Friday, June 4, 2010
“Get Him To The Greek” (opening June 4 throughout San Diego) is the latest film from the trusted Apatow brand and, while it in some ways lacks the freshness and cohesiveness of previous outings, it rarely fails to deliver the laughs and holds steady a reputable amount of heart to boot.
The story follows two men: British junkie/rock star Aldos Snow (Russell Brand, the only real hold over from 2008’s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” of which this is film is a spin-off of sorts) and longtime fan/record label employee Aaron Green (Jonah Hill). Green finds himself tasked with successfully delivering Brand to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles after he pitches the idea to his boss played to brilliant comedic effect by P. Diddy, turning out some of the funniest moments in the entire film. After a spout with his girlfriend that concludes with their relationship seemingly at an end, Green heads off to London and begins his desperate attempt to keep Snow on track only to wind up in his own, “Fear & Loathing”-esque tirade of drug-and-alcohol-fueled mayhem and antics as they gradually make their way to L.A.
The film gets its share of laughs thanks largely to the brilliant pairing of Brand with Hill, one an over-the-top, borderline caricature of an insane rocker and the other a master at playing the more reticent, adept young man so eager to prove himself that his behavior becomes, at times, just a tad bit more self-destructive than he intended. There’s a handful of pretty effective, big comic set pieces in the film, but it’s the little, sometimes throwaway lines and moments the two have that keeps this movie fueled with energy. The filmmakers also allow themselves to poke fun at the music industry, from the jaw-droppingly offensive attempts at peddling liberal messages of peace and humanitarianism by Brand’s rock star to the more sober-minded consideration of the insensitive and self-centered actions of the producers and yes men surrounding talent such as Snow.
While everything I have said about the film so far has been fairly positive, I’m afraid it’s not all without its flaws. As the film moves into its third act, the scenario set up over the past hour or so begins to fall apart at the seams bit by bit. Storylines either get dropped almost completely, allowing little sense of closure or finality, or are resolved so quickly and haphazardly (especially one particularly unsuccessful sequence featuring a threesome). And while the film’s conclusion managed to tug just enough at my sentimental side to work, I couldn’t help but wish it had done so without feeling as forced, cheesy, and terribly convenient as it did.
But alas, if you’re a fan of either Brand or Hill or both and have an appreciation for their brand of humor, “Get Him to the Greek” (rated R for strong sexual content and drug use throughout, and pervasive language) is sure to keep you giggling most of the way through, even if it does leave you just a notch below being wholly satisfied.