Get Him to the Greek
Film review by: Witney Seibold
The last time we saw Aldous Snow (British peacock Russell Brand), he was shacking up with Sarah Marshall in screenwriter Jason Segal‘s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” Snow was a sobered-up rock star with a deliciously raunchy demeanor, an irrepressible libido and something of the douchebag about him. In that movie, Aldous was pseudo-stalked by a chubby, awkward waiter named Matthew (Jonah Hill). This subplot was amusing enough, I guess, to warrant an entire feature film from the same director, Nicholas Stoller, featuring the same actors, only with Hill playing a new character. It seems the filmmakers wanted to recapture the chemistry that Brand and Hill had together in the earlier movie, but Brand is actually syuch an electric and laidback onscreen presence, that I’m guessing he would have had good chemistry with just about anyone.
That’s my way of saying that I enjoyed the film. The majority of “Get Him to the Greek” hinges on the comic reactions that Hill and Brand have to one another, and they have a credible and hilarious relationship. I wish the film was based less on “awkward” humor, and it does, at times, seem to go on for too long, but some surprising performances from supporting cast members, and a real-life setup that I was genuinely rooting for, left me with a film that was enjoyable and genial and no small amount funny.
Hill plays Aaron Green, an office wonk for a big-time music music label. Aaron is a lover of music who, despite the pop music drought of the last decade, still has faith in the industry, and still holds very dear his rock ‘n’ roll memories that shaped him. Brand plays Aldous Snow, but several years after having fallen off the wagon. When his badgering, borderline boss (a surprisingly hysterical Sean Combs, who, somehow, manages to steal every scene he’s in) demands that his staff to come up with a new act, Aaron meekly suggests that Snow be put back on stage at The Greek theater in Los Angeles for an anniversary concert. All Aaron has to do is fly to England, pick up the perpetually drugged-up Snow, and (insert title here). The only impediments: drugs, Snow’s longed-for ex-girlfriend (a startlingly funny Rose Byrne), Aaron’s own longtime love teetering on the brink of breakup (Elisabeth Moss), more drugs, Snow’s estranged father (Colm Meaney), more drugs, and, indeed, even more drugs.
This film is, by an odd extension, part of the stable of recent R-rated comedies to come from Judd Apatow, and while the Apatow people had nothing to do with the making of “Get Him to the Greek,” it bears his mark. It involves the usual man-children who, while intelligent and relatable, still have something of the arrested adolescent about them. Then, while trying to realize their boyhood fantasies, find that they are more comfortable with domesticity, rather than hedonism and, well, the rock star fantasy. But this is largely a secondary consideration to the film’s manic, road movie qualities, and borderline slapstick gross-out humor. Many of the jokes stem from Aaron’s inability to exist in Snow’s high-rolling world (making for some painfully awkward moments; when will this type of humor go away?), and from the various powders and fluids going into or coming out of someone’s body at any given moment.
I laughed and had a genial time. I say go for it.