The films principal actor, Jason Segal, who also wrote the script, breaks up with his TV show star girlfriend. And when he can’t any longer hack it at work due to the fact that as a member of the aforementioned show’s cast, Segal’s character is necessitated to watch large screen representations of his former lover, he bolts for a vacation. In an all too unlikely coincidence, Segal’s character winds up at the same hotel in Hawaii as his former girlfriend, who is accompanied by her new beau, an obnoxious British rock star, who’s recently found sobriety. Upon meeting in the lobby, the only thing that saves Segal’s character from further disgrace is a friendly assist from a front desk employee played by Mila Kunis.
The rest of the flick is given over to the Segal character finding himself in odd situations with that newly constituted couple and trying to forget about it. The foreseeable interest that the Kunis character strikes with Segal’s down-on-his-luck character, while providing a few adequately adorable moments doesn’t give the film much else. It’s obviously a necessity seeing as there really aren’t any other female roles in the film apart from the title character. And while the one-liners and various situations that Segal finds himself in include a bit of hilarity, the better crafted jokes don’t sprout from his interactions with a cast of randomly introduced characters - which includes Paul Rudd as a detached surfer.
The comedic highlight of the film might actually come soon after Segal checks into the over priced suite that he obtains through the help of Kunis. As he laments the departure of his girlfriend, Segal’s character unlooses a string of sobs, apparently loud enough to disturb his neighbors in the hotel, prompting a call from the front desk. He’s asked if there’s a woman crying in his room – it needs to be kept down. And while a brief explanation of that scene can’t do it justice, the assembled shots of Segal with his back to the camera, looking out onto the water and balling is pretty hilarious.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall probably isn’t the highlight of Apatow’s ballooning production credits, but it does present a marked step forward. This film doesn’t insert overt drug references, have too many low brow dick jokes and even develops an apt love story. Even if it all might not do it for fans of Pineapple Express, Sarah Marshall worked for a wider audience while still maintaining the look and feel of an Apatow project.