Caught Forgetting Sarah Marshall today, the newest comedy from the Judd Apatow team of 40 Year Old Virgin and Superbad fame. It stars Jason Segal, of How I met Your Mother, Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars and Heroes, and Mila Kunis of That 70's Show. It's a pretty simple plot, Segal plays Peter, who is in love with Sarah Marshall, played by Bell, who is a famous TV cop on a Law and Order type show. He does teh music for the series, but is caught off guard when Bell breaks up with him to be with another man, a rock star. Peter is torn apart by the breakup and between unmanly fits of sobbing and failed one night stands, he decided to take a trip to Hawaii to forget Sarah. Unfortunately the hotel he has chosen to stay at is the same one that Sarah is staying at with her boyfriend. Instead of leaving, which would make him look like he's running away, he stays. Eventually he creates a connection with the desk clerk played by Kunis, but when everybodys imperfections come out, he has to decide of he can really forget Sarah Marshall.
Like all of Apatow's movies, this film is a balance of raunchy and heart, that I think does a pretty good job at keeping the humor going, unlike Knocked Up that I felt got a little to heart heavy during the film. Segal is great balancing the crushed boyfriend who was dating out of his league, and as a comedic leading man. Kristen Bell nails the television celebrity who thinks she knows what she wants but who doesn't know. The casting choices were solid and I like that Bell was doing something outside of her normal acting zone. Some of my favorite bits were in the casting of bit parts, like Billy Baldwin and Jason Bateman as Bell's crime partners, who got some great one liners. Also the sub-plot of Segal's character writing a Dracula rock opera was so ridiculous you had to laugh. I will warn you, despite some photographed boobs, you do get some uncomfortable penis shots, made all the funnier by the audience reaction to them. You can hear the collective groan from the audience. Also look for a really funny sub-plot with jack McBrayer of 30 Rock as a man who has trouble consumating his marriage with his voraciuos bride.
There were some areas of opportunity in the film, particularly in the running time. I felt several scenes could have been condensed or eliminated to keep the narrative pace a bit faster. Also while a pretty funny film, I still feel that many of the comedies Apatow have produced need to continue to focus on the comedy and let the heart rise from that, like in 40 Year Old Virgin or Old School, sometimes it can feel a bit forced.
Overall I recommend the film as a pretty funny movie. If you liked any of the previous films I listed from Apatow, you will certainly like this.
End of Line.