I consider 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall as consisting as a part of a trio of films, along with 2007’s Superbad and 2008’s Pineapple Express. They have the same accidental comedic tone and similarly endearing male protagonists – I would go so far as to describe them as the catalysts for the way comedy is presented on our screens today, wherein the best comedy films follow in the same vein.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall concerns the life of Peter Bretter (Jason Segel), music composer and likeable protagonist, after he has been dumped by the titular character. For his huge figure, he is contrary to what one would expect, but nevertheless a great character. Kristen Bell portrays the actress and kind-of antagonist Sarah Marshall. Although a shit-stirrer, she does leave you ambiguous as to how you feel about her – at least for a while. Mila Kunis plays receptionist Rachel Jansen at the hotel in Hawaii, who initially takes pity on Segel but then ends up falling for him. She is a convincingly pretty woman who you’d prefer Segel to eventually end up with. The problem with her character is that she is not very well developed considering she is the female lead.
Russell Brand stars as Aldous Snow, the crazy rock star who, like Kunis, we do not know very deeply. However, considering there is a spin-off film about his character (Get Him to the Greek), his circumstances are in hindsight acceptable. Brand virtually dazzles in his performance. Supporting roles for actors Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill and Bill Hader make up most of the supporting cast. They all have in common – their own oblivious stupidity. Still, 2/3rd’s of them are entertaining and amusing; the other just tries too hard to be funny (looking at you Hader).
Forgetting Sarah Marshall effortlessly generates laughter from the viewer, especially during moments that perhaps were not initially intended to be humourous. There are numerous notable lines from lesser characters, which makes the film cast more of a family, because everyone shares part of the limelight in this film. Da’Vone McDonald plays the bartender Dwayne who can name over 200 Hawaiian fish, including “humuhumunukunuku?pua’a… Yeah Bitch!”, while Paul Rudd’s surfing instructor attempts to rhyme “the weather outside is weather.” Jonah Hill attempts the British accent. Russell Brand’s painfully catchy rendition of the song “Inside of You.” These are just a few of the hysterical and charming moments that await you.
There still remains quite a few plot strands which just aren’t that detailed. However, what is present serves needs and leaves one entertained. Hill’s secret fetish for Brand could have turned the film into a psychological stalking thriller, while the unemployed Sarah Marshall, what is she going to do with no income? The Dracula musical subplot is genius because it’s completely plausible and fits so well into the film. I could easily see it being performed in a theatre somewhere!
Forgetting Sarah Marshall allows you to experience original characters in an amiable atmosphere. A proper rom-com for adults that effortlessly delivers humour in abundance.