Sarah, serial killers and superheroes on the spring slate

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell & Mila Kunis

Heartbreak seems to be the best inspiration for any medium of art. Prompting countless songs, paintings, photographs and poems, it is fodder for creativity. And it’s this concept that runs through the veins of the recently released “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”

An unsuccessful musician attempting to break into the big time is delivered a devastating blow when his celebrity girlfriend unexpectedly dumps him. Completely destroyed, he does what any recently single bachelor should do – he takes a vacation to Hawaii. Yet, as with any situational comedy, he discovers that his ex-girlfriend and her new boy-toy are staying at the same hotel he himself has checked into.

Using the relatable emotions of a crushed protagonist and the coincidental absurdity of the situation, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is a film about coping and coming to terms. And when our heartbroken hero starts to flirt and become interested in one of the resort employees, it becomes also a film about moving on. Thankfully, unlike many other films that attempt this kind of story, this movie has a sense of humor about itself.

Only time will tell if “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” can garner the cult status of the recent underdog comedic masterpieces “Knocked Up” and “Superbad,” but with all the positive press and pre-release buzz it’s been receiving, it looks to have audiences laughing for a long time.

“Prom Night”
Directed by Nelson McCormick
Starring Brittany Snow & Johnathan Schaech

This remake of the 1980 horror classic is coming out in theaters just in time for the actual prom. The plotline is standard – family is killed and murderer is locked away, only to return years later to attempt to kill the last remaining family member, the beautiful daughter (of course).

Taking place on the night of the protagonist’s prom, the movie quickly turns into a stock cat-and-mouse horror film with lackluster writing, cheap thrills and plenty of dead teenagers. Will the young and beautiful Brittany Snow be able to stop the killers’ attempts on her life? Doesn’t seem likely, but with the power of the motion picture, anything is possible.

Can the film overcome its goofy premise and blatant attempt to appeal to blood-hungry teens, and actually deliver a few genuine scares? Chances are, no. But if you’re in the mood for some quick thrills or one of those it’s-good-because-it’s-so-bad movies, “Prom Night” could be the perfect Friday night date.

“Superhero Movie”
Directed by Craig Mazin
Starring Drake Bell, Sara Paxton & Leslie Nielsen

We get it. Mocking can be funny – sometimes. But after about the second or third “Scary Movie,” this series of crude and overtly uninspired films lost any of the fresh humor that made the first few films semi-entertaining. Now we’re showered with “Epic Movie,” “Date Movie,” “Meet the Spartans” and who knows what else in the future, and I feel inclined to say enough is enough.

But where there’s a buck to be made, movie producers will venture on. And “Superhero Movie” is the result. Basically the same formula used in the aforementioned film – a string of gags based on other movies strung together with uninventive pop culture references – propels this clunker along. Bland sex jokes will undoubtedly link with coarse language and a semi-famous roster of cameos to lure unsuspecting teenagers into theaters.

I’m not saying the film will be terrible – it could very well be an expertly written comedy with perfect delivery and a quick wit – but one glance at the outrageously obnoxious movie poster, which looks like a carbon copy of every other film created in this series, and it would be a safe bet to assume “Superhero Movie” does little in the way of originality.

The “Scary Movie” series used to be fun, if not for clever writing, for the dumb presence and over-acting. But now it feels like this genre of spoofing has crossed the line of being thoughtlessly entertaining into just being simply irritating.