Film: Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
is a 2008 Romantic Comedy
(directed by Nicholas Stoller, co-produced by Judd Apatow
) written by and starring Jason Segel
as Peter Bretter, a musician who has been dumped by the titular Ms. Marshall (Kristen Bell
), his TV star girlfriend. After a string of one-night stands, Peter decided to go on vacation to Hawaii to forget, erm, well, you know
. Unfortunately for Peter (but fortunately for us the viewers), Sarah is staying at the same resort with her new flame, British Rock Star
Aldous Snow (Russell Brand
). Peter makes new friends, and starts to date Rachel (Mila Kunis
), a receptionist at the resort. Schadenfreude happens. Hilarity Ensues
Later spawned a Spin-Off
, Get Him to the Greek
, featuring Brand reprising his Aldous Snow character from this movie alongside Jonah Hill
, who, rather confusingly, does not
reprise his role in this movie.
Provides examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime is clearly a parody of CSI, using the same naming convention. Later on, a characters asks Peter if he works on Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime (sounding enthusiastic) or Crime Scene: Phoenix (sounding mildly depressed), clearly a parody of the fact that there are multiple spinoffs in the CSI franchise and the general consensus by viewers and critics that the original is the superior crime drama program, whereas the spinoffs (named after the cities they are set in) are considered kitschy and tacky.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Aldous Snow does quite well with the ladies, despite being pretty bad boyfriend material, which is lampshaded by Peter.
- Alliterative Name: Peter's step-brother, Brian Bretter.
- All Women Are Lustful: Wyoma, much to Darland's fear of not living-up to her standards. Sarah has traits of this too.
- Aloha Hawaii: The setting of most of the film.
- Anti-Love Song: Peter sings one to himself.
- As Himself: Both William Baldwin and Jason Bateman made a cameo as Sarah's co-leads.
- Bastard Boyfriend: Rachel's ex-boyfriend is heavily implied to be one.
- Beta Couple: Darald and Wyoma, Brian and Liz.
- Betty and Veronica: Sarah (Archie) between Peter (Betty) and Aldous (Veronica). Peter (Archie) between Rachel (Betty) and Sarah (Veronica).
- The Big Guy: Peter, Dwayne and Kemo are huge guys. All three are Gentle Giants.
- Big "NO!": Done with absolute hilarity.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The "friendly" waiter who served Peter his breakfast turns out to be The Dragon of Rachel's Jerkass ex-boyfriend.
- Blond Brunette Redhead: Sarah is the blond, Rachel is the brunette, and Wyoma is the redhead.
- Blood from the Mouth: When Peter finally completes his Dracula-puppet rock opera, the titular puppet dies at the end, complete with red silk blood from the mouth.
- Breakout Character: Aldous Snow was so popular, that Stoller made the spin-off film Get Him to the Greek about him.
- Break-Up Bonfire
- Break Up to Make Up: Not initially, but Peter does eventually go in this direction.
- Brief Accent Imitation: "Oh! I'm Aldous Snow! Boo-shit boo-shit boo-shit boo-shit!"
- Also, Matthew, when giving Aldous his demo tape:
Matthew: "OH! I saw that guy! He was my waiter and I totally dismissed him like everybody else does... in his life. And I totally, she was wrong cuz he's a major, major, major influence on me now... and I feel terrible!"
Aldous: That stupid English voice, was that me?
Matthew: Unfortunately, yes.
- Also Paul Rudd's Chuck/Kunu:
Chuck: You sound like you're from London!!
- British Rockstar: Aldous is an excellent example, but his complexity also makes it a subversion.
- Butt Monkey: Peter spends the first half of the movie as this. Many gags center on how miserable he is after getting dumped and seeing his ex-girlfriend so happy with a new man.
- Calling Your Orgasms: One of Peter's one-night stands. Later played with, as Peter calls Rachel's, screaming, "She's having an orgasm!", to Sarah as part of an odd sex competition.
- The Cameo: William Baldwin and Jason Bateman, see above.
- Captain Ersatz: Billy Baldwin's "Scene of the Crime" character is pretty clearly a parody of and/or homage to one Horatio Caine.
- The Cast Showoff: Peter was written as a composer in order to show off Jason Segel's songwriting and singing abilities. Russell Brand sings too.
- Creator Breakdown: Peter has a literal in-universe example after his break-up with Sarah.
- Cringe Comedy
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Chuck.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Sarah stars on the TV show "Crime Scene - Scene of the Crime."
- Despair Speech: Peter has a despair song.
- Fan Disservice: This movie has way, way too much male nudity - although it may be a Fanservice to female viewers.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: It's pretty clear that Chuck's colleagues don't think too highly of him, being a white guy who adopts Hawaiian culture as part of a mid-life crisis and smokes weed when he should be working.
- Haunted Technology: Sarah was in a movie where cell phones kill their owners; Peter and Aldous mock this over a dinner. This is also an Actor Allusion to a previous role of Kristen Bell's.
- Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Peter, apparently in ignorance. When Rachel tells him to change his shirt before their date, he's taken off guard.
- Hula and Luaus
- The Immodest Orgasm: When the two couples try to outdo each other.
- Intercourse with You: Aldous's song "Inside Of You".
- Jerkass Has a Point: When it's learned that Sarah cheated on Peter for an entire year before dumping him, it makes the audience feel like she's the biggest bitch in the world. But when Peter confronts her about it and she starts listing the reasons why she cheated, you kinda have to admit that she makes some good points.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Sarah, who cheated on Peter, eventually finds out that Aldous has been cheating on her.
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: When Peter tries to have sex with Sarah.
- Looks Like Jesus: Aldous, who fittingly helped Darald's sex problems by stating that "he has Christ between his thighs, but with shorter beard!"
- Love Hurts: For everyone, except maybe Aldous.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: After being dumped at the start of the film, Peter has a series of meaningless one night stands in an attempt to get over Sarah.
- Male Frontal Nudity: Peter, used for laughs.
- Doubles as a Meaningful Name, since Peter is a euphemism for "penis". Though it is far less commonly used than Dick.
- May count as Book Ends. The first scene has him naked trying to get a hug from his (ex) girlfriend, and the last scene has him naked getting a kiss from his (different) girlfriend
- A Man Is Always Eager: Averted; Peter is unable to get aroused enough to have sex with Sarah because he can't forget about her recently breaking his heart.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Rachel.
Chuck: I like red hair. I wonder if the carpet matches her pubes.
- The Modest Orgasm: One of the women Peter sleeps with.
Woman: [Dead monotone] Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. I just came. Oh. Oh. Oh.
- Modesty Bedsheet: Used several times since both Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis refused to do nude scenes.
- Ms. Fanservice: Sarah and Rachel, obviously.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Crime Scene: Scene Of The Crime
- My God, What Have I Done?: Sarah goes through one of these after her break-up with Aldous. She realizes that Peter is actually a pretty great guy and she made a huge mistake by cheating on him and then dumping him.
- Naked People Are Funny: Full frontal nudity from Jason Segel. Twice.
- Nice Guy: Aldous, despite being a sex maniac who was sleeping with Sarah behind Peter's back (and with various other women behind Sarah's back...), is actually really friendly and cordial towards Peter, which only serves to piss him off more. Peter even admits that it's very hard to hate him.
- No Antagonist: Pretty much everyone in the cast is guilty of some sort of major breach of trust against one another, but all show a good deal of humanity and redeeming qualities as well. The proceedings come off more as a tragedy than the "Sarah did bad thing, root for Peter" the beginning would have you expect.
- One Head Taller: Peter (6'4"), Sarah Marshall (5'1"), Rachel (5'3"). Lampshaded in the beginning by a photographer who calls Peter "Jolly Green Giant" when telling him to get out of the shot.
- Pet the Dog: Aldous is by no means a bad guy, but he does do something helpful in the movie when he assists the young newlywed with his apprehensions about sex, resolving a running gag that had been making Peter rather uncomfortable in the process.
- Precision F-Strike: "Fuckerrr!"
- Protest Song: Aldous Snow and Infant Sorrow recorded a similarly satirical piece entitled We Gotta Do Something.
- Quip to Black: Lampshaded / Parodied: "She's going to have a hard time reentering the pageant...without a face."
- Really Gets Around: Aldous is proud of this reputation.
- Right Through His Pants: Inverted, where there is more male nudity than female, and the full-frontal male nudity starts in the first 10 minutes of the movie.
- Right Through the Wall: The two couples end up with rooms next to each other. Peter and Rachel are intentionally loud to annoy Sarah. Sarah retaliates by faking, much to Aldous's annoyance.
- Romantic False Lead: Subverted. Aldous Snow is initially presented as the Romantic False Lead (and Peter thinks he is), but as Peter doesn't get back together with Sarah in the end (and stops trying about halfway through the movie), he's not.
- Secondary Character Title: As the title suggests, Peter is the main character, not Sarah.
- Second Love: Peter and Rachel to each other.
- Sex for Solace: Peter has a string of emotionless one night stands after he is dumped by Sarah, his pediatrician explains that he needs to get past Sarah and this is the perfect way to do so.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Invoked. After Sarah breaks up with him, Peter is shown at his keyboard putting a score to an episode of Crime Scene: Scene Of The Crime. When it's announced that the Victim of the Week's penis was caught in an air conditioner, Peter sets it to the theme song from Seinfeld.
- Shoot the Money: Averted. Shot on location in Hawaii and showed almost none of it. According to Russel Brand's later live comedy special, they shot a lot of outdoor sports scenes on beautiful beaches with him that were cut because he absolutely fails at surfing and horseback riding.
- Shout-Out: Peter sings a very flubbed version of The Muppet Show theme song.
- Spinoff: Get Him to the Greek which focuses on Aldous Snow.
- Stalker with a Crush: Matthew to Aldous. He's definitely a stalker and it's hinted that he's also attracted to him.
- Hinted? When Aldous sings "Inside of You", Matthew adjusts his pants and says "It just went from 6 to midnight." Yeah.
- The Stinger: It reveals that Sarah has a new show.
- Stylistic Suck: Sarah's TV show Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime.
- Supernatural Phone: Peter and Aldous mock titular faux film star Marshall's having appeared in a film about a murderous cell phone, wondering why the phone could not be defeated by simply removing the battery.
- Surfer Dude: Peter gets lessons.
- Take That: To Chakushin Ari/One Missed Call. See Supernatural Phone above.
- Talking to Themself: Of a sort; Peter's "The Reason You Suck" Speech Anti-Love Song to himself eventually degenerates into a kind of weird back-and-forth bickering about whether he needs to see a psychiatrist or not between two different "personalities", one urging him to sort himself out and the other one yelling about how he hates psychiatrists.
- Two First Names: Sarah Marshall.
- The Unfair Sex: Averted; Sarah's cheating on Peter is portrayed negatively.
- Verbing Nouny: The title.
- Vampire Musicals: Peter has made a Dracula musical with puppets.
- Wham Line:
Peter: Well, we've been together five years, so there you go.
Aldous: Well, you got four on me, I guess.
- When Life Gives You Lemons:
Chuck: When life gives you lemons, just say "Fuck the lemons" and bail.
- Your Cheating Heart: Sarah is both a perpetrator and a victim at different points.
- You Shall Not Pass: Parodied in the scene where Peter wore the same pair of sweat pants for a week.