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Non-Review Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

We were browsing through the channels last night, looking for something to put on to amuse ourselves and quite disheartened to find that there was nothing really good on. We decided that the evening called for some light relief, so we stuck on Forgetting Sarah Marshall – and we were amazed at how well it holds up to repeat viewings.

Sex is a lot like a game of chess...

Sex is a lot like a game of chess...

Following a television composer after the break-up of his five-year relationship with the eponymous Sarah Marshall, the movie captures a “been through that” (although hopefully a bit less severely) for anyone who has ever found themselves suddenly single. Sure, we never held bonfires of photographs while listening to Sinead O Connor, but we won’t pretend there weren’t times when it seemed like a good idea.

The film is surprisingly emotionally frank about dependency and hurt and all that sort of stuff, but never in a manipulative or condescending way. None of the characters are perfect, from the emotionally explosive Rachel to the goal-orientated Sarah to the unmotivated Peter, which makes it all the more refreshing. There are moments when we are sympathetic to each, and times when we are less then impressed with them.

Of course, it’s a comedy, and it does this quite well. Along with the humorous observations on Hawaii (there’s always a couple getting married somewhere) and on relationships, the film casts one of the strongest comedic supporting casts I’ve ever seen. Russell Brand plays what is effectively himself (or his public persona at any rate), but that doesn’t make the character any less funny. Bill Hader is a solidly odd-ball as ever. Jonah Hill is creepily nerdy as a maitre d’. Paul Rudd is fantastic in a relatively small role as the surf instructor Chris – or Kunu, as the internet told him. Almost a supporting cast member of itself, Hawaii looks stunning – particularly in high definition.

The movie plays itself well, never being too sappy (though the last ten minutes come close, but the presence of muppets helps alleviate some of it). It could be suggested the film is too long (nearly two hours), but I can’t think of a piece that could be easily cut. A very strong recommendation and my favourite comedy of last year.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is directed by Nicholas Stoller (who will be directing the next Muppet Movie) and stars Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother), Mila Kunis (Family Guy, Max Payne), Kristen Bell (Heroes, Veronica Mars), Russell Brand (Bedtime Stories), Paul Rudd (Role Models, The 40 year Old Virgin), Bill Hader (Superbad, Tropic Thunder) and Jonah Hill (Superbad, Funny People). It was released in the United States on the 18th April 2008, and opened in the UK and Ireland a week later.

One Response

  1. […] though, even ignoring the two leads who had a solid chemistry in their previous dalliance together (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), the film is bubbling over with supporting talent. And yet none of them really go anywhere or do […]

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