Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ten Statements About....FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (2008)

Wow...two of the hottest women ever, and I still find the guy
in white the most entertaining...
"Excuse me. No, I haven't had anything to drink today. Maybe the problem is that you broke my heart into a million pieces and so my cock doesn't want to be around you anymore! Okay?"

1) Before anyone thinks that the only reason I like the film is because it features The Beautiful One in various states of undress (including, in one scene, total undress)...this is the film that made me believe that Jason Segal is a true talent, both as an actor and as a writer. This is an incredibly clever script, and rewatching this now I'm struck by the number of subtle clues laid out in the first few minutes to major plot points down the line.

2) You wanna know how good a writer Segal is? He manages to make me like that miserable, evil little snot Russell Brand. In his hands, Aldous Snow is certainly the kind of self-centered, inconsiderate man-child that Brand seems to only be able to play (y'know, kinda like Adam Sandler, only without his depth)...but with a sense of obliviousness to his meanness and a genuine desire to be a good guy infused in it.

Yes, I'd enjoy watching Russell Brand suffer...but then
he went and married Katy Perry and I realized he's prolly
suffering enough....
3) At the risk of making this the 'Jason Segal Knows How To Write' edition of 10 Statements...look at how generous he is with all the characters in this film. A lesser writer (I'm looking at you, Danny McBride) would have made this into a vanity project, but Segal seems to delight in giving other actors the best lines, even extremely minor ones.

4) I find it interesting that this film utilizes its Hawaiian backdrop as a contrast to Segal's Peter personal angst, but also as a place for people to escape from their lives...the former to accentuate the humor of discomfort inherent in Peter's experience, the latter to accentuate the message the film is presenting of not allowing the past to inhibit your desires.

5) Wow...I never realized how many Muppet references Segal slides into this film. It certainly puts his decision to write a new Muppet movie in context, doesn't it?

6) This is the film that made me realize that Mila Kunis is a) wicked hot and b) has one of those rather cool screen presences that puts you at ease...yes, she's wicked hot, but she also seems very round-the-way and approachable.

7) Another genius thing about the script--there is no bad guy here. Even Sarah Marshall, who is arguably the worst person on display, has her moments--when she makes an excuse to talk to Kunis' Rachel to tell her how good a guy Peter is, for example. And when she gives her reasons for leaving Peter, her reasons not only make sense, but they're justifiable given what we saw of him before the break-up.

Scenes From My Worst Nightmares #268
8) Even though there are a lot of fun side characters here, my favorite bar none is Da'Vone MacDonald as Dwayne The Bartender. When he starts insisting that his life is so much better because he knows 200 kinds of fish...then proceeds to prove it, it cracks me up every time.

9) And there is a rather decent message about not letting your past inhibit your future. By moving past Sarah, Peter realizes his goal (after some difficulties, which results in a song called simply 'Psychiatrist' in the credits, and is another highlight) and finds success...and Rachel decides to pursue her own goals as well.

10) Okay, okay...I know what you want to know. Yes....Kristen Bell is yummy.

Happy, now? of my favorite recent rom-coms thanks to an extremely clever, sensitive and subtle scripts, a great setting and some excellent laugh lines. Plus Kristen Bell. And in my eyes, Kristen Bell is always good.

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