Saturday, August 16, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I usually don't take a rom-com genre seriously. But time and again, I found one that really hit the spot. Either if it's because I could very much relate myself to the characters or simply that the film is indeed in an outstanding quality among its peers. Forgetting Sarah Marshall is one of those film.

Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) is a TV superstar. She stars in famous TV shows called "Crime Scene: Scene of a Crime" apparently in an alternate universe where terrible one-liner, and shockingly stupid dialog could be passed as a hit TV series. For a five-year-and-a-half, she dated Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) a talented (questionable) musician but hadn't work to fulfilled his passion yet as he only wrote "dark and ominous" soundtrack for TV series. I could relate to Peter in a way that his life is lacking direction. Besides work, which he did most of the time at home, he spent his time lazing around on the couch and watching mind-numbing TV shows. Practically, he has his own little world from which he is ever reluctant to leave, simply going nowhere. Just like yours truly here. However, he hasn't hit the bottom just yet. Sarah is his anchor. But when Sarah suddenly dropped the bomb, and dumped him, that was when he plunge. Devastated and advised by his friends, Peter decided to go vacationing to Hawaii only to met Sarah and the very reason she had broken up with him, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) a rising rock superstar. Again, in an alternate universe where terrible singer with penchant to sexual lyrics could be passed as a rock superstar.

My initial thought of this film is that the main dude is the main protagonist one. The film want us to sympathize with him, to root for him, to cheer him up and probably get through day with hands held high in a winning salute (not to mention, a buxom babe who happened to be a front desk clerk in the hotel where he was staying dangling to his feet). Obviously, that, put the object from the title of this film (Sarah Marshall) into a no-good bitch. But then again, had that been the case, what made this film different than million other rom-com films that held the same vibe?

I was surprised, genuinely surprised that Sarah Marshall is not at all a heartless bitch who just casually shattered our good-man-slash-protagonist's heart into a million pieces as she portrayed to be. I took a special liking to the way the film told its story. Immediately, as the film begins, Sarah was put into a position where she should be hated with all of your heart's content and only progressed downward as the film progressed, up to a point (at least in my case) where we wanted her to get a payback as mean as possible. However, minutes later, I was shocked that in one scene, and one scene only, I could changed my perspective toward Sarah. She has the same treatment with any other prominent casts in this film, a very humane treatment that pull these characters from the screen and put them in a real life where there's no black or white characters. Just gray. And that what made this rom-com different than the other film from this genre. That, and the fact that I could apply my personal real-life to that of Peter's.

My favorite moment: Dinner scene where the prominent casts discussed (more of mocking I should say) Sarah's latest film about "a spirit manifestation that could kill through the cell-phone" to which Sarah defends that it was actually about "a fear of the rapid advancement of technology" Peter mocked the absurd idea of the film. What makes it funny is that Kristen Bell is actually starred in "Pulse" and the fact that she lets the script mocking Sarah for the film which inadvertently (or not) also mocked her in the real-life for "Pulse" is even funnier.

Judd Apatow produced this film, and now I'm convinced that every subsequent film that bore his name should be given a considerable thought despite of how cliche its premise promised to be. Judd had also promised that every film that got his name attached on either as a writer, producer, or director would have a penis showing. This film didn't falter from the promise. So, purist, beware, this film rated R for sexual scenes. But I promise you, if you're a fan of this genre, you'd gonna love this film. If you don't, then you need to revise your definition of "a fan of a particular genre".

My rating: ***1/2 / **** - Let's see, is this the best film that had Judd Apatow's name attached on it? This, and Superbad, if you asked me although I would give a slight edge to this film since I could relate more to this film.

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