Date: April 19, 2008
Location: AMC Sunset Place
The latest film from Judd Apatow and gang (thought he neither wrote nor directed this one), Forgetting Sarah Marshall has the big laughs and the earnestness of earlier hits such as The 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad without ever reaching their heights in terms of overall quality.
Jason Segal, an Apatow staple from Freaks & Geeks on, is the most recent atypical leading man to carry one of these films. There’s a bit of a backlash out there about all these movies featuring slacker schlubs landing such great women but I say to hell with that — it’s nice to see men who are attractive primarily due to their sense of humor win the day for a change. And Segal does a fine job as a heartbroken dumpee who travels to Hawaii to forget the break-up only to run into his ex-girlfriend at the hotel. Kristen Bell doesn’t have much to do other than look cute as the ex, but she’s pretty good at looking cute.
It’s the supporting players who are most memorable, particulary Mila Kunis and Rusell Brand as the other love interests in the leads’ lives. Kunis, whom I know only from a couple seasons of That 70s Show, has grown into a stunningly beautiful actress with a confident, relaxed vibe and nice comic timing. Brand, whom I don’t know at all, steals the show as an alternately oblivious and perceptive British rock star. He delivers some of the movie’s biggest laugh lines. Apatow regulars Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill show up in glorified cameos, and 30 Rock‘s Jack McBrayer has a great turn as an uptight Christian on honeymoon.
A fun night out, but far from a classic… Forgetting Sarah Marshall is the Weird Science to Knocked Up‘s Breakast Club, if you buy into the premise that Judd Apatow is a Gen-X John Hughes.