Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Get Him to the Greek" (2010)

Starring Russell Brand, Jonah Hill and Sean "Diddy" Combs
Written and directed by Nicholas Stoller

"Get Him to the Greek" is a kind of funky comedy, a spin-off sequel to "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."  Russell Brand reprises his roll as obnoxious, out-of-control rock star Aldous Snow.  Jonah Hill returns also, but playing a completely different character.  Here, he's Aaron Green, a young employee of Pinnacle Records, and huge fan of Snow's. 

After Snow releases a critical and commercial failure called "African Child," he fades into a drug- and booze-fueled obscurity.  Green, however, never gives up on his rock star hero.  When the head of Pinnacle Records, Sergio Roma (Sean "Diddy Combs, spoofing his producer image with great effect) asks for ideas as the company struggles, Green proposes an anniversary show at the Greek Theater for Snow to make a big comeback.  Surprisingly, Sergio agrees and sends Green to London to pick up Snow and... "Get Him to the Greek."

Over the course of 72 hours, Snow's outrageous behavior will bring Green to the breaking point.  Green suddenly has to come face to face with his childhood hero and realize that this man is nothing like he imagined.  One sex, drug and booze-fest after another as Green struggles to control Snow's behavior and get him to the Greek on time for the show.  Sergio is constantly bugging him, with Green's job on the line and possibly the future of Pinnacle Records resting on the success of Snow's show at the Greek.

There are lots of hilarious moments in "Get Him to the Greek," which is ultimately what this movie is - a collection of hilarious moments spread out over two hours.  The film is episodic in nature, with different little adventures happening at each stop along the way in Snow and Green's journey from London to Los Angeles. 

The real attraction of the entire movie is Russell Brand's absurd, outrageous Aldous Snow.  From the moment he introduces himself Green as "Aldous Snow, the rock star!" he's just throwing absurdity at the screen.  Sex, drugs, rock'n'roll are the entirety of Adous' life, and the moments that he elicits bring the film's biggest laughs.  Raunch is the name of the game, here.  Lots of dirty, dirty dialogue to go around.  It's a good thing the cast is up to it, because anyone delivering lines like "Can you feel my penis fucking your mind right now?" and not getting it exactly right would just ruin the whole thing.  These kinds of lines, coupled with the manic energy that the film is capable of, bring out the best moments ("Stroke the furry wall!" "Do you want to sing hairy-oke?") 

But there are stretches of time where "Get Him to the Greek" isn't all that funny - usually when it attempts to get serious about its characters, introducing Snow's washed up, alcoholic father (Colm Meaney) or dealing with the problems in Green's relationship with his girlfriend.  But when the movie just allows those characters to do ridiculous, obnoxious things to each other and other people, it shines.  Diddy gets a lot of laughs out of his minor role as Sergio, and there are some other cool cameos spread here or there.  Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich is kind of wasted, though.

I don't have too much else to say.  "Get Him to the Greek" is funny, but imperfect.  It goes off track in a few places that drag it down, but when it's on, it's really on.  Brand is hilarious, and Hill is pretty solid as the straight man.  I had fun watching it, and there are far worse ways to spend a couple of hours.