Wednesday, March 4, 2009

REVIEW: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

The latest rage has been for studios to release "Unrated" versions of movies, which most of the time include what the censors wouldn't let go for the theater versions.  This is almost always gratuitous violence or sexual stuff.  You can group this into; violent movies include more graphic violence, while comedies include more graphic sexual scenes.

I'd understood that "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" was an instant classic in waiting, so I waited for it to come out on video.  I figured that I'd skip the extra features, etc to avoid the stuff unnecessary for the story.  I popped in the disc, sat down with the Jester popcorn and big glass of Arnold Palmer tea (1/2 iced tea & 1/2 lemonade).

A synopsis of the storyline is that Peter Bretter (played by Jason Segal and also the movies writer) writes/performs the musical score to a successful TV drama in which his girlfriend, Sarah Marshall, is the lead actress.  Peter spends his time working from home, dressed in usually whatever he wears to bed, while maintaining an unkept presence.  Sarah's success leads her to seek out other "successful" people and away from Peter.  While Peter believes things are going fine, Sarah is building-up to to leave him.  The DVD's first shocking scene scene occurs within the first fifteen minutes or so and can be dubbed the "Full Frontal Male Nudity Breakup Scene".  Sarah is going to breakup with Peter, but he is prepared to surprise her with a full-frontal shot of himself when she walks in the door to their loft.  The breakup scene is like a car wreck, since it's uncomfortable to watch, but as much as you want to turn away, you can only stare at it with an open mouth.

Sarah leaves Peter and he's inconsolable, despite the best efforts of his friends and family.  We've all been there after a difficult breakup, that is, the place where you're in denial, then hurt, then anger, while still in a state of confusion.  What we get is a journey of outsiders trying to get a person to forget their previous love and realize that their life isn't over and actually is much better off.

There are interesting roles throughout, including Peter's half-brother, Brian Bretter (played by Bill Hader) who reflects what Peter is reluctant to pursue, namely a relationship with responsibilities to a partner that goes beyond physical presence.
Kristen Bell as "Sarah Marshall" is mult-dimensional playing both the villain and the victim, which will become evident throughout the movie. We watch as Sarah leaves Peter only to fall in the arms of Aldous Snow, a famous rock star (played by Brit Russell Brand)  Brand is fantastically lovably-hatable.  We despise him "stealing" Sarah, yet we see he simple was himself.  It turns out that his unwillingness to "grow-up" turns the tables in an interesting way.

"Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is a movie that will touch nerves with most of us, since we want to root for the seeming underdog (Peter), while seeing the hurt and hurting in each character.  Mila Kunis (Jackie from "That 70s Show" is a person who is vulnerable in being interested in Peter and helps him "forget Sarah".  The key is whether Peter can and wants to truly forget Sarah  himself.  Again, we've all been in situations where a love who leaves us wants to return and how do we respond, especially when there's another interested party.

The story is good and you just to be aware of the initial frontal nudity and also a graphic sex scene about halfway through that likely wasn't this graphic in the theater.  Nonetheless there are lessons that each character experiences that we will all relate to.  I enjoyed the movie, despite the shocks and think that watched with the right people will make it a fun experience for you too.  Find out if Peter "Forget's Sarah Marshall" if I can forget that breakup scene.

Jester gives it  **** out of ***** for the movie

Jester gives it * out of ****** for the uncut portions.

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