Falling in love is an exhilarating rush of blood to the head: an irrational, overwhelming surge of emotion that turns grown men into simpering idiots, incapable of stringing together even the most simple, monosyllabic sentence.
Nothing compares to the giddy thrill of that first reciprocated “I love you” – except perhaps the crushing, knockout blow when the relationship ends.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a wonderful, touching romantic comedy about one guy’s disastrous efforts to recover from the heartbreak of being dumped by his beautiful girlfriend.
It’s a situation most of us can relate to – the struggle to find a glimmer of hope in the perpetual darkness – and Nicholas Stoller’s raucous film speaks from the heart to find humour in its hero’s pain, tugging our heartstrings while leaving us helpless with laughter with some memorable risque interludes.
Jason Segel, the film’s screenwriter and adorable leading man, defies expectations within a familiar framework, setting his Everyman’s journey of self-discovery in the gorgeous, sun-kissed setting of Oahu’s North Shore.
If you’re going to mend a broken heart, you may as well do it on the Hawaiian islands.
Talented composer Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) has always been content to stand in the shadow of his celebrity girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), the beautiful star of hit television series Crime Scene: Scene Of The Crime.
Then out of the blue, Sarah dumps Peter, revealing that she is seeing someone else: leather-clad British rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand).
The composer is devastated to have lost the love of his life and he descends, at breakneck speed, into a seemingly bottomless pit of self-pity and self-loathing.
At the behest of his brother (Bill Hader), Peter agrees to clear his head on a vacation in Hawaii.
However, the dream tropical adventure becomes a nightmare when Peter discovers that lovebirds Sarah and Aldous are staying in the same luxury hotel.
Refusing to move, if only because there are no other rooms available, Peter makes the best of an embarrassing situation, striking up a tender friendship with receptionist Rachel (Mila Kunis).
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is smart and sassy, buoyed by Segel’s natural charm and his willingness to humiliate himself for the sake of the film (like conducting the break-up scene completely nude).
He effortlessly wins our sympathy, forlornly hoping for a reconciliation with Sarah (“It’s like the Sopranos. It’s over!” Peter’s brother tells him bluntly) then shying away from intimacy with Rachel for fear of being hurt again (“My heart is broken and I can’t imagine dating anyone right now”).
Bell and Kunis are appealing love interests and Brand is hilarious in a role that may as well have been written for him, fending off the advances of a waiter (Jonah Hill), whose admiration for Aldous’s music borders on the obsessive.
Excerpts of Sarah’s CSI-lite crime show are hysterical, topped by an additional snippet during the end credits.