June 4, 2010
Review - " Get Him to the Greek " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Get Him to the Greek
Directed by: Nicholas Stoller.
Starring: Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, Rose Byrne, Sean 'P Diddy' Combs,
Colm Meaney, Kristen Bell
Two years ago, the raunchy “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” — with its lovesick
boyfriend, peculiar puppetry and please-put-that-away male-frontal-nudity
— was a pleasant comic surprise.
And the most surprising comic was Russell Brand as a dimwitted British rock
His Aldous Snow was both extraordinarily egotistical and continually,
blissfully zoned out — as if, after all their decades together, Mick Jagger
and Keith Richards had finally merged into a single icon.
And now he’s back.
In “Get Him to the Greek” — less a sequel to “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”
than a kind of parallel-universe spinoff — Snow is now a semi-retired rock
god, and Jonah Hill (a waiter in the last movie) is the record-company flunky
assigned to get him to an all-important comeback gig.
No, not assigning Snow a minder - that’s actually a good idea. (Although giving him two security guards, a pharmacist and
Dr. Phil might have been a better one.) The bad idea is giving Snow his own movie.
The problem is that, in the big, bubbling dish of comedy, maniacal characters like Snow are sort of like cilantro - a wonderful
accent, but a bit much as a main ingredient. In “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” you couldn't wait for him to return. Here, you’re
kind of happy when he leaves. Except, unfortunately, there’s not much left once he’s gone.
Admitted, Jonah Hill has a good handle on self-deprecation and some nice comic timing, but now that he’s cultivated some
stubble he’s begun to look like a greedy hamster; any movie that gives him three sex scenes should be rated C for Cruelty.
Or crudity. Because, this being from the Judd Apatow Comedy Factory, there are all the requisite, overly explicit gay jokes.
And the bodily substance jokes. And the way-too-good-for-him actresses who pine for our heroic endomorph.
In the movies that Apatow not only produces, but directs - pictures like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and “Funny
People” - that crudeness is balanced by a genuine sweetness. In those movies, the real theme is the civilizing influence of
women on, well, jerks.
But here, it’s all about the jerkiness - as we watch Brand and Hill descend into a long lost weekend of drugs, violence, vomit,
group sex, celebrity cameos and a tacked-on happy ending that’s only there to insist that everyone has, in fact, Learned
It is fun just to listen to Brand talk (he’s like the Geico gekko, but with a substance-abuse problem). Rose Byrne has a ball as
Snow’s not-so-posh, sort-of-Posh ex, and the movie gets the mad vacuousness of most celebrity journalism exactly right.
The offbeat character that Brand created (along with the “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” screenwriter Jason Segel) is a
memorable one. Brand's supporting gig was one of the funniest parts of Sarah Marshall. Unfortunately this one trick pony
just isn't enough to carry an entire 109 minutes. While there is a script, one suspects that a lot of improvisation went into this
Hill is a likable dweeb, but his character lacks enough awkward wit to make him an effective foil for Brand. Sean “Puff
Daddy/P-Diddy” Combs is surprisingly effective, making the most of his goofy character. He manages to wring all of the
laughs from his colorful part.
While there are some inspired moments (watch out when Aaron gets injected with adrenaline), the movie is very uneven.
“Get Him to the Greek” is loud, dumb and
unapologetically crude. But, you could say
that about “The Hangover,” too, last summer’s
But in the end, this is just a hungover
“Hangover” with Aldous Snow doing the one
thing no rock ’n’ roller ever should - coming
back for an encore that nobody really asked
I really wanted to like this movie but while it
had it's moments it's just so-so at best. I guess
that's what comes from high expectations.
This film is a letdown - wait for the DVD.
While technically you won't have to walk out
seeing Jonah Hill's fat naked hairy ass may
make you wish you had.