Sarah Marshall, I Hate Your Billboard

Sarah Marshall, 32, whose street name is “Speed Queen,” was once a member of her high school debate team back in Van Buren, Ind. That was before the voices in her head started to talk to her. She roams the streets at night looking for half-finished fast food, and bottles and cans she can return for deposit. When exhaustion overcomes her, she curls up underneath the bushes near a gas station. As she drifts off to a frightened half-sleep, she glimpses a billboard advertising this week’s Judd Apatow comedy: “Those Jeans Make You Look Fat, Sarah Marshall.” She plucks listlessly at her filthy Levis and asks herself: Why? Why did someone add to her torment by paying money to take out those billboards? It’s a good thing that this hypothetical schizophrenic isn’t wandering around L.A., where the billboards are a little more bold: “You Suck, Sarah Marshall.” Let’s pretend it’s not a deranged transient but rather an elementary school girl who happens to have that name and gets to see this message up there every where she goes. Too bad she doesn’t have enough money for a billboard that says “Judd Apatow, You Suck Also.” This LA Times article by Alana Semuels describes the discomfiture of a couple of real-life Sarah Marshalls who have to see that billboard everywhere; if past experience is any judge, they’ll be up there far longer than the movie in question is at the theaters.

97 comments to Sarah Marshall, I Hate Your Billboard

  • lil kev

    this movie is dont look funny

  • Tara

    I think that the billboards are disgusting and totally inappropriate. Regardless of whether your name is “Sarah Marshall”, which, I assume is a fairly common name, the message that this entire area promotes and condones that sort of completely juvenile outlashing toward people is teaching us all, children included, a very poor lesson. Who wants to drive around and see signs that somebody “sucks” and that they are “hated”… it is visual trash and it is not funny. There are certainly other ways to promote a movie. Every day that I drive around here I just think more and more how much I “hate” whatever idiot approved this marketing method. As a principal, I will never ever see this movie. Besides the shallow and derogatory nature of the thing, why would I want to watch a movie about a snivelling idiot who is so co-dependant and weak he’d have to paste hate notes all over LA to get over some girl.
    The signs, bus stop posters, and every other piece of trash promoting this movie should be removed immediately. It’s the opposite of what energy this place needs, which is compassion and love. Sorry I don’t have any for this movie.

  • adian adina adina adina adina adina adina

  • Stacey

    Very well written Tara. Why are we not teaching our youth respect? Why are we tolerating this trash as a society? Sarah Marshall is a VERY common name. I feel for any young girl who will be affected by the irresponsible promoters of such garbage.

  • Karla

    Oh boo hoo! They say the words hate, and fat. It’s teaching our youth bad things? That’s how humans are, we talk about people to make ourselves feel better. We always have some one we hate, or dislike at school, at work, in a party. Bad vibes are as important as good ones. Besides most parents think their children are sweet little angels dropped down straight from heaven and don’t realize what little monsters they really are. I live near a middle school and a high school. Every day I see kids getting off their parent’s car dressed with their uniform or knee lenght skirts (to give very few examples) and as soon as the parent drives off, up go the skirts and off come the uniforms.

  • Em-Rock

    I would hope that, as well as teaching ones children respect and kindness, a parent would teach them the difference between entertainment and real life. Woe to the child-and-eventually-adult who can’t separate one from the other.

    I think billboards are ugly all the way around, but amidst all of the boob-laden, explosively violent marketing campaigns for every cheap blockbuster out there, I can’t see mustering up disgust for typeface on a poster.

    I also am sort of distantly amused at the idea that Sarah Marshalls everywhere are bemoaning the use of their name. How many people have shared names with famous characters since the dawn of film? Or bear the unfortunate coincidence of having the same name as a girl/guy in a hit song? I feel fleetingly for Sarah Marshalls everywhere, but really. How absurd.

  • oscar

    Can’t believe we’re going to start complaining about some words on a billboard. We need shelter kids from all of the absurd?? Too late!
    Did you people pop up from the 50′s??? This stuff is everywhere (sexual content, vulgarities). Too Damn late. Karla is right. You know you talk smack about someone. I don’t have the money for the billboard, but TARA, ADINA, and STACY, YOU SUCK!!!!

  • Sunny in London

    Good afternoon all.

    I have just found your blog equivalent to one I tap away to in London. It is good to see strong views!. I have not been to California for nearly 18 years and am interested in returning this year rather than going to the East (I do hate the jetlag though)so I thought I would ‘drop’ in and have a look at the type of characters there.

    Sorry, I have no comment on this film (never heard of it; maybe not released over here just yet)But with regards to billboards, we are not over cluttered with them here so they are quite a novelty. I know in my modelling days I would have ‘died’ to have appeared on a billboard, it would have been an honor!! So to have ones name appearing on the billboard must be equally exciting to those who bare the same name. I do however disapprove of marketing ‘hate’ or ‘cruelty’ as this world does not need any encouragment in this department. Has anybody seen the new Keanu Reeves film? Street Wise – I think it is called? It will be released here on 14th (ish?) April – god he is so yummy!!!!!!!

  • Sunny in London

    Good morning all.

    I am sincerely apologising for getting the name wrong for the new Keanu Reeves film. I did my homework last night and it is called the Street Kings!

    Have a lovely day.


  • Sir, yes sir! I’m agreeing with you, but I don’t think everybody do. You should not be so rude, it frightens of.

  • Sunny in London


    You have completly lost me on your comment; who are you talking to??


  • Todd

    I found a funny story about Sarah Marshalls revolting against the movie’s marketing campaign, and this story has a hilarious photo of a real life Sarah with a sign that says…well, laugh for yourself:

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