getting tired of writing that Team Apatow movies have heart.
Knocked Up, Super Bad and The 40 Year Old Virgin
were all pretty sleazy comedies hiding greatly told, heartfelt
movies. Could it be that patriarchal producer Judd Apatow
knows the recipe for the feel good movie? It would seem
to be the case for the next Apatow produced movie coming
out the gate.
Sarah Marshall not only has a heaping helping of heart,
but it’s also got enough crass humor and full frontal
nudity to help us remember that we’re still watching
a dirty comedy.
Sarah Marshall is written by and stars, Jason Segel
(Knocked Up, How I Met Your Mother) as television
composer Peter Bretter. Peter is devastated to find out
that his hot television star girlfriend, Sarah Marshall
(Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell) is breaking up with
him and he finds himself going through the painful trials
of being a disposed beau. To expedite the healing process,
Peter decides to take a Hawaiian vacation. Unfortunately,
Peter just happens to pick the same resort that his ex and
her new boyfriend are staying at and the awkwardness begins.
It doesn’t help that Sarah’s new boyfriend,
Aldous Snow, is the hottest thing in pop music today and
a sexual miscreant as well.
in his own self pathetic-ness, Peter meets Rachel (Mila
Kunis from That '70s Show), a cute and perky hotel
front desk clerk who shows him a little kindness and sympathizes
with his plight. Rachel has a positive energy and motivates
Peter to enjoy his vacation and take advantage of what the
resort has to offer, and slowly but surely, Peter starts
to deal with the pitfalls of an ending relationship.
Sarah Marshall is an interesting kind of movie. It
definitely has the feel of an Apatow style film - The casual
slacker with no direction finds motivation and ultimately
finds personal growth. However, instead of this being a
straight up raunchy comedy, FSM is also an honest
film about breaking up and what a person can go through
during that time. Segel writes an endearing piece here about
all the different phases of letting go.
the little things that one notices during a break up that
have the potential to remind us of greater pain, like cereal
containers and bad gifts. Not only does FSM work
as a comedy but also it’s a great romantic comedy
that will resonate with anyone who’s ever been through
a serious dumping.
is a believable slouch and great as the lead. As an actor,
he has always had a genial yet creepy aura about him (see
Freaks and Geeks and Knocked Up) and it’s
prevalent here in this movie. If he were any more charismatic
he wouldn’t work as the pathetic lead. When Peter
cries, we believe it, because Segel pulls off the sad wuss
characteristic very well. We can feel his frustration and
his reluctance because Segel makes Peter so very vulnerable
when Peter is pathetic we can’t possibly see what
the hot and sexy Sarah would want with a loser like that.
Bell makes a convincing turn here as the shallow Hollywood
tart and actually comes off as unlikable in a likable way.
She’s the villain we love to hate, and she pulls it
off well. The role is also very mature for Bell and she
does great with it.
of mature, former teen queen Kunis shows a great maturity
in this role and shines as a calm, gentle and caring love
interest for our beleaguered Peter. She’s not only
sexy and sweet, but Kunis is believable as the un-ambitious
front desk clerk. She also plays Rachel with a worldliness
that betrays her young years. Rachel is an old soul and
possibly the best thing our wounded Peter needs.
Peter didn’t need was to acquaint himself with Sarah’s
new man, Aldous. Aldous (the hilarious and possible breakout
star, Russell Brand) is the stereotypical British frontman,
channeling Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler and Prince all at the
same time. He’s sex personified, and confident to
the max. Yet all the while being a caricature, Brand makes
him human and grounded in our reality. He’s supposed
to be the guy to hate, but it’s hard to hate Aldous
rest of the supplementary comedy comes from the supporting
cast, in the form of the dippy surfer character Chuck (the
always on Paul Rudd), Newlywed Darald (30 Rock’s
Jack McBrayer) and Matthew the Waiter (Apatow staple Jonah
let's not forget personal fav and my prediction for the
next Dan Akroyd, SNL’s Bill Hader as Peter’s
stepbrother Brian and Peter’s main confidante and
supporter. FSM is more about Peter’s journey
and interaction with all these supporting characters that
enlighten him to realize that he’s not the only one
of the things FSM does best is its use of quick
flashbacks to illustrate realization and regret. Its situations
are comical and funny, yet real, and these flashbacks paint
a quick picture that help put us in the characters shoes.
Anyone who’s ever suffered a painful breakup will
feel these moments awkwardly and honestly because as funny
as they are, they actually happen.
this movie a lot. I found it funny and brutally honest,
yet mature and grounded. It never went to, say, Will Ferrell
farce status, and yet it stayed funny and brilliant at times.
Not sure how it was going to play out, FSM is entertaining
and sweet and just a pleasure to watch.
Sarah Marshall is a funny movie that makes you believe.
You can believe a schmoe like Peter could get a hotty like
Sarah. You can believe that self centered rock star might
be a likable guy. You can believe that Mila Kunis is not
only hot, but you might wanna hang out with her afterwards
and you might even believe that once again, whether willing
or not, that Team Apatow has done it again, and made a romantic
comedy with a lot of heart.