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FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
After breaking up with his TV star girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), songwriter Peter (Jason Segel) is devastated; on the urgings of his half brother, Brian (Bill Hader), he takes a Hawaii vacation at Turtle Bay resort. By cruel coincidence, Sarah is taking a break at the same resort ... with her new boyfriend, famous English rock singer, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Peter tries to tough it out as Sarah and Aldous pash on their balcony or smooch over dinner, and is encouraged by Rachel (Mila Kunis) from customer relations. The tropical paradise is more like purgatory for Peter, until Rachel's charms win him over. But by then, Sarah is having second thoughts.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The hero is unheroic and not good looking in the Hollywood mould, the location is exotic and the humour broad, with lots of sex jokes and sex action of the pumping kind. Welcome to another version of Judd Apatow's movie world (40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up), where the young male audience can readily identify with the central character and relax in the low brow fun. I have no problem with that, but I do wish this script had more laughs. It gets almost maudlin at times as Peter drowns his sorrows and broken heart in booze and self pity. That's not too funny.

Jason Segel makes his Peter vulnerable in every way, including a couple of nude scenes which are probably funnier at concept stage than in execution. His screen presence is far from macho, and this is what the female audience will be drawn to, while the guys will find him unthreatening. Not so with Aldous (Russell Brand), the ultra cool leader of a rock band who oozes animal appeal and the kind of Pommy accent that lays like a blanket of greasy chips over everything he says.

Kristen Bell's Made in Los Angeles blonde good looks and her character's fame as Sarah Marshall TV star, do little to make her really appealing, which is one of the film's serious flaws. We don't care as much about her romantic future as we should. Peter at least has a puppy dog appeal, although it's hard to believe a gorgeous girl like Rachel (Mila Kunis) finding him the most attractive sexual partner around.... but I am prepared to be corrected.

The screenplay meanders and has little more to say than 'relationship breakdown ahead' and we find ourselves lurching from tropical sideshow to freak show, from tired honeymoon jokes to tired 'rock fan on the make' jokes. There are a few good lines and a few laughs ... and the crowd at my preview screening found even more than I did. Let's hope you can, too.

DVD special features include deleted scenes, extended and alternate scenes plus a gag reel.

Published August 21, 2008



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL: DVD (MA)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Bill Hader, Elizabeth Keener

PRODUCER: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson

DIRECTOR: Nicholas Stoller

SCRIPT: Jason Segel

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Russ T. Alsobrook

EDITOR: William Kerr

MUSIC: Lyle Workman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jackson De Govia

RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 17, 2008

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted scenes, extended /alternate scenes, gag reel

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: August 20, 2008







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