There have been a number of romantic comedies filmed in Hawaii, from 2004’s 50 First Dates to 2011’s Just Go With It (Adam Sandler can’t get enough of Hawaii – and who can blame him). However, writer and star of 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall Jason Siegel (who’s best known for the hit TV show How I Met Your Mother) describes the film as a “romantic disaster movie”. While that might be fair to say of the plot, it couldn’t be further from the truth where the Forgetting Sarah Marshall filming locations are concerned.
Unlike many other movies filmed in Hawaii, though, Forgetting Sarah Marshall didn’t involve any island-hopping. It was confined mostly to Oahu’s North Shore, primarily at the Turtle Bay Resort, which was also featured in 2011’s Soul Surfer.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall Filming Locations Map
Siegel plays Peter Bretter, whose heart is broken when his girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) breaks up with him for rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). In an attempt to get over the breakup Peter heads to Hawaii, but once there he bumps into his ex and her new lover at the Turtle Bay Resort, which leaves very little room for a holiday romance for anyone. The film also stars Mila Kunis, Paul Rudd and Jonah Hill (who also acted alongside Brand in 2010’s Get Him to the Greek in which Brand reprises the character of Aldous Snow).
The word “idyllic” is an understatement when describing the luxurious, palm tree-studded Turtle Bay Resort that occupies a small peninsula on the tip of the North Shore, where views of the Pacific Ocean are simply staggering.
Some of the resort’s most memorable shots in Forgetting Sarah Marshall are the late night oceanfront scenes with gently-swaying palm trees and burning fires, though these scenes are anything but romantic. In particular, there’s a hilariously-uncomfortable dinner scene in which Peter and hotel receptionist Rachel (his budding romance, of course, played by Mila Kunis) share a table with Sarah and Aldous, which allows for plenty of awkward exchanges as well as some laugh-out-loud one-liners from Jonah Hill’s Aldous Snow-loving waiter.
In a scene where Peter and Rachel share some alone time, they decide to jump from a 30-foot cliff and into the water, which was filmed at the dramatic Laie Point on Oahu’s North Shore (Hawaiian transcription Lāʻie). Cliff-jumping at this site is extremely popular, although such an activity should always be considered with extreme caution even when perfectly legal. However, it’s the panoramic views of the dramatic coastline from the top that can’t be beaten. Either way, this piece of perfection will have you falling in love with Hawaii in no time (or literally falling).
But cliff-jumping isn’t the only thrill-seeking activity that we see onscreen. With the surf shimmering under the setting sun, Chuck (Paul Rudd) teaches Peter how to surf before they both enjoy a relaxing paddle against a gorgeous mountainous coastal backdrop. In another scene, Peter catches a roaring wave just before bumping into Aldous on the water. All the film’s surfing scenes (because it isn’t a Hawaii-set production without them – just check out Hawaii Five-0) were filmed in Haleiwa in Waialua Bay on the North Shore.
Speaking of Hawaii television shows, you might recognize the blue waters and white sands of one of the Forgetting Sarah Marshall filming locations from TV series Lost – yes, it’s Mokuleia Beach. Located between Waialua and Kaena Point on the North Shore, this beach is somewhat secluded, and while you’ll find no marooned survivors here, who knows – perhaps you’ll find some romance.
The equally-gorgeous Keawaula Bay on the west shore – also known as Yokohama Bay – also appears onscreen.
While Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a self-described “romantic disaster movie”, if you’ve seen enough rom-coms – or even just one – you’ll know well enough that the film hardly ends on a sour note. And once again Hawaii’s versatility is beautifully demonstrated, in that it’s not just a place where you might find love but also one where you might heal a broken heart. If neither works for you, though, there’s no doubt whatsoever that you’ll fall deeply in love with these unforgettable Forgetting Sarah Marshall filming locations.
Dan is a freelance writer from the UK who works for a number of online publications. He’s also working on a science fiction novel, and believes the impression Jurassic Park made on him as a child – both the Spielberg film and the book by Michael Crichton – to be the source of his passion to write. He previously critiqued theatrical releases for his local radio station, while his blog ‘Curious Rookie’ remains his platform for sharing film, travel and book reviews. Dan has also visited some of the most iconic film locations around the world, and his favorite destination is the island of Kauai in Hawaii.