2 In 1: Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

So I saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall (a long time ago, actually… as this review has been sitting on the shelf for a while, so to speak), and I knew I’d have to put the review in with a 2 In 1, but couldn’t figure out the other movie to do it with. But then I finally decided to pair it up with another Judd Apatow film (and both including Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, and Jonah Hill... and possibly others), Knocked Up. And both films seem to be a little overrated. And, it seems that both are the best when the smaller characters are on screen, including Paul Rudd. So let me first start with the older of the two, which I’ve seen numerous times and have just gotten around to formally reviewing.

Knocked Up.

The best way to describe Knocked Up is to give a quote by Paul Rudd’s character within the movie: “Marriage is like that show Everybody Loves Raymond, but its not funny. All the problems are the same, but, you know instead of all the funny, pithy dialogue, everybody is really pissed off and tense.” And the movie is quite similar… sometimes it’s funny, but most of the time, it’s just a bunch of really pissed off people and tense moments.

Ben Stone (Seth Rogan) is a stoner loser. Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) is a successful TV reporter who just got a promotion. Going out to celebrate with her sister Debbie (Leslie Mann), Alison goes clubbing and has a drunken night of fun with Ben, resulting in sex, which leads to the inevitable pregnancy that the film revolves around. So the rest of the film showcases the relationship between the two, as well as juxtaposing the relationship between Debbie and her husband Pete (Paul Rudd).

Now, to go back to my opening, there’s a lot of situational comedy that presents itself, even in the concept (stoner loser gets successful woman pregnant, and both are forced to cooperate in order to be there for the baby). But what happens throughout the film is mostly uncomfortable, tense scenes full of fighting, pissed-off people.

But the best parts of the film are those with the supporting cast, or even the tiniest of cameos or roles: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Joanna Kerns, Harold Ramis, Alan Tudyk, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Ryan Seacrest, James Franco, and Ken Jeong… among others. Seriously, my favorite part of the entire movie isn’t even in the movie. In the extended/deleted scenes, you can see the full, uncut version of Ken Jeong’s Dr. Kuni scene. That had me laughing so hard, much more than any of the rest of the movie did. The best part of the actual movie was Paul Rudd’s ‘chair’ scene in Las Vegas. And not even the whole scene itself including Seth Rogan’s ranting, but simply Paul Rudd’s tiniest movements or words (“It tastes like a rainbow!”). Hell, even Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann’s kids in the movie (which I believe are actually Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow’s kids) were entertaining.

As for the others, specifically Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogan, I just had difficulty caring… moreso with the former. It’s hard to care about a budding romance when you can’t stand one of the two. I mostly couldn’t stand Katherine Heigl for the majority of the movie and thought she was pretty much a bitch. The times when she didn’t get on my nerves and was actually likable were few and far between, such as when she’d sit on the couch looking for nudity in a movie for Ben’s website. Though I’m not saying Seth Rogan’s character was a saint, either, but at least he had personality outside of ‘stick-up-the-butt’.

So yeah, there were good moments, there were funny moments, but the majority just didn’t work for me. The movie is a romantic comedy. But when you can’t stand one or both of the pair in the romance, and the movie is more about being tense and fighting over being funny, it basically fails at its job. It does live up to the Judd Apatow degree, but I’m just not with everybody who says it’s his best work and much better than 40-Year-Old-Virgin and Superbad. It’s good, yeah… but it’s not great.

I Am McLovin!

Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

So I finally got around to seeing Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It was about what I thought it would be. Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) was just broken up with by long-time girlfriend and famous TV actress Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), the show for which he writes music. After some random advice given to him by his step-brother Brian (Bill Hader), Peter decides to go to Hawaii to try and forget about his ex instead of moping around and having meaningless flings. Though when he gets there, he discovers that Sarah is also there, along with her new boyfriend, British rock superstar Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Fortunately, a nice employee by the name of Rachel (Mila Kunis) tries to cheer him up, though Peter starts to get closer to her than he first expected.

The movie had a lot of funny moments, most of which were thanks to some of the smaller, more underused roles. Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill’s underused characters were great, more specifically Rudd’s (Hill’s whole subplot was nearly pointless). And then there was the newlywed couple with sexual difficulties who were pretty funny (“Christ is between your legs!” had to be the funniest line in the film). But for me, the guy who stole almost every scene he was in was Russell Brand as Aldous Snow. Everything he said was just plain funny, mostly because of how he said it in his very nonchalant kind of way.

But the movie did have quite a few dragging moments. It could have been trimmed down quite a bit. The beginning of the movie, before he gets to Hawaii, seems like it takes forever to get through. I wanted to get to the story already, but there were more and more scenes of him just moping around and crying. Then he finally gets to the island and does more moping around and crying. I know the movie was called Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and the point was him trying to get over her, but I think we got the point after the 30th fetal-position crying scene. And, though I think he’s a fun actor, Jonah Hill’s whole part in the movie could have been trimmed down a bit, too. The only reason I think he might not have been was due to him, for whatever reason, being in just about every plot-important scene in the movie. I mean, I don’t know if it’s some unspoken rule that every Judd Apatow-linked film has to be at least two hours long, but they should really work on that a bit.

I really don’t have much else to say about the film. When it wasn’t dragging or unnecessary, I thought it was funny and entertaining (which it was, more often than not). I’d totally watch it again.

A Keanu 'Whoa'

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