Movie Review: Get Him to the Greek

I’m told they were attempting a more naughty version of Almost Famous, with this one. While I can see the connection, if the goal was to be anything like that wonderful movie, then Greek failed, terribly.

Get Him to the Greek follows Aaron (Jonah Hill), a young record label intern who is sent by his boss, Sergio (Sean “P-Diddy” Combs), to London to get legendary rocker Aldous Snow (Russell Brand)—“One of the last remaining rock stars.” The goal’s in the title—to get to the Greek, a famous outdoor amphitheater in Los Angeles. The trip is set to be one wacky ride, however, as Aldous has taken a recent tumble off the wagon, following the failure of his latest album, “African Child,” and a split with his lover, Jackie Q (Rose Byrne).

Brand was perfect for the part of the dejected rocker, his real-life unpredictability (and general craziness) adapting easily to the scandalous image of the classic British rocker. They had the part down, what with the sex-craze, drug abuse, and general idiocy that stalks the rocker from day one. It is just about everything we can imagine a rocker being, and Brand delivers brilliantly, not merely through a bout of tedious sketch comedy, but through a generally fun and well-delivered character—despite the narcissism and self-destructive tendencies.

Hill, however, plays the same character he always does. Awkward. Wide-eyed. Child-like cuteness. He is meant to be the foil for Brand, and I suppose in that he succeeds, but if you’ve seen his other characters then you’ve seen this on too—a babbling, worrying mess, complete with vomiting and other quirky mishaps. He lacked the comic quality of, say, Patrick Fugit in Almost Famous, opting away from the incidental humor of an innocent growing up, to the forced humor of the attention-seeker.

The movie was written and directed by Nicholas Stoller, the man who directed Forgetting Sarah Marshall, with another Sarah Marshall participant (Judd Apatow) on hand as one of the producers. It is their brand of comedy through and through—coarse, but occasionally charming, with wild characters and a plot that leaves much to be desired. You know the course of this one from beginning to finish, and, despite a few twists, it follows your traditional youth-meets-rocker mix, complete with glaringly happy ending. The women in it seem to get consistently shafted, though, and I can’t say the shallow people presented to us are around for anything more than to be drooled over and exploited, which I don’t think I need to say is a severe disappointment.

Unlike the tragic figure of Adam Sandler’s George Simmons in Funny People (Another Apatow), Get Him to the Greek gives us glimpses of the darker side of celebrity life, but without straying too far from the comic pleasure of the audience. When comedy does start to sag, it also has a parade of cameos to amuse the audience with, including Christina Aguilera and Lars Ulrich, among others.

There is some seriousness here, but it is few and far between, and does little to enhance the comedy in any way. It can be a bit chaotic from time to time, and despite a strong opening, the comedy wears itself out by movie’s end. It has its humorous moments, but overall, Get Him to the Greek is just another predictable comedy with little to offer its audience in excess.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

~ by Chris G. on June 4, 2010.

One Response to “Movie Review: Get Him to the Greek”

  1. Raunchy, but plenty of funny dialogue with some surprising emotional weight. Who knew P. Diddy was so hilarious?! Just wish I had something better since a lot of this comedy is just based around one dirty situation, after another. Good review, check out mine when you can!

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