Three of the most outrageous and quotable comedies of all time – Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin – are available together for the first time! Judd Apatow’s comic genius is thoroughly exposed with hilarious 2-disc Unrated and Extended versions of each film as well as hours of undeniably funny bonus materials. It’s the wild threesome that everyone wants in their living room!
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
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
Unwanted pregnancy might sound like a risky subject for slapstick comedy, but Knocked Up is from writer-director Judd Apatow--so we are in the hands of a man who likes to push things. And like Apatow's predecessor, The 40-Year-Old Virgin,Knocked Up is a shaggy crowd-pleaser, a comedy strewn with vulgarity but with a sweet heart at its center. A one-night stand between the utterly mismatched Ben (Seth Rogen, his first starring role) and Alison (Katherine Heigl) results in said pregnancy, and the two people reunite for mutual support--even though they barely know each other. Ben's a slob who lives with four other guys, all of whom share the same stunted approach to maturity; Alison is a new on-air personality at the E! channel. That these two eventually develop a shared understanding and affection is perhaps the movie's biggest stretch (some of the male-humor jokes amongst the guys are idiotic enough to test anybody's hope of civilizing them).
Rogen and Heigl don't really jump off the screen, but, to be fair, the movie frequently needs them to play straight while the supporting cast cuts up. Virgin vets Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd are around to supply some humor, as Alison's sister and brother-in-law, and the four idiots who live with Ben (Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Jason Siegel, and Martin Starr) are in their own zone of sophomoric bad taste. Still, by 40-Year-Old Virgin standards, this movie doesn't explode, and it sometimes feels ramshackle to the point of not being thought out. Apatow's indulgence of actors creates some fine moments (Paul Rudd seems to have most of them), but it can also make a movie feel flabby, and this is overlong by the length of a belly. --Robert Horton
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Cult comic actor Steve Carell--long adored for his supporting work on The Daily Show and in movies like Bruce Almighty and Anchorman--leaps into leading man status with The 40 Year-Old Virgin. There's no point describing the plot; it's about how a 40 year-old virgin named Andy (Carell) finally finds true love and gets laid. Along the way, there are very funny scenes involving being coached by his friends, speed dating, being propositioned by his female manager, and getting his chest waxed. Carell finds both humor and humanity in Andy, and the supporting cast includes some standout comic work from Paul Rudd (Clueless, The Shape of Things) and Jane Lynch (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind), as well as an unusually straight performance from Catherine Keener (Lovely & Amazing, Being John Malkovich). And yet... something about the movie misses the mark. It skirts around the topic of male sexual anxiety, mining it for easy jokes, but never really digs into anything that would make the men in the audience actually squirm--and it's a lot less funny as a result. Nonetheless, there are many great bits, and Carell deserves the chance to shine. --Bret Fetzer