Forgetting Sarah Marshall

By Gerald Aaron, April 25, 2008

(15) Jason Segel appears full-frontally naked on screen and only has himself to blame. He co-wrote this defiantly ribald, immensely entertaining comedy, with producer Judd Apatow, the man behind last year’s hits The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad. The simple, satisfying premise finds struggling musician Peter (Segel) dumped by long-time girlfriend, TV crime series star Sarah (Kristen Bell).Dedicated womanising fails to assuage his grief and so Peter heads to Hawaii to reassemble his broken heart, only to run into Sarah and her new British rocker boyfriend Aldous (Russell Brand). London-born Nicholas Stoller’s admirable directorial debut makes the most of the mostly tasteless jokes, sharp, cruelly accurate satire (the opening and closing parodies of American television crime shows are just off-centre enough to be genuine) and comic situations. He consistently raises laughs by ensuring his players are unrestrained but without allowing them to bludgeon the material to death. Segal is splendid, delivering one-liners with engaging skill. Bell makes a fine foil, and Brand makes up for his egregious turn in St Trinian’s with a callously exact send-up of ego-and-hormone-driven rock stars. Result — a bright, tasteless comic treat.

Last updated: 2:59pm, February 18 2011