Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More Sarah Marshall

* A big thank you to Lisa and Jake for acquiring pics for me!

More people are getting pissed off about the Sarah Marshall ads:

(From IMDB)

'Sarah Marshall' Campaign Turning Heads
The teaser billboard campaign to promote Universal's upcoming Forgetting Sarah Marshall, produced by Judd Apatow, is drawing much praise from advertising executives, considerable comment from bloggers, and even some viral parodies. In an item headlined "You Win This Round, Advertising," Condé Nast's Portfolio reported that the campaign, which includes ads like "You Suck Sarah Marshall" covering placards and billboards around several cities, has aroused the curiosity -- and bemusement -- of tourists in New York. On the website /Film, writer Peter Sciretta reported last week that a backlash has developed in San Francisco. "It's actually a very cool campaign, maybe too good," Sciretta wrote. "Last week, flyers that look like the Sarah Marshall advertisements have started appearing on trees around the city reading, 'I'm So Over You Tree'."

(From The Gothamist)

The Real Sarah Marshall Speaks Out
Observant New Yorkers may have noticed that someone's got an ax to grind with Sarah Marshall. There are posters all over town telling the woman that she is maternally hated, she sucks, and that yes, she does look fat in those jeans. The posters are part of an ad campaign promoting the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall, featuring Kristen Bell as an ex-girlfriend who is difficult to forget. In a city the size of New York, however, there are the inevitable actual Sarah Marshalls, who can't help but notice they're being harangued by name all over town.

The Daily News spoke to a few SMs it could find and their reactions to the campaign varied. One Sarah in her mid-30s told the News, "You see . . . words like 'hate' and 'suck' with your name over and over again. It just doesn't feel pleasant inside." Her mother, who is 71 years old and shares the name, was more put off by the salty language on some of the posters. On the other hand, one 27-year-old Sarah Marshall who teaches 4th graders in Queens, says that the signs have her students asking for autographs.

These damn ads just won't leave my mind! Every time I walk outside, I'm bombarded with stark black and white female hatred in the form of a movie ad. I've thought about the Sarah Marshall statements a lot more and I'd like to point out a few more of my observations from a feminist perspective -

There's an even bigger fish to fry than the Apatow female I mentioned in my previous post. These ads are reminiscent of the "true" messages seen in John Carpenter's They Live, in which a man is accidentally given special sunglasses that allows him to see the subliminal messages implanted upon billboards by the media and government - saying things like "stay asleep", "marry and reproduce", "conform", etc. But these ads aren't subliminal! Do you really think people will be able to sit through Forgetting Sarah Marshall and have a clear-minded perspective of her character? No, whether we like it or not, our minds will subconsciously drift back to "You do look fat in those jeans Sarah Marshall" and start to question the merits of waif-then Kristen Bell's physique when she appears in a bikini or remember the "I always hated you Sarah Marshall" ad if her character does something even slightly bitchy. To put it bluntly, the collective "we" will hate Sarah Marshall before she even steps out on screen.

Part of me wants to give the film's publicist credit for at least being honest about their intentions with the marketing of this film. The misogyny of their product isn't hidden with an inane poster of say, something like an awkwardly charming Jason Segel in the middle of sexy-smiling Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis. But that doesn't make it anymore morally right than the other misogynistic advertisements being seen in today's media.

Sarah Marshall is a woman who is fat, stupid, sucky, and, apparently, unsuitable marriage material. And what are women not supposed to be? Fat, stupid (at least not that stupid), sucky (unless she's giving you a bj), and!!! unsuitable marriage material (mom must hate you for a reason). And I sure am glad we all know that now.

No comments: