Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
After seeing Jason Segel's second written movie, I Love You, Man, and enjoying it so much, I knew I had to see the first movie he wrote and starred in, Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Segel impressed me with his unique style of comedy in his second movie, and I figured that his same humor and writing talents would come out in the first movie. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical and hazy on the first one, as I definitely judged a book by its cover and its cast. I remember walking by the movie in the movie store (I don't even remember it coming out in theatres), and it just looked like another dumb romantic comedy. I thought I'd be turning off the video in a matter of minutes. Well, at least I was wrong there.
The plot even sounded a little far-fetched to me, which it is, but it still was a movie worth watching. There was enough comedy streamlined with true-to-life situaitons about break-ups and dating that was very interesting to watch and think about. I really don't think that they would have been that intertwined on their vacations as they were, but then there really wouldn't be an interesting movie.
But, it is apparent that Segel has quite a talent for comedy script writing, and he's a pretty good actor too. I see big things for him; he could hold his own as an Adam Sandler or Ben Stiller. He's really good. The plot is interestingly and logically sequenced, he has interesting jobs for his characters to pursue, he has some interesting themes threaded in there--I think he will be successful.
After doing a bit of reading on the movie, I read that Segel included the naked break-up scene in the movie because something similar to that happened to him. I did notice that he was naked an awful lot in the movie--what was that about? I thought it was too much. There were awkward shots down to his member and he was just naked here and there. I didn't really understand and/or see the point. I mean, the movie starts and ends with him naked and walked in on by a love interest. Maybe the point was, as I discover it, that underneath everything, one girl didn't love him for who he was, and the other girl could see through it and loved him for who he was. Strange openers and closers to the movie, but I guess some people might have found it engaging.
I like how Segel characterized break-ups and relationships. He really showed how hard it is to get over somebody that you've been with for YEARS. I also like that he showed the male perspective, even if it might be a bit more dramatic than some men really take it. But, he proves some excellent points as his character wallows in his sorrows. He doesn't want to do anything, he doesn't want to do his job, he just thinks of getting back with her, he thinks of her with other men, he wants to get rid of stuff that remind him of her (which is everything) but he can't bring himself to actually destroy them (for what if they get back together?).
My favorite part in terms of this break-up idea is when he mentions to Bill Hader's character that everything in his house reminds him of her. The cereal holder reminds him of her because she always complained he left the cereal box open, so this would keep his cereal fresh. Now he has super fresh cereal! (He yells) But I like the overall point: even the smallest things will trigger memories of the other, and it's hard to rid yourself of those thoughts over the most mundane things. You almost have to reprogram your mind which is hard and takes time.
I didn't really enjoy that he had to get another girl in order to get over his past relationship. I mean, it added flavor and interest to the movie, but in terms of trying to teach a lesson, you don't have to relationship hop. People are allowed to be alone. Sometimes it's really healthy to be alone. Now, Segel does end up alone for a bit of time to complete his Dracula musical, but that's only because he was denied by his new love interest, played by Mila Kunis, until she came crawling back to him. I guess I'm not complaining more than I'm trying to pick out a point.
What I also enjoyed about the film was its cameos and guest stars. Besides the main four characters, other smaller characters included the following: Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman, Billy Baldwin, and Kenneth from 30 Rock. I enjoyed their side characters. They added a lot of flavor and personality to the movie. I especially liked Rudd's character--the forgetful stoned surfer who really tried to be authentic Hawaiian native but was really just a dude from the mainland. Good characters.
Overall, I think the movie was really well done. I definitely think that Segel is getting better with his movies, as I Love You, Man was definitely a bigger hit than Forgetting Sarah Marshall even though it wasn't a complete flop. I think he's gaining a wider audience and fan base, and that will help him out with his next few movies. He also seems to have a lot of Hollywood friends that can star in his movies, which make them all the more interesting.
What I like about Segel is that he writes relatable movies. He writes smart movies that one can laugh about because it parallels life so much. I love when writers will do that: they comment on the human experience, something we all can relate to, and add their two cents in a comedic way. It's brilliant. Good for Segel. I hope he keeps it up because he's going up at this point, as I see it.
What do you think of Forgetting Sarah Marshall?