You know, there was a time, in the late nineties and early aughts when it just honestly looked to me like there was nothing really new and original in quote-unquote “mainstream” movies. Not that everything was universally bad, it was just universally been-there-done-that. Even comedies. Especially comedies. But the best of the recent Judd Apatow-produced comedy mill — The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad and now Forgetting Sarah Marshall — have managed to make a whole new genre out of what should have been there all along. Comedies about awkward social/dating/sex situations in which everybody’s more-or-less a real person, and nobody’s really a “good guy” or “bad guy”, they’re all just people, who sometimes do or say the wrong thing or act at cross purposes. And are really fucking hilarious. Case in point: the douchebag rock star romantic rival. In any other movie, that’s all he would be. In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, he’s a douchebag rock star romantic rival who also turns out to be a cool, likeable guy. And who gets some of the best lines.
Only problem is, movies like this make it hard to watch funny but lesser comedies like Tropic Thunder and not feel like something’s missing. But that’s a price I’m willing to pay.