Would it be a turnoff to tell you that the first five or so minutes of Forgetting Sarah Marshall involves a totally naked Jason Segal? And Segal has no intention of shunning the audience from anything. This though is one of the funniest scenes of the movies, and one that even shows such emotion and vulnerability in it's main character.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is nothing of what its advertisements have made it to be. Instead of being a slapstick and predictable romantic comedy it's a romantic comedy that's both unpredictable and extremely original. The jokes are graphic but hilarious and in the end, like all Judd Apatow movies, it's a movie about forgiveness, self-transformation and maturity.
Songwriter Peter Bretter (Segal) is going through what seems to be a perfect five year relationship with actress girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). One day, she comes in unexpected and dumps him in one of the most awkward breakups I've ever witnessed. Seems now she's fallen for singer Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), creator of such popular hits as "Inside of You". No further explanation needed there.
Feeling depressed, Peter decides to take a nice, relaxing week off in Hawaii. Things just get worse as Peter ends up in the same hotel as Sarah and her new boyfriend.
Segal wrote this film along with his starring role, and he proves himself as one of the funniest and most promising members of the Judd Apatow gang. He began his career as a leading role on Freaks and Geeks. There, he played a basketball player once full of promise who's become a stoner obsessed with an impossible dream of becoming a drummer. In Sarah Marshall, his character isn't so different. It's his own problems and laziness that lead to his downfall.
The most effective part about this movie is the treatment of its characters. If made by anyone else, Sarah and Aldous would be turned into villians and Peter would try to get back with her despite her evilness. Peter would then be made into ultimate good. This would not work out, because Peter has his flaws. Him and Sarah both have great reason to be angry at each other, neither side is right or wrong. This is what makes the movie stand above all other romantic comedies: the characters feel like real conflicted human beings, not caricatures. The world of film would be a better place if more comedies were like Forgetting Sarah Marshall.