What’s up? My Legs! – praising the re-watchability of Forgetting Sarah Marshall

It was nice because it had nothing to do with Iowa, as last night I realized that Forgetting Sarah Marshall had reached the ultimate pantheon of re-watchability. It had reached the Shawshank Level- a level previously only occupied by Shawshank Redemption, old episodes of the Office, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Anchorman and morning episodes of Sportscenter. To be honest, I didn’t see this coming. When I first saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I thought it was funny, but not something I’d watch again. It started entering the re-watchable race when I was in San Diego for Air Race and needed something to watch at night in between NBA playoff games. I think I watched it at least ten to twenty minutes of the movie every night for the three weeks I was there. It’s not that it was always on, but it was always on at the right times.

There is something to be said for dependability. There is also something to be said for bikinis.

After San Diego, I didn’t see it for awhile. I forgot about it. It’s not an overly quotable movie and there was a gap in between the constant airings on HBO and when FX started showing it a couple times a month. In a not-all-that-ironic turn of events, I had managed to forget about Sarah Marshall, her movie, and Jason Segel’s attempt to forget Sarah Marshall.

Then the movie started creeping back in my life like student loans do when your temporary deferment ends- subtly at first and then not so much. Before you know it, it’s back in your life like Honey Nut Cheerios, comfortable sneakers and Yuengling.

FX mostly plays terrible movies. For some reason there is someone in their programming department who has an affinity for Transformers. I refuse to believe it’s the same person who started playing Step Brothers more, because that was a good move. Comedies stand the test of time. Comedies are what you want to watch over and over again. Except for Shawshank of course. But Shawshank Redemption is also a terrible title for a movie and should drive people away- so that movie is just a super anomaly all together.

It’s easy to cite reasons why Forgetting Sarah Marshall is so easy to re-watch: a relatable story, Jason Segel’s overwhelming likeability, Paul Rudd’s surf instructor, Kristin Wiig’s yoga teacher, Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, Hawaii, the fact that everyone likes to imagine themselves drinking mixed drinks with umbrellas in them, Bill Hader, the songs get stuck in your head and for once it’s not a bad thing, envisioning yourself having to choose between Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis, and of course being able to relate to the act of failing at learning how to surf.

A good re-watchable movie is like good music in that it can either be focused on or can serve as good background noise. Baseball games are akin to a movie like Forgetting Sarah Marshall in that you can pay attention for twenty minutes and thoroughly enjoy yourself, check out for a bit and then come back, jump right in and be fine. We need re-watchable movies in our lives, especially in the winter. Have you stepped outside this morning? Have you? Dude, it’s freezing out. Last night was a slow and cold Tuesday, coming fresh off the holidays and the start of the long haul of dulled meditation that is the stretch of time before spring comes. Unless you’re still in school or a teacher, there are no vacations on the horizon. February is coming in hot and that’s the dead zone for sports fans. There isn’t much live music to see because bands aren’t dumb- they don’t tour much in the winter unless you’re at a college or in a major city that has a big room where a band can come and draw 20,000 people. Weekday nights in the winter are where boredom gets legs. A movie like Forgetting Sarah Marshall keeps that boredom at bay, staves off the elimination of good thoughts and reminds us that summer (and not winter) is coming and with it, the happy times that make the winter doldrums totally worth it.
I am not saying Forgetting Sarah Marshall is an amazing movie. Debt was an amazing movie. But I’m sorry Helen Mirren- I’m not in any kind of hurry to see Debt again. But if Forgetting Sarah Marshall is on again tonight…well, there’s a decent to good chance I’m watching it again. And I’ll enjoy every minute of it.
Mahalo my friends. Stay warm.
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