Wednesday, October 3, 2007

So unless you're here for the first time you might know that I think Kristen Bell is one of the best actors of my generation. Last night I was lucky enough to catch a very early sneak preview of her upcoming film Forgetting Sarah Marshall. And by very early, I mean it's not coming out until next May. Which means it could be a fairly different movie by the time it comes out, but since I say Knocked Up about this long before the movie released, and with the exception of a few small snippets of dialogue it was the same film.

I've been excited about seeing this film for some time because not only am I a fan of Kristen Bell, but it was produced by Judd Apatow, the creator of both Knocked Up and The Forty Year-Old Virgin, two of the funniest movies of the last few years. While both are full of raunch they are also full of heart, so I was anticipating another film that fits in that category.
But possibly the most exciting part of the movie is that it was written by and stars Jason Segel, who has been in two of the most loved series in the CineManiac household, Freaks & Geeks and How I Met Your Mother. So it was with this anticipation that I went into the movie last night.

Jason Segel plays Peter Bretter, a struggling musician who creates the music for the hit TV show, Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime. Peter's girlfriend the titular Sarah Marshall is the shows star, and her star is rising because of it. The movie starts with "The Break-up Scene" as Sarah dumps Peter, telling him there's another guy. The scene plays out in a way that I don't think has been attempted before, so I don't want to ruin it, I'll just say it's funny. Devastated Peter tries to go on with his life, but quickly spirals into a depression he can't get out of. So on the insistence of his Step-Brother, Brian (Bill Hader) Peter decides to take a trip to get away from it all.

Peter winds up at an amazing resort in Hawaii, only to discover that his Ex, Sarah, is there with her new boyfriend/other guy, Brit Rocker Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). It quickly becomes clear that getting over Sarah is going to be much harder than he thought. As both decide to stay at the resort, they keep running into each other, At dinner Peter, seated alone, is given "the best table in the house" because it's facing Aldous and Sarah, the next morning non-flexible Peter runs into the duo at a Yoga class, where he tries to keep up, and being an island they can't get away from each other.

Luckily for Peter, he meets a girl, Rachel, the resort's Customer Service lady played wonderfully by That 70s Show's Mila Kunis. What starts as a simple flirtation quickly (very quickly) turns into a relationship over Peter's 4 days at the Resort. While somewhat fast based, the relationship does seem fairly realistic.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fantastic supporting cast. Jonah Hill plays a resort employee whose clearly obsessed with Aldous Snow, to the extent of baking him a cake. Paul Rudd is fantastic, as always, as the local Surfing Instructor with an awful memory. SNL's Kristen Wiig steals the show in her small scene as a Yoga instructor, who fawns over Aldous and Sarah and gives Peter a hard time.
But possibly the best of the supporting cast is 30 Rock's Jack McBrayer as one half of a Mormon newlywed couple, who's having trouble in the bedroom. McBrayer's scenes are hilarious and he constantly made me laugh.

If there was any disclaimers about the movie it's the amount of sex. There are several sex scenes, each of which are played for laughs, which could turn some people off. The scenes are done in a way that there's no actual nudity, but instead implied nudity.

The cut we saw, while having some raunchy material, is definitely the cleanest of the Apatow movies so far. The other difference is that this film does not throw out a joke a second. This doesn't mean it's not funny, to the contrary I laughed as much in these as I did at Super Bad or Knocked Up. It's just a different beast altogether, and I don't think it should be compared to those, although I'm sure it will be.


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