Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Film
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
Actor Jason Segel is no Adonis. We learn this from an early and already notorious scene in ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ in which the titular TV star dumps our hero, Peter Bretter, played by Segel (also the film’s writer), as he stands completely nude in the kitchen of their apartment, weeping and begging her to stay. And yet, despite his distinctly average-guy physique, Peter still manages to seduce (by my count) five exceptionally beautiful women over the course of the film.

Because this isn’t the real world: this is producer Judd Apatow’s world, in which the crotch-scratching schlub is king and it’s only a matter of time before even the most glamorous females fall under his slovenly spell.

From its opening montage of slacker Peter mooching through an average day, ‘Sarah Marshall’ is textbook Apatow, replete with all the embarrassments and cringeworthy mishaps that audiences have come to expect. It sports a cavalcade of scene-stealing cameos from regular alumni like Jonah Hill, Bill Hader and, most memorably, Paul Rudd as archetypal surf-burnout Kunu. The fresh face is our own Russell Brand, typecast as  self-absorbed, sex-obsessed but oddly lovable rock legend Aldous Snow, the unwelcome hypotenuse in Peter and Sarah’s love triangle.

The film’s major flaw lies in its narrative: Segel’s script was rewritten over an exhaustive 18 months, and it shows. Lacking a recognisable hook – like those in ‘Knocked Up’ or ‘40 Year Old Virgin’, the story tends to flounder. But ‘Sarah Marshall’ remains a film of glorious moments and memorable scenes, lovingly crafted characters and sparkling one-liners.

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