Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Director: Nicholas Stoller
Plot: Devastated Peter takes a Hawaii vacation in order to deal with recent break-up with his TV star girlfriend, Sarah. Little does he know Sarah is traveling to the same resort as her ex, and she is bringing along her new boyfriend.

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance
Awards: -
Runtime: 112min
Rating: M18 for sexual content, language and some graphic nudity.



Hollywood seems to be catching the Judd Apatow bug. The pioneer of the 'coming-of-age romantic comedy' genre, Apatow is now one of the most influential filmmakers of the last five years, directing critical and commercial hits in The 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. Forgetting Sarah Marshall joins a long line of films inspired by his potent formula which includes Superbad, the Oscar-winning Juno, and Charlie Bartlett. Forgetting Sarah Marshall marks the directorial debut of Nicholas Stoller who is incidentally part of the current trend of young American filmmakers making their first feature with the backing of established distributors.

Stoller's film has an effective screenplay that tells the story in a manner that viewers will find it easy to take in. However, it lacks the incisiveness of Apatow's scripts though it is no less explicit. The story centers on a character that viewers will choose to sympathize - Peter (played by Jason Segel). Peter gets dumped by his girlfriend of many years – Sarah (played by Kristen Bell). He then decides to take a trip to Hawaii to relieve depression only to find to his horror that Sarah is on vacation there with her new boyfriend in tow! When Sarah realizes this too, she tries all means possible to avoid the presence of her ex, who ironically is drawn closer to the allure of Sarah’s new relationship.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall has its fair share of crude jokes, some quite sexually explicit. The most memorable and funny sequence involves two couples in adjacent rooms trying to 'outmoan' one another while making love. Although the film plays out like a comedy, its tone feels slightly downcast. It explores themes that teenagers will be able to relate to. What does it mean to be loved by someone? Is love just a fleeting emotion or is it something so deep that only time can fully unravel it? Unless two shots of Segal's manhood in its full glory can tempt you to think otherwise, Forgetting Sarah Marshall still remains a less rewarding alternative to Apatow's gems.

SCORE: 7.5/10

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