April 20th, 2008

Hell yes

The Bloodletting of Sarah Marshall

I'm sticking this at the beginning for all you Princess Tutu aficionados: I finished the series for the second time last night, and I love it even more. The first time, I loved it mostly for the plot. But this time, I fell in love with the characters. And I still loved the music and the message and the themes and everything else that is awesome about it. And the confirmation that Pike is pretty consistently Not as Sucktastic as Lilie. tigeremme loved it too, I think.

Also, Toph and Fakir have the same hair.

In non-anime news, I saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall yesterday, and it was pretty great. With the exception of one or two scenes that are just sweet, every single scene in the movie is funny. I started keeping track after a while because I thought that might be unusual, that every scene had at least one thing that made me laugh. Not necessarily LOL, but laugh, though there were plenty of LOLs as well.

What's interesting is noting the differing comedic styles among the Apatow crew. If you look at Knocked Up (Judd Apatow), Superbad (Seth Rogen), and Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Jason Segel), they're all very funny movies, but the humor seems to be quite different. For my money, Superbad is the worst of the lot, and I'm having a hard time comparing Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall because I have a feeling that Knocked Up was somehow funnier, but I might like Forgetting Sarah Marshall better overall. One thing that struck me was that, contrary to my expectations, the funniest parts of FSM weren't necessarily the dirty, raunchy bits (which was true of Knocked Up). Jason Segel has sort of a randomness to his humor that obviously appeals to me, so you get a lot of jokes that are delivered offhand and out of left field. And the humor is all rooted in character, which is always true of the Apatow crew.

And what a crew! A lot of credit goes to the actors for making the movie as good as it is, of course. Jason Segel is, well, Jason Segel, and he's easy to root for. And he's not afraid to put himself out there, naked and vulnerable. Literally. Kristen Bell, as many have said, does a good job making her character sympathetic, and her performance never made me think of Veronica except for the time I realized that her performance wasn't making me think of Veronica. It was easier to buy her as Sarah Marshall than I expected, especially since her character isn't quippy like Veronica, though still funny at times in a straight-man kind of way. Russell Brand is, of course, hilarious, and I have a feeling he improvved some of his lines because they reminded me of his usual style. Mila Kunis is so pretty, oh my goodness. I didn't find her all that attractive on That '70s Show (opting for Laura Prepon instead), but damn. I think it helped that her character was sweet without being a ditz. Bill Hader and Paul Rudd are good...um, I hesitate to use the word "comic relief" in a comedy, but that is essentially their purpose. Funnily enough, Bill Hader's most hilarious scene is one when you can only hear him through the phone. Paul Rudd's character is just sort of there, but his subplot does eventually pay off in a good scene that does not involve Paul Rudd (at first). Jack McBrayer's character ends up being completely superfluous to the movie, but he's still funny, even if it's weird to hear Kenneth say such things! And Jonah Hill does have some amusing moments (even though the hilarious bit I heard on a radio ad wasn't even in the movie [much like the "Do you want to choose the outfit you break up with me in?" line!]), but I still do not know why he exists.

Besides being consistently funny, it's also a good movie in that it really does want to examine heartbreak and getting over someone. I loved seeing flashbacks of the relationship from each party's perspective because the picture it painted was that it was good and bad for both of them. There was no simple answer or solution. It also captured that whole "vacation" atmosphere where you get to know other guests as well as the locals, and you run into them occasionally, and they end up enhancing your time there.

I think that even though my face didn't exactly hurt from laughing afterward, I admired the movie more than Knocked Up. I could certainly be biased since I like more people in this movie, but that's my feeling. (P.S. Speaking of people I like in this movie, don't leave immediately when the credits roll. There's one last treat in store.)

I'm sticking this at the end for all you Girl Story of the Day aficionados: when I went to buy my ticket, the cute girl at the ticket booth said she really liked my shirt and smiled at me. This time, I smiled back at her, especially since this was my shirt's debut in the outside world, and she was the first person to ever comment on it.

After lunch, when the rest of the gang (arbitrarium, gymble and her husband, and ellric) bought tickets, there was someone else at the ticket booth, so I was glad I had gone earlier. It turned out my shirt-liking girl had moved inside to take our tickets, and I smiled at her, and she smiled at me, and it was all very smiley, like she was Smiley Cyrus. So, Gillian Block, if you happen to vanity-Google your way to this post, thank you for brightening my day.