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Forgetting Sarah Marshall


Forgetting Sarah Marshall isn’t very funny, which could be OK except it’s not interesting. Judd Apatow combines his usual sitcom plots and ideology with moments of fake radicalism. It gives into the most over-indulgent weakness of the slightly wittier Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin: Stretched across two hours, it has no rhythm. Cameos by Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill eat away minutes without finding comic potential. By focusing on entertainment-industry subjects in their late 20s, producer Apatow and writer/star Jason Segel misjudge the everyman schlub protagonist by making him a Hollywood success. Working as the composer of his superstar girlfriend Sarah Marshall’s (Kristen Bell) TV hit, Peter Bretter (Segel) feels he’s lost everything when she dumps him and decides to spy on her at a Hawaii resort. The filmmakers never find a way of dignifying Sarah. When she’s expected to be more than a shallow heartbreaker in the movie’s last half, their lack of compassion is fatal. Only Peter’s flashes of endearing pathos carry the film through its slack pacing, ugly visuals and bohemian posteuring. Don’t be blinded by the Apatow name-brand.


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