There’s one thing you won’t forget about the comedy “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and it arrives within the first 10 minutes: the sight of star Jason Segel naked.
The full-frontal moment elicited loud groans of disgust from most of the guys in the audience, who acted as though they were seeing some grotesque deformity.
It’s not as though Segel, who plays a TV-series composer named Peter, is an eyesore. He’s your basic, average guy — not in the best of shape, not in the worst. But the moment carries a certain absurdity since it’s at this very naked instant that Peter’s girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), breaks up with him.
This sets Peter into a despondent period that includes a bevy of one-night-stands and endless crying jags. No matter what he does, he can’t get the lovely Sarah off his mind.
So he takes a trip to Hawaii, hopefully to forget her once and for all. But guess what? She’s at the very same resort. And she’s with a new guy, an insufferable rock star named Aldus Snow (Russell Brand) who has the mental capacity of a peanut.
In confronting his sorrow, Peter finds a new love interest: the lovely, lively desk clerk Rachel (Mila Kunis). Meanwhile, Sarah does a flip-flop and realizes that she might have given up the best thing she ever had.
The utter obviousness of what transpires over the next couple of hours is matched by the utter vacancy of the script, which was written by Segel.
Some might be tempted to call “Forgetting” a romantic comedy. It does have romance and a few amusing bits, but not enough of either. There’s little that interests you about the characters and about their situation. Perhaps the whole film should have been set at a nudist colony — that sure would have perked things up.
“Forgetting” comes from the Judd Apatow factory, which has had a pretty good track record up to this point with “Superbad,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up.” But this is group’s first bona fide dud. Just because you spice things up with a little raunch doesn’t automatically ensure success.
The only cast member of value proves to be the exotic, beautiful Mila Kunis. Her Rachel is the only character with depth — and Kunis actually invests some genuine acting into the role.
Apatow mainstays Paul Rudd, Bill Hader and Jonah Hill pop in for the ride with little impact. Hill, in particular, seems absurdly out of place as a hotel employee with weirdly inappropriate crush on the rock star Snow.
“Forgetting” is the kind of movie that, five minutes after you’ve left the theater, you’ve forgotten where you were for the past two hours. Trust me, it’s worth forgetting every minute. Even the naked ones.
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