Thursday, July 8, 2010
#17 - Forgetting Sarah Marshall - 2008
Forgetting Sarah Marshall was my third pick for this week of outrageous comedies. When I first saw this film's trailer I had very high expectations for it. I originally saw this in the theaters when it came out then once again at home after it was released so basically this is the third time I'm seeing this one but first time on bluray. Below is my detailed review.
This film stars some young up and coming actors along with a small role from a seasoned vet, one of my all time favorites, Paul Rudd. Jason Segal, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Bill Hader, and Jonah Hill all star in this comedy about an actress (Bell) who breaks up with her composer boyfriend (Segal) and all the comedy that erupts in the beautiful state of Hawaii post break up.
This film starts out showing Peter Bretter at home while his girlfriend Sarah Marshall is out of town. He eats cereal in a huge bowl, lounges on the couch, and lazes around the house in her absence. One day he gets a call that she is in town early and coming to see him. After doing a quick cleanup of his place and a quick shower Peter walks into the living room and see's Sarah standing there. Dressed with just a towel around his bottom half Peter does a sort of "happy dance" you could say to welcome her back but it is evident that something is wrong just by her demeanor. After uttering the words "we have to talk" Peter drops the towel and exposes himself, and yes this is shown both in the theater version but even more so in the "unrated" bluray dvd version. Based on what I have read I guess this type of breakup actually really happened in real life to Jason Segal therefore he wrote it into the script. A very funny yet shocking scene in this film. After a failed attempt to change her mind Peter goes into a depressed state that of which going out and having sex with random girls does not even cure. In one very funny scene he is having sex with a girl who continues to say over and over, "hi" at which one point Peter says, "can you just not say that anymore". I found this scene very funny and seeing Peter's frustration grow with this girl and just the way she said it was very funny to me even though it was a minute part of the film.
After a suggestion to get away by his brother Brian Peter decides to go to Hawaii and stay at the Turtle Bay Resort. As he is about to check in he notices a newlywed couple checking in as well. They are Darald (Jack McBrayer - think 30 Rock) and Wyoma (Maria Thayer). Right from first sight it is evident they will be funny characters in the film as this red headed duo provides plenty of laughs. It just so happened that upon his check in he notices Sarah walking on the property and she eventually see's him checking in. As he is talking with her rocker Aldous Snow shows up and it is obvious that he is the one Sarah left him for. Snow is a vulgar expressive british rock star with a tall slender build and long wavy black hair. When I originally saw this movie and knew nothing of Russell Brand as an actor I thought he was mildly amusing. Now after knowing the type of individual he is and after seeing some bits and pieces of his stand up comedy he is no longer that funny to me. Don't get me wrong there are a few scenes that are funny but overall he just irritates me more than makes me laugh. After seeing Sarah with Aldous the beautiful hotel desk representative, Rachel, felt sorry for Peter and made it clear that she had his keys for the suite.
After crying one night, so loud in fact he received a call from the front desk, Peter decides to get out and go to dinner at the resort. Here we are introduced to Matthew the Waiter (Hill). This is another character who annoys me throughout the film. Hill was fabulous in Superbad but hasn't been as funny in anything since and that stayed true in this film. Matthew the Waiter is an obsessed fan of Aldous Snow in this movie. Peter runs into Sarah and Aldous at dinner and later heads to the bar where he gets a little tipsy. There he meets up with Dwayne the Bartender and see's Darald there having a drink as well. Darald explains why he is there and we are treated to a hilarious sex snippet of him and Wyoma earlier that night. Just imagine Darald saying "no, no, no" with a stronger tone with each following no! Too funny. Have to see it to enjoy it.
The next morning Peter joins a yoga class which Sarah and Aldous are in and this scene is pretty bland with one exception and that is the part where Peter does a handstand much to the shagrin of the instructor and speaks out "I'm doing a handstand motherfucker"! Very funny. After that Peter decides to try some surfing and meets Chuck (Rudd) who has given himself an Hawaiian name, Kunu. Chuck is a super laid back surf instructor and as they head out to the water he signs out "the weather outside is weather". haha. Loved that quote, or verse. haha.
The next day is July 4th and Peter attends a celebration picnic at the hotel. Naturally he sees Sarah and Aldous there and Aldous even performs a song. The song was raunchy and disgusting and just downright stupid. I would have easily written this scene out of this film without flinching. After a little encouragement from the Dwayne the Bartender Peter asks Rachel out for the evening. They both attend a beach party and after some discussion Rachel notices her ex and flips out, literally flips the hell out. In the melee Peter is struck by her ex's friend and they take off and leave the party and head to Lazy Joes, a casual karaoke bar. Peter sings a super cool and hip Dracula song that he wrote. My favorite part is the deep laughter he produces while performing this song. At the end of the night Peter goes in for a kiss while they are in the car back at the hotel but Rachel pulls away and states she doesn't want to "complicate things". Peter then decides to head to the bar again and see Darald there, again as well as Chuck. Darald again provides a funny moment when speaking of his newlywed wife's overwhelming demand for sex. In another scene that is much funnier than reading about it Darald continually hits his head with his hands over and over and over in frustration.
As the film moves along Sarah gets a call that her show has been cancelled and then finds out Aldous was going on tour for 18 months and failed to mention it to her. This causes a riff between the two. Elsewhere Peter and Rachel go off on a hike to a cliff. As the both jump of the cliff into the water, Rachel much more gracefully than Peter, Rachel kisses Peter and it is obvious the two are falling for each other. That evening Sarah and Aldous arrive at dinner and notice Peter and Rachel awaiting to be seated. Turns out they all end up having dinner together, an awkward dinner at that. In what was easily Brand's funniest moment of the movie his character Aldous and Peter go back and fourth about how terrible Sarah's last movie was. Hearing Brand with his british accent make fun of a mobile phone killing people was pretty comedic. He then followed that up with it was "a metaphor for a crap movie". By the end of the dinner it was evident that the girls didn't care for each other and this led both Sarah and Peter into their rooms to have competing sex sessions. Trying to out due the other, mostly in screams and moans they do battle and Id have to give the nod to Peter since Aldous eventually tosses Sarah aside in disgust at what she was doing. As the movie nears the end Aldous and Sarah break up and in an attempt to simply console Sarah Peter finds himself in a compromising position with her and in a sense cheats on Rachel with her even though he soon realized what he was doing was wrong. He admitted what he did to Rachel and she asked for him to leave and to never write, call, or email her again.
In the final scenes of the movie we see Peter working on his Dracula play and writing music and even working out at one point. Meanwhile back in Hawaii Rachel gets a letter with one simple piece of paper in it, a flyer for a Dracula play written and directed by Peter Bretter. Fast forward back to LA and the full production play of Dracula is performed and sure enough in the audience is Rachel. She talks briefly with Peter after the show and in another full frontal shot of Peter, Rachel comes back into his dressing room and the film ends with the two, Peter sans pants, kissing.
I felt this movie had some really really funny parts but as a whole was not a great comedy. I felt there were too many scenes that had no relevance to the story and were just simply not funny and when a comedy goes into the near 2 hour time frame (this unrated version was 118minutes) it should be filled with enough funny scenes to keep the audience interested and laughing throughout. This movie could have easily been 95 minutes long and been a lot better. Don't get me wrong there were a lot of funny scenes but not enough for me. My favorite character was Peter with Darald coming in as a close second. The two best scenes in the film were the Dracula scenes with Peter. The newlywed couple was hilarious in every scene they were in and Paul Rudd's character was funny as well. Maybe another 10 minutes of Rudd and less of Brand would have made this one better. Overall I thought it had its moments and in some of those moments it was very funny however after watching American Pie and Wedding Crashers the nights before it was evident that this was not in the same league as those two films. Still due to the dracula scenes, the newlywed couple, and Rudd's brief appearances and that "the weather outside is weather" quote I would give this film a B-!