Friday, March 04, 2011
#73: Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is the story of how a composer Peter (Jason Segel who has also written the script) comes to terms with breaking up with his more popular girlfriend, Sarah (Kristen Bell). Sarah is the star of a sexual crime TV show that seems to be a spoof of the popular series Criminal Minds.
Sarah dumps Peter for pop sensation Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) and the two set off to Hawaii for a vacation. Peter who is in depression also ends up going to same resort in Hawaii to cheer himself up. He bumps into the couple and at first has great difficulty accepting his new single status. Sarah's relationship with the wild Aldous is a source of major grief and envy but that begins to change after he makes friends with the hotel receptionist Rachel (Mila Kunis). Lame right? Well, that would be a good place to start the movie review.
This is a movie that's scored 7.4 on Imdb and it is so much of a mystery to me, I even asked a couple of friends if I would be wrong in criticizing this one. Was there a stroke of genius that I missed. Apparently not, so here it is. Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a crass, puerile and an abject comedy. Apart from Jason Segel who genuinely comes across as a depressed forlorn lover trying to recover from a bad relationship, there is no other redeeming feature in the movie. Having said that, it is best that Jason Segel stick to acting and not subject us to his pathetic writing. This is a comedy that doesn't have any smart lines that stand out nor any set-piece situations that make you laugh.
The movie's at best an average attempt at comedy. An attempt so weak it can demoralize a movie goer's faith in the comedy genre. It will shake your belief that a good comedy can be made with a small budget with no big stars. The surprising bit though is that apart from the so-called critical acclaim it garnered, the movie even made over a $100mn in box office. And to understand this, I intend to dig deeper as to how a movie so shallow can impress so many people. Maybe I could pitch this as a subject for Levitt and Dubner - the hows and whys of it.
In a way, the aptly titled Forgetting Sarah Marshall will take some forgetting. It leaves such a deep dent on the bedrock of logic, it will take another fact-finding mission from yours truly to seal this review but rest assured in the greater interest of the movie-going humanity, it will be done.