September 12, 2008

Heart Break and Laughter ; **** DVD

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (Cert 15, 106 mins, Universal Pictures UK, comedy/romance, also available to buy on DVD, pounds 19.99/Blu- ray pounds 24.99). Starring: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Russell Brand, Mila Kunis, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd.

TALENTED composer Peter Bretter (Segel) has always been content to stand in the shadow of his celebrity girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Bell), the beautiful and vivacious star of hit television series Crime Scene: Scene Of The Crime.

Out of the blue, Sarah dumps Peter for leather-clad British rock star Aldous Snow (Brand).

The composer is devastated and heads off to Hawaii to heal his broken heart.

Storm clouds gather when Peter learns that lovebirds Sarah and Aldous are staying in the same luxury hotel.

Refusing to move, if only because there are no other rooms available, Peter makes the best of an embarrassing situation, striking up a tender friendship with receptionist Rachel (Kunis).

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a wonderful, touching romantic comedy, buoyed by Segel's natural charm and his willingness to humiliate himself for the sake of the film (like conducting the break-up scene completely nude, despite his girlfriend's pleas that he should "put some clothes on").

As Peter, he effortlessly wins our sympathy, forlornly hoping for a reconciliation with Sarah then shying away from intimacy with the luminous Rachel for fear of being hurt again ("My heart is broken and I can't imagine dating anyone".) Bell and Kunis are appealing love interests, leaving Peter in a genuine quandary, and Brand is hilarious in a role that may as well have been written for him. Segel's writing is sweet and sentimental without being cloying, yet honest enough to admit Peter's myriad failings, which contribute to the break-up.

Discussions about sex are colourful without ever seeming crude.

DVD Extras: director, producer and cast commentary, extended version of the film with director, producer and cast commentary, six deleted and extended scenes, Dracula's Lament table read, Line- ORama, A Taste Of Love featurette, gag reel, video chat raw footage, We've Got To Do Something music video, theatrical trailer.

(c) 2008 Evening Chronicle - Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.