Movie Review
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Forgetting Sarah Marshall poster
By Lee Tistaert     Published March 17, 2008
US Release: April 18, 2008

Directed by: Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Jason Segel , Jonah Hill , Paul Rudd , Mila Kunis

R for sexual content, language and some graphic nudity.
Running Time: 120 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $63,002,000
B
15 of 117
Sarah Marshall is a breath of fresh air in what has been a really boring movie season.
Producer Judd Apatow strikes again. Forgetting Sarah Marshall rivals the ranks of There's Something About Mary and Knocked Up as a filthy and foul comedy that manages to balance thoroughly immature material with a good story. Apatow has been on the rise with character-driven comedy, and that's where this movie works. We get to know the main character, and the laughs come as a result of being on his side (much like The 40-Year-Old Virgin). But what's really nice about a movie like this is that the characters, however shallow as they appear at first, actually evolve into real people you could imagine existing. Some comedies like this rely on caricatures for comic relief; performances that are just over the top for the sake of slapstick.

The Apatow clan is all here, with the exception of Seth Rogen (who was probably on another movie set while they were filming this). The star, Jason Segel, does a really good job of carrying the movie - this could very well be his own Knocked Up (I think we have a sleeper hit). I was kind of skeptical going in, because it seemed like the movie could go either way; with such a generic setup as it has, it needed a lot of creativity. But this is yet another R-rated comedy aimed towards the younger generation, as well as adults, that works. Sure, there are going to be people who don't like this style of crude humor -- Apatow has already established an anti-filth group in the last few years. This is a "guy" comedy inside of a romantic comedy - cruel humor is all over it.

I feel like it's going to be hard to top the surprise hilarity of 40-Year-Old Virgin, given how out of the blue its raunchy attitude was. Apatow has a reputation now, and so it's harder to reach that level of shock value established. Perhaps if I had had lower expectations for Sarah Marshall (my expectations weren't good going into Virgin), my grade would be higher. Still, Sarah Marshall is a breath of fresh air in what has been a really boring movie season.
Lee's Grade: B
Ranked #15 of 117 between The Ruins (#14) and The Strangers (#16) for 2008 movies.
Lee's Overall Grading: 2918 graded movies
A0.4%
B29.5%
C62.0%
D8.1%
F0.0%
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'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' Articles
  • Craig's review B+
    April 19, 2008    Sex and nudity gags are the movie’s bread and butter, but like Knocked Up and Superbad, the real charm is in the personal journey of the main characters. -- Craig Younkin
  • 'Sarah Marshall' Weekend Outlook
    April 15, 2008    It's opening in the middle of April, which means if it doesn't hit right now, it could still pick up the right word of mouth and play through May and potentially June as well. -- Lee Tistaert