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Sarah Marshall


I am finally back on my schedule of seeing a relatively new silver screen production every Friday. Today I viewed Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Now, after the debacle of Semi-Pro I was not sure if I could trust Judd Apatow's latest film; however, after being reassured by Mr. Roeper I decided to give it a look. I give Forgetting Sarah Marshall four stars. I highly recommend it. Not only is it a hilarious comedy but it is also a better love story than most romantic comedies for its surprisingly Objectivist take.

Through Peter Bretter's (Jason Segel) relationship with Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) and Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis) bad and good, meaning untrustworthy and trustworthy, relationships are explored. However, Bretter's good relationship with Jansen also emphasizes other important Objectivist themes which surprised me. Honesty is always important in a relationship, but Jansen also emphasized that Bretter needed to act, to produce, and to be happy. She explained that if he did not like his job, he should quit. She also prodded him to complete his rock opera. The importance of production is also emphasized when Marshall finally explains to Bretter that his inaction was why she left him. Of course, she never told him that why they were in a relationship, and she violated the relationship before she called it off; thus, making her point valid, but far from being the hero. Furthermore, the fact that the film is about Forgetting Sarah Marshall points out the huge problem with staying friends after a romantic relationship is over. A romantic relationship, especially this one, is put to an end because the individuals involved do not live up to each other's standards. Marshall found Bretter to be too lazy, and later Bretter found Marshall to be a liar. It all becomes very clear how important it is to forget an ex, identify one's own problems, when Bretter finally labels the flip-flopping leeching Marshall as the devil.

Also, Aldous Snow (Russel Brand) was an awesome depiction of the modern promiscuous and ignorant new age, free loving, multi-culturalist. While in a relationship with Marshall he explains that he has no qualms about sleeping with other women while they are together. Thus, the viciousness of promiscuity is briefly explored, something that is not given enough secular attention since the 1960's. Additionally, a hilarious and completely honest moment is when Marshall points to Snow's tattoos, one Buddhist, one Nordic, one Chinese, all of conflicting ideologies, not making him a citizen of the world but an idiot.

However, I was not sure about Bretter and Marshall's five minute reconstructed relationship. In the beginning Bretter refuses, but he eventually gives in. Ultimately, after about 15 seconds, Bretter realizes it is a mistake and leaves. I would have preferred him realizing this before hand; however, this scene did allow for the ending to work out, so it has its merits.

I also like the fact that the movie begins with Bretter naked (for split second he is absolutely naked; all the meat is in the window) and then ends with him completely naked. A full circle story, where at the beginning one completely sees Bretter for who he is (not much) and then in the end completely sees who he has become (a reasonable proud producer).

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Syed Shoaib Hussain

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