Get Him to the Greek
I am officially the Grinch when it comes to comedies. I love to hate them way more than I like watching them. But there’s something about the Apatow clan that makes me give them a chance. Sure, they’ve been responsible for Talladega Nights (walked out of the theatre on that one), Drillbit Taylor, and Step Brothers, but they also served up Pineapple Express, and one of my all-time favorite comedies, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. And let’s be honest. When it comes to FSM, Russell Brand as Aldous Snow was clearly one of the best parts. Jonah Hill… not my favorite, but all parts considered, Get Him to the Greek seemed like obligatory summer viewing. Especially when there’s not much out there right now.
I have to say, the goods were delivered. I was one of three single males in the theatre when watching GHTTG, and I freely admit that I was only the one laughing out loud most of the film. Whether this is representative of my idiotic sense of humor, or it’s just hard to get enthused at an 11am screening on a Monday morning, I’m not sure. But I thought this movie was fucking hilarious.
Aldous Snow, who used Sarah Marshall in every sexual way possible in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, is a washed up remnant of the Brit rock star type, a bad boy, messed up on booze and drugs, with a little talent thrown in for good measure. These types, in the real world, really are becoming a rarity, as celebrity musicians are more multi-media performers now, more likely to sing on the ‘giving back’ episode of American Idol, than go on a several year binge of sex and drugs.
The Snow we were presented with in Sarah Marshall was pretty one dimensional: a hilariously womanizing idiot who’s best deed in that film was teaching a prude, newly-wed Mormon couple how to access their sexuality. Here, Brand brings a dimension to the character that is both impressive, and a bit of a downer. This, I do believe, is what they call a paradox. But I’ll get to that in a moment.
The plot is not much to speak of. Jonah Hill plays a young employee of music tycchon, Sergio (an impressively funny P. Diddy, or Puff Daddy, or Diddy, or whatever). He’s sent by his boss to collect the addict mess from London, and get him to the famous Greek theatre in Los Angelos for a reunion concert that will hopefully reboot the music industry. That’s the rub, basically: the shenanigans they get in to between Heathrow and LAX.
A large part of Snow’s pathos is rapped up in his ex, Jackie Q, played without shame by Rose Byrne. Jackie Q.’s music videos are frequently featured through the film and are both wickedly crass, and outrageously funny (so much so, I was a little embarrassed when my mom casually mentioned see had seen the movie herself over the weekend). I didn’t think a girl who’s recent projects involve intense period pieces and metaphysical sci-fi films could be so damn funny, but she did a fine job, nearly stealing the show. Mr. Hill is fine. He’s what he is in every film, and is doing a fine job, but pigeon-holing himself very quickly.
Now, back to the paradox of Aldous. The fun of this character, played so fantastically unpredictable by Brand, is that he’s outrageous, ridiculous, and hilarious. When the climax of the film calls for him to look inwardly, to align himself with some sort of moral code, it’s both satisfying, and disappointing. And while Brand proved that he could be more than a one-trick pony, it took a little bit away from Get Him to the Greek. That being said, this was my only disappointment. It’s crass as fuck, but this movie is funny as all get out. Just don’t recommend it to your mom.