Tag Archive: jason segel

Dir. Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass
(2012, R, 83 min)

Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass, the sibling directors who emerged from the “mumblecore” movement of ultra-low-budget indie filmmaking, have a knack for wrapping sweetly low-key human stories in seemingly conventional comedy packages. Or perhaps it’s the marketers of their films who are good at making it seem that way. The ads for Jeff, Who Lives at Home and their previous film, Cyrus, were designed to appeal more to the fans of their stars – Jason Segel and Ed Helms in this case, John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill in Cyrus – than to fans of ultra-low-budget indie filmmaking.

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Dir. James Bobin
(2011, PG, 103 min)

In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Jason Segel played a lovesick TV composer who longed to stage a puppet musical version of Dracula. We were shown a bit of that musical, which made me want to see the whole thing, and also made me believe no one would be better suited to spearhead a modern Muppet movie than Segel, who wrote Marshall‘s screenplay and penned a song for the Dracula tuner. He showed the right balance of unabashed whimsy and fresh wit.

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Jason Segel and Paul Rudd, in 'I Love You, Man'

Dir. John Hamburg
(2009, R, 104 min)
★ ★ ★ ½

“Bromance” is a new Hollywood buzz word, signifying a close emotional bond between straight men and normalizing male-male affection while maintaining a safe hetero-detachment. In the same way “metrosexual” made the world safe for the well-groomed while simultaneously distancing itself from any hint of sexual deviation, “bromance” tells us that men can hug it out too, as long as there’s no funny business below the waist.

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The Unsung Heroes of 2008

Highlighting those overlooked performances from 2008 that deserved greater accolades.

Asia Argento, in 'The Last Mistress'
The Last Mistress

Set in 19th Century France, Catherine Breillat’s film is not about love — it’s about addiction. Because as played by Argento, Spanish seductress Vellini is not a romantic heroine but a creature of obsessive need and hunger. The actress shows ferocious commitment in a performance that ventures into some of the ugliest realms of human desire. She is frequently nude, but it is her emotional nakedness that distinguishes her.

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Dir. Nicholas Stoller
(R) ★ ★ ★ ½

It’s always a pleasant surprise to see a romantic comedy that’s about the characters in it. Most are about formula, and the characters are moved about the formula like props, with little regard for their personalities or intelligence. Forgetting Sarah Marshall has four main characters: Peter (Jason Segel, also the co-writer) is a composer for a TV crime show and the boyfriend of its star, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), who abruptly leaves him for vain rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). To nurse his wounds, Peter takes a trip to Hawaii, where he meets lovely hotel receptionist Rachel (radiant Mila Kunis).

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