Friday, April 18, 2008

If Life Gives You Lemons, I Say F*ck Lemons and Bail.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Release: 04/18/2008
Rated R

1 hour, 52 minutes

Full Price ($$$$)

Peter Bretter (Jason Segel, Knocked Up) has a comfortable life in Los Angeles. He composes music for the television drama Crime Scene and dates the star of the show, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell, Pulse). When Sarah returns home and surprises Peter by announcing the end of their five-year relationship, he collapses in heap of sorrow and naked-man flesh. On the advice of his step-brother, he goes on vacation to Hawaii where he just happens to run into Sarah and her new man, English pop sensation Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Thanks to the charity of the hotel concierge, Rachel (Mila Kunis, American Psycho 2), and the other hotel staff, Peter pulls himself out of his rut and begins to enjoy a new outlook on life.

If you assumed this to be a Judd Apatow production in the vein of 40 Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up and not Anchorman or The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, you'd be correct. As in the former films, Apatow & Company take their popular brand of crude humor and mingle it with a tangible drama of relationships. I still proclaim 40 Year-Old Virgin as the best of the lot while each new incarnation shifts the perfect balance of laughs and love a little farther to the dramatic side. Still, the balance isn't too far to the right and FSM had me laughing well into the credits.

Let's be honest; this is my kind of movie: a crude comedy with beautiful women and a hilarious cast. The great supporting cast includes Bill Hader (Hot Rod), Jonah Hill (Superbad), Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) and Paul Rudd (Reno 911!: Miami). Ahh, Paul Rudd, who doesn't love you? The film even has a nice cameo that I won't spoil for you. I will say I was excited to see Branscombe Richmond (The Scorpion King), but disappointed he had barely a minute of screen time. FSM has already lit up my Confessions radar for memorable characters, lines and scenes. It also features some original songs with hilarious lyrics including Inside Me and Dracula’s Lament. FSM gives much needed big-screen cred to Bell and Kunis, whose only previous film endeavors I have seen (mentioned above) were not their shining moments. I especially love that this film bashes one of those stinkers, although obscurely.

Dirty Undies
I have mad, nasty love for Kristen Bell, so I brought my drool bib. After seeing FSM, I wish I had brought a spare because, DAMN, if Mila Kunis wasn’t equally tent-pitching. Sure, she was cute on That 70's Show, but her radiant face and wavy, brown locks will inspire a whole new level of infatuation on equal footing with the lovely Bell. Jason Segel owes the casting director big!!! First-born-son big.

If Apatow's star continues to rise I foresee his ultimate masterpiece. In the future, his number-one film will be called Cock. And that's all it will be for 90 minutes: a flaccid penis. It will win eight Oscars, including best screenplay. Whether Segel will win the starring role in Cock is uncertain, but FSM gave him some good practice.

The Money Shot
I think the major divide between FSM and Knocked Up in comparison to 40 Year-Old Virgin stems from the caliber of their stars’ performances. Segel and Rogen are no Carell, stargazers. But it doesn’t really matter because the material is funny enough that literate monkeys could make this a success.

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  1. Can't read this now - seeing it tonight - but am glad to see the Full Price rating...

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