I’m a naturally skeptical guy when it comes to my entertainment. There is only so much time in a day and I don’t want to devote my time to watching crummy movies, playing bad games, or reading stupid books. So it takes someone whose tastes I trust to recommend a movie to me or a rock-solid trailer coupled with good scores on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes to really get me to see a movie. I initially resisted The 40-Year-Old Virgin based on trailers, but when I finally saw the movie based on The Office-related Steve Carell love, I found a rather funny and enjoyable movie.
Then Knocked Up began to be advertised as “From the people who brought you…” which is a giant red flag to me. I mean, how often have we all been burned by that ad trick? Producers are not directors, so who knows how this could turn out? I was dragged out to see it, kicking and screaming, but I found myself, again, pleasantly surprised. Perhaps these Judd Apatow-produced movies could continually be good. Maybe the same producer does have an influence on a film.
It all came to a head with Superbad. Fueled mostly by my desire to see Michael Cera in any project he’s ever a part of, and saw one of the best comedies I have ever seen. So nowadays I don’t ever doubt the Judd Apatow brand and I will blindly go and see any Apatow-produced movie, no matter whether or not the trailer is any good (strangely enough, maybe brilliantly? Judd Apatow movies never have good trailers and they are generally not that funny to me).
His most recently produced movie, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was also written and directed by one of my favorite tv actors, Jason Segel, and also starred another of my favorites, Kristen Bell, so I wanted to go before I even saw the movie trailers. If you haven’t seen any trailers, here’s the general plot: Peter Bretter (Segel) is a moderately successful composer for the TV show his girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Bell) stars in and they have a loving relationship. Except she breaks up with him to be with British rock star Aldous Snow (Russel Brand). To escape the pain, he heads out to Hawaii only to find that Sarah is also vacationing there…with Aldous. Hilarity ensues.
So let’s talk about the movie a bit: This is Segel’s debut as a writer and a director and he definitely does a great job on all counts with this movie. The scenes don’t go on for too long, the writing is on its game about 99% of the time, and the acting is all really well done. I’m not typically a fan of toilet humor or any sort of crude, idiotic humor, yet this movie still tickles the funny bone, even with its crude humor just because it has that balance that all Apatow movies seem to have with making me laugh at things that are truly not funny in any other movie. You couldn’t say that the humor was intellectual, but it’s still on a level beyond what you expect it to be. You will laugh hard if you see this movie. Forgetting Sarah Marshall also has some funny self-referential moments with Kristen Bell’s show being canceled after its third season (I think) and it being a detective show as well, mirroring the great Veronica Mars that was criminally (see what I did there?) canceled too soon.
Go and see this movie, seriously. It’s funny. I emphatically recommend it.