Review: Get Him To The Greek
PLOT: After years of living a stable life with his honey and their child, rock star Aldous Snow finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into self pity. The relationship didn’t work out and his music career is on the skids. Thankfully, young record company intern Aaron is up for the challenge of helping to revamp his career. But this proves much more challenging than expected. With drugs, sex and a little bit of heartbreak, the two men find themselves on the road, each looking for their own personal gain, and of course a bunch of laughs when necessary.
Russell Brand is f*cking electrifying! That was exactly what I was thinking while watching GET HIM TO THE GREEK. His wild, drug and alcohol induced behavior oftentimes feels very real. And when record company intern Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) is asked to get a once clean and sober Aldous Snow to perform at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, he finds it a near impossible job. What we have here is a serious bromance from director Nick Stoller that also happens to be a rock and roll comedy that gets all the rockin’ and rollin’ right. I’m talking sex, drugs, music and of course, being part of the Judd Apatow (Producer) universe, it has a serious side. After all, this hard and heavy lifestyle can cost you a whole lot, so it is up to this Aldous to teach our boy Aaron a lesson about life, and vice versa.
I was a fan of FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, in fact I really loved the film. But Russell’s Aldous Snow seemed as though he’d be funny enough for a supporting character, nothing more. So I really didn’t expect his performance in Greek to really change that, but it did. It’s not just that he is hysterical; it’s that he really brings the rock and roll attitude to life. While I’m not sure if that is just who Russell Brand really is, I do find that he easily maintains this demi-god, has been, rock and roll charm to Snow. Whether he is messing with this silly record company fellow (Jonah Hill) or calling his ex-girlfriend (Rose Byrne) and wishing things were different, he revels in the emotional ups and downs. And when he is on-stage, performing such ridiculous top hits like “Bangers, Beans and Mash” or “Just Say Yes”, he personifies the burned out, yet desperate for attention rock star. This is one hell of a performance.
As for the rest of the cast, namely Jonah Hill, there was a nice bit of chemistry between him and Brand. But I didn’t feel fully invested in Aaron, at times I didn’t even like him very much. I did however like when he worked off of Brand or even the girlfriend character, played by the extremely lovely Elisabeth Moss from TV’s “Mad Men”. But for some reason, he felt almost too “average”. Yet he still worked well enough, after all, who the hell can compete with Brand in this flick? Well, there is one person. Who would’ve ever thought that Rose Byrne could do this? She plays pop sensation “Jackie Q” with as much gusto and sexuality as her wild man Aldous. She gives her character bits of Lady Gaga, Brittany Spears and the Spice Girls and rolled up into one. While Snow and Jackie’s relationship is not explored enough, especially with the child, I liked that this added a little bit of real life to Aldous and his insane lifestyle.
Writer/director Nicholas Stoller fits right at home in this world of sex, drugs and rock and roll. And much like his Apatow brethren, he adds just the right amount of sap and sweetness to Snow and Green. Of course the two will learn from each other, and yes, drive each other crazy, but it works. Although the crazy part can get a little tedious at times, it is one joke that occasionally runs out of steam. As funny as drug induced moments of insanity can be, Greek has just a few too many. Jonah Hill’s Aaron is so straight-laced, that you know he’ll get f*cked up in more ways than one. Most of it works, but occasionally it feels a bit like déjà vu. I also felt that the second act dragged a bit too much. At times I was way ahead of this movie, and I felt like it was taking too long to catch up with me. Yet Stoller keeps it fresh (mostly) and it is worth sitting through the bits that don’t work nearly as well.
The secret weapon here aside from Russell Brand, is the surprisingly hilarious Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs. He plays the record company exec that insists Aaron not fail, and bring Aldous to the Greek on time for the concert. Mr. Combs is a scene-stealer, from his ‘mind f*cks’ to bizarre images of him eating his own head, who would’ve ever thought that he would be this good. It was casting like this, Brand and both leading ladies that made Greek as funny as it is. And you really can’t go wrong with a ton of cameos including Lars Ulrich from Metallica, Pink, Christina Aguilera, Kurt Loder and many, many more. Get Him to the Greek is a comedy filled with dirty jokes, drugs and even slight nudity for fans of comedy, especially when we are talking HARD R laugability. While it may not be quite as great as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek is a fun ride that will lead you down some pretty corrupt paths. Enjoy! My rating 7.5/10 -- JimmyO