Peter (Jason Segel) is a struggling musician who finds his world turned upside down when his TV celebrity girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), dumps him for a tragically hip rock star. It’s the hysterically funny look at how far one man will go to forget a girl – and all the fun he finds along the way!
Breaking up is hard to do--but that doesn't mean you can't have some belly laughs about it. Forgetting Sarah Marshall provides that rare treat: a romantic comedy about breakups, that is both romantic and funny. The laughs, especially from writer-star Jason Segel, are both heartfelt and raunchy, and the film is just unexpected enough that it keeps the viewer's attention till the end. The touches of producer Judd Apatow, who's famously retooled rom-coms to appeal to guys as much as women, are woven throughout the film, but Segel's script, reportedly based on many of his own experiences, is fresh and original. And adult. Forgetting Sarah Marshall features male genitalia laffs presented in unexpected and human ways (the nude breakup scene is played for giggles but also deep poignancy), and the language and sex scenes are strictly for grownups--and rightly so. Segel's script, and his performance as Peter, show that he understands the true nature of adult relationships, which provides the refreshing difference between this film and some of Apatow's other crude creations. The cast is sublime; Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) plays title character Sarah, a self-absorbed actress, and Russell Brand is her new British honey who accompanies her to--what are the chances?--the exact same Hawaiian resort as Peter, who's nursing his broken heart. Mila Kunis plays Rachel, the resort employee who gives Peter a reason to hope, and Paul Rudd is the surfing instructor who gives him his own brand of heartfelt advice ("When life gives you lemons, just say 'F--- the lemons' and bail," he says cheerily). The pacing is screwball, and the absurdities fly (a "Dracula" musical puppet show, and a surprisingly lovely Hawaiian version of "Nothing Compares 2 U"). Nothing the viewer will forget any time soon.--A.T. Hurley