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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall - Review & Bloggers Preview Screening

Many thanks to
Sizemore for the invite to me and a number of my blogging friends to go and see Forgetting Sarah Marshall last night. If you're in London you many have seen the ads featuring our very own Russell Brand gracing the sides of buses:

Forgetting Sarah Marshall Ad on London Bus

I must admit, I wasn't expecting a lot of the film. I think Russell Brand is funny, but couldn't really imagine him playing anyone else other than Russell Brand. Plus I
had actually never seen anything the other lead actors, Jason Segel, Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis had been in (although apparently they're very famous in the US).

In a nutshell the film calls itself a "romantic disaster comedy" and is about one guy - Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) trying to get over the heartache of being dumped by Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). She dumps him for Brit rockstar lothario - Aldous Snow, played by - you've guessed it - Russell Brand.

The film was absolutely hysterical - really laugh out loud funny, as the small screening of 30 odd bloggers testified (that's odd in number rather than odd, odd - but then again...).

Right from the start and as you can partly see from the trailer below, Segel's character gets dumped when he's butt nekkid. You think the camera will pan down the naked Segel and then tastefully stop to prevent offending the viewers. But no, it goes all the way down, (he's bollox naked) making the audience share Segel's humiliation & embarrassment. He refuses to dress thinking that she wouldn't have the gall to dump him in that way - he's wrong, she's a shallow actress does the dirty deed, leaving him sobbing (something he does for much of the film).

Russell Brand plays himself basically, and it works perfectly for the film (except Brand isn't really a pop star). Producer Judd Apatow said: "After we met Russell, we tailored the part to who he is. He has this very flamboyant nature, and we knew we had to turn his character into a rock star, because he looks so good in leather pants. Russell was the find of the century.... oozing with undeniable sexual energy and rock star good looks .... I realised he was the dude. We did a complete rewrite for him."

I loved the comedy of the US not quite getting the Brits. We're not all like Russell Brand, but we possibly are a bit more "sexually free" than most Americans (I know that's a generalisation but bear with me). Sarah Marshall dumped Peter because she was seeing Russell Brand's character. When Peter finds out for how long he goes mad, and says something like:

"You can't go out with another girl's guy over here. We have a different set of rules. You can't keep behaving like a European".

There were lots of deliberately funny Brit accents coming out from the US characters. We laughed with Brand, as he rolled his eyes and says: "Is that supposed to be a British accent".

You'll see in the trailer below that when Paul Rudd's surfing coach hears Brand speak for the first time he says (adopts rubbish Cockney accent) "You sound like you're from Lahndahn!". To an audience of London bloggers that was music to our ears.


The screening at the private Soho Screening Room was not without its comedic moments. Towards the end of the film, the screen went blank. We thought it may have been part of the film, but then like getting stuck between tunnels on the Tube, the wait in the dark was a bit too long. We laughed nervously and people began to turn on mobile phones to get some light into the room. After about three minutes of joking and laughing amongst ourselves order was restored & the film continued.

Thanks to LJ, Francine, Sandrine & Poppy for being my guests. Mecca also wangled herself a place from Sizemore and brought along some nice people from MOO. Also nice to catch up with James Whatley, Darika, Katie Lee, WarriorGrrl, Tiara Diamond, Londonfilmgeek, & Imajes (& others I didn't catch up with) who may well all be blogging & reviewing too. Overall it was a rocking film and a rocking night, as many of us decamped for food & bevvies afterwards.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is out in Lahndahn and the UK from April 23rd.


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