Forgetting Sarah Marshall Review, by James Berardinelli of ReelViews

Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) has lost his love of life. A composer for a popular TV program, his preferred activity is lying on the couch while watching mind-numbing shows like Access Hollywood. But, as bad as things are going for Peter, he hasn't yet hit bottom. That moment arrives when his girlfriend of five years, actress Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), announces that she's leaving him. While Sarah might have viewed their relationship as having run its course, Peter isn't of the same mind. He goes to pieces. After trying and failing to get over Sarah in Los Angeles, Peter decides that he needs a change of scenery, so he heads for Hawaii. As (bad) luck would have it, Sarah is there, at the same hotel, with her new boyfriend, rocker Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). The only ray of hope for Peter is the attractive hotel receptionist, Rachel (Mila Kunis), who sympathizes with Peter's situation and offers a supportive hand.

The characters in Forgetting Sarah Marshall are better developed than one expects in a movie of this sort. Segel plays Peter as a bit of a schlub, but not so much of a loser that the audience can't relate to him. Kristen Bell, stepping away from the small screen, avoids the easy out of portraying Sarah as a bitch. She brings a touch of humanity to the role, ensuring that while viewers may not respect the character, they don't dislike her. Mila Kunis, who has spent the majority of her career on That '70s Show, is delightful as the bubbly Rachel. This is the kind of part that can lead to bigger and better opportunities because she's not just easy on the eyes, she's adept with her performance and understands the concept of comic timing. It doesn't take long for Rachel to become Forgetting Sarah Marshall's most vivid character. Several Apatow regulars have small roles. Bill Hader is Peter's less-than-supportive brother, Jonah Hill is a creepy waiter, and Paul Rudd is a surfing teacher named Chuck whose brain has been fried by weed.

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall


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