Friday, March 21, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall - You Won't Forget This Movie!

I rarely get a chance to see movies before their commercial release, but last night was an exception. I got tickets to the new adult comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". My partner and I showed up along with a few hundred others for a free sneak preview and fond seats way too close to the screen. Aside from the sore neck, the evening was a blast.

The film chronicles the plight of Peter, a 30-something Hollywood composer who has been lulled into a kind of creative and emotional enui by his success in both his career and his relationship. He dates TV star Sarah Marshall, heroine of a CSI styled crime show. To complicate things, he is the shows composer and spends his days watching preposterous scenes from the show while providing long ominous "tones". What Peter really wants to do is write a rock-opera…about Dracula…with puppets.

The story starts as Sarah tells him she is breaking up with him, and so his journey to a renewed wholeness begins as well.

Far from maudlin, his attempts to get over Sarah are met with uncomfortable encounters with her and her new boyfriend, a self-obsessed rock star, at every turn. Even escaping to Hawaii, Peter finds himself at the same resort and Sarah.

I really can’t talk about the movie without giving away too many of the hilarious bits. It is filled with sharp wit and excellent comic timing. The characters are both pitiful and engaging and the ending is satisfying both in terms of the happiness of everyone involved and as great comedy.

If you are easily shocked, this is not the movie for you. There is lots of nudity, both make and female and numerous jokes centering on sex and the problems encountered during it. If you have no problem with that, you will find yourself aching from laughter by the end of the evening.

The star, writer Jason Segel may eclipse Steve Carell as the new "everyman" of comedy. His ability to convey a bushel of emotions in a single sigh really helped make this movie work. Kristen Bell as Sarah Marshall carries off the role of vapid starlet with an endearing quality that really makes you care about her, even though she is essentially clueless.

My favorite cast member in a minor role was Jack McBrayer better known as the page in "30 Rock". He plays a hapless and naive honeymooner who cannot find a way to satisfy his over-sexed wife. His character is not too far from the one he plays on TV but still it stands out as a great comedic part.

Overall the movie is fun and sexy and smart. There are a few bawdy jokes that might leave some viewers blushing, but it’s well worth the momentary shock. Go see it!

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