Forgetting Sarah Marshall has been a solid hit ($51 million and counting, domestically) for debut director Nicholas Stoller, who helped screenwriter-star Jason Segel get the story on its legs. Their off-screen friendship will bear more professional fruit, too, in the form of the comedy spec script Five-Year Engagement, which he is attached to helm for Universal.
“It’s kind of an Annie Hall or When Harry Met Sally-type story,” says Stoller. “With Sarah Marshall, a lot of what was a little bit frustrating about the narrative of that was that we couldn’t really get into the relationship as it was happening, we were sifting through the wreckage of the relationship. With Five-Year Engagement, we want to watch it implode in real time. It’s kind of that couple we all know that gets engaged and then takes five years to get their shit together and get married. Both myself and Jason, we’d been in relationships — I’m married now, and this is not my wife I’m talking about — for years where it didn’t go anywhere, and it was just almost right. So we kind of wanted to make the movie about a relationship that’s 60 percent right.”