A couple of nights ago, Team Awesome went to see an advance screening of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." What little information I could find about the release indicated that it was made by the "guys who brought you 'Knocked Up' and 'The 40-year Old Virgin'." Since I really enjoyed seeing both of those movies, this one had some expectations to live up to.
And it did. Sort of.
Allow me to explain.
There has been a bit of a viral marketing campaign appearing on street corners and on the TTC, running ads about how much Sarah Marshall sucks, and how "I am so over you, Sarah Marshall." Here's an example:
A better ad that I could not find an image of was the "I am so over you, Sarah Marshall." Based on the choice of phrase on these posters I was expecting a sort of 'disastrously immature campaign of emotionally masochistic demonstrations of 'moving on' with the goal of regaining lost love.' Well, I was only partly right.
After being dumped by his five year girlfriend, now a famous actress, Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) sets out on a campaign of debauchery to try to ease his aching heart. He whirls through a series of intimate encounters: ranging from the humiliating to just plain strange. But hey! At least he's getting action, right? Well, Peter admits to his brother-in-law that he is still feeling depressed and uncomfortable, as well completely heart-broken. So, he figures that the best cure for his melancholy is to do the one thing the two of them always talked about doing: take a trip to Hawaii.
Well, as any RomCom veteran should know, it just so happens that the (in)famous ex-girlfriend has also decided to do the whole 'Hawaii vacation' thing- with her new beau, an outrageous British rock star (played by the scene stealing Russel Brand- just wait for the serenade). Of course, awkwardness and hilarity ensue.
In between scenes of emotional breakdown, Peter makes some new friends: a newly-wed husband who experience failure anxiety during sex because of his sense of spiritual cleanliness; a surfer-dude who suffers (albeit unknowingly) from anterograde amnesia; a massive native Hawaiian; and others. Of course, among the 'others' is the new love-interest: free-spirited Rachel (played by Mila Kunis).
I'm pretty sure that you can figure out the rest from there: Boy goes on vacation to forget lost love, encounters lost love, pines, gets comforted by new friend, realizes new friend is hot chick and promptly falls for her...blah blah blah...just wait for the dinner scene, because it is great.
That said, here are the (IMHO) highlights:
- Full frontal male nudity. There's no better way to combine humiliation and anguish than to have a man dumped while he is butt-naked;
- The music. The soundtrack is good, the original soundtrack is fantastic. I can't do it justice by trying to describe it here;
- Ridiculous segues from drinking with the buddies to crying alone on the balcony. Well, not so ridiculous;
- Rachel's fight with her ex-boyfriend. It's funny and very effective character-building;
- The dinner scene. Fantastic. It's too bad it comes so late in the movie;
- And, a vampire puppet rock opera. 'Nuff said
- Marketing really did not do a good job on this one, as I was expecting something else before I could get comfortable with this story.
- Too long. The movie is 2 hours, where there could have been about 20 minutes less.
All said, if you liked Knocked Up, you'll definitely enjoy this one. The humour is very similar, especially considering the number of appearances by actors from other Apatow productions. It's a very funny movie, just get ready to be in there for a while.