new boyfriend are vacationing. Obviously, uncomfortable situations ensue.
At one point, Peter and his newfound love interest, Rachel Jansen, (Mila Kunas) have dinner with Sarah and her new beau. I only mention this scene because it seriously irritated me. The number of mistakes in big budget Hollywood movies never ceases to amaze me. This scene is fraught with distractions for those of us who notice such things. The bottle of wine, for instance, mysteriously moves around the table and the level of wine in the various wine glasses goes up and down with the blink of an eye.
Lastly, will Jonah Hill of “Superbad” fame please go away? He is like the creepy kid in high school who would put mirrors on his shoes in order to see up girls’ skirts. In this movie he plays a hotel employee with a weird man-crush on Sarah’s rocker boyfriend.
The two characters that stole the most scenes were William Baldwin (playing a bit part) and British comedian Russell Brand as the British rocker. When a Baldwin brother steals a scene, the movie is destined for the dusty shelves of the rental store. There was an entertaining puppet show near the end of the movie, but it seems horribly disappointing when a puppet show is the only redeeming quality in a made-for-adults movie.
**This review also appears in the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor