Monday, April 21, 2008
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is only the fourth funniest "Apatow" movie, which is sort of like saying Sticky Fingers is only the fourth best Stones album. Admittedly, the plot contraptions are more stagey and rom-com than in Superbad, Knocked Up, and The 40 Year-Old Virgin. TV stars, goofy surfing instructors and a comical beach resort crew won't resonate like retail lackeys, obstetricians and high school. So it's a good thing that Paul Rudd plays a seriously funny surfing instructor, and that the beach resort provides one of the most likable supporting casts in recent memory. The performers may benefit from familiarity, but they're certainly not coasting on it. After Walk Hard and (I can only assume) Drillbit Taylor, Marshall is a refreshing reminder of how strong the craft on Apatow-produced films usually is.
I was worried that the ex-girlfriend aspect would throw a "women are the disease" theme in with the already problematic "women are the cure." But as the film progresses, Kristen Bell's Sarah Marshall becomes more sympathetic, getting some jokes of her own. Despite the awkward scream of "you're the devil!" Marshall's left with (it's not really clear if we're supposed agree with him on that or not), it'd be hard for critics to claim the film doesn't give the female leads nuanced roles. I mean, compared to what? Russell Brand's Aldous Snow?
While Marshall does help make up for the cold winter this crew gave us, I think it was wise that they busted out the trailer for Pineapple Express before this rather than one for You Don't Mess With The Zohan.