“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” – Susan Granger reviews

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Gleefully uproarious sex comedies have become the bawdy province of Judd Apatow (The 40 Year-Old Virgin, “Knocked Up”), who stretches farcical, vulgar silliness into outright hilarity.

Since struggling musician Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) is wildly in love with his girlfriend, “Crime Scene” television star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell of “Veronica Mars”), he’s utterly shattered when she unceremoniously dumps him for an egotistical British-rocker, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand).

Following the advice of his well-meaning stepbrother (Bill Hader), Peter books a 4th of July trip to Hawaii, checking into the posh Turtle Bay Resort, not realizing that Sarah and Aldous are there too. Saved from mortification by a compassionate front desk clerk, Rachael (smoldering Mila Kunis), he awkwardly tries to heal his broken heart with some new friends and to complete his great opus: a dark, Gothic “Dracula” rock opera with vampire puppets.

Insightfully scripted by Jason Segel (yes, he wrote himself the pathetic leading character) and sensitively directed by Nicholas Stoller, it plumbs all the laughter inherent in an emotional disaster while skillfully tweaking formulaic romantic comedy cliches. Plus, the lusty women are bright as well as beautiful-and that counts.

Remember how taboo full-frontal male nudity once was? Forget it. From the getgo, Jason Segel is in the altogether-and he’s altogether likeable-as is the rest of the cast, including fresh funny folk like Paul Rudd (as a surfing instructor), Jonah Hill (as a star-struck waiter) and Jack McBrayer (as a sexually naive newlywed). But it’s droll Russell Brand’s hedonistic bravado that steals the show!

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is an outrageous 8, a raunchy romp that turns into a real audience-pleaser. And linger for an amusing epilogue in the final credits.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.