South Seas Genre Movie Analysis: Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Blue Crush

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Ed Rampell once claimed that “any film relating to the Pacific Islanders, their islands and cultures” is considered part of the South Seas genre. The Pacific Islands, which consist of thousands upon thousands of little islands grouped together in the Pacific Ocean, are generally perceived by western culture as an escape to the bright yellow, warm sun, sparkling blue crashing waves and, of course, a peaceful paradise. Thus, these islands for decades, due to westerners preconceived association of paradise along with this feeling of the unknown and uninhibited, have played a huge role in helping movie directors substantiate plots and create movies about these islands. Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Blue Crush are two movies of the last decade that are set in the South Pacific Island of Hawaii. Both producers utilize Hawaii’s culture and topography as key elements to their movies. Nonetheless, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Blue Crush share a common theme of romance and specific elements that classify both movies as part of the South Seas genre.
Classified as part of the South Seas genre, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a romantic comedy that takes places at a resort on the island of Oahu. After recently being dumped by his high profile, celebrity girlfriend, Peter is not only stunned but also emotionally unstable. With the advice of his stepbrother and multiple days of uncontrollable tears and sighs, Peter decides to escape to a five star Hawaiian resort to clear his head and try to move forward with his life. To Peter’s dismay, as he arrives at the hotel’s reception desk, his ex-girlfriend Sarah Marshall is walking through the lobby in a bathing suit, holding hands with her new boyfriend, Aldous Snow, an extremely famous British musician. Noticing his deep depression, the hotel receptionist, Rachel, gives Peter one of the most expensive rooms in the resort. Slowly, Peter begins to control his emotions, get a hold of himself and begins hanging out with Rachel. Peter



Cited: Blue Crush (Widescreen Collector 's Edition). DVD. Directed by John Stockwell. Washington DC: Universal Studios, 2002. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Widescreen). DVD. Directed by Nicholas stoller. Washington DC: Universal Studios, 2008. Giannetti, Louis. Understanding Movies 10th edition. New Jersey 07458: Pearson/Prentice, 2005. Man, Glenn. Hollywood Images of the Pacific. Hawaii: January 2010. Rampell, Ed. Introduction to South Seas Cinema-Is It a Film Genre?. Los Angeles: January 2010 Rony, F.T. Time and Redemption in the “Racial Film” in the 1920’s and 1930’s. South Pacific Island, 1996: January 2010

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