"Get Him to the Greek" Movie Review (2010)

6/05/2010 Posted by Admin

"Get Him to the Greek"

Movie Review

Directed by Nicholas Stoller, Written by Stoller, 109 minutes, Rated R

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

Russell Brand, a polarizing personality in his native UK, made a startlingly great American film debut in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" as washed-up rocker Aldous Snow. The character stole the film from pretty much everyone on-screen, and Brand's performance was nothing short of brilliant.

Judd Apatow, always jumping at the opportunity to take supporting actors and give them a shot at headlining roles ("Sarah Marshall" was, in fact, such a film for Jason Segel), took the Snow character and now, here he is, in his very own film, "Get Him to the Greek." So, does it work? Does the bit player work in a film of his very own? Oh my, yes he does. With a film this funny and engaging, it's a wonder director Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel (who wrote "Marshall" and created the Snow character) didn't just make him the center of the original film in the first place.

"Greek" follows Snow several years following "Marshall," now back on drugs and out of the public eye more than ever. But as a 10-year anniversary of his record-breaking live concert at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre approaches, a young record company intern, Aaron Green (Jonah Hill), suggests a reunion performance at the theatre that could generate a lot of cash for his record company, headed by record executive Sergio Roma (Sean "Diddy" Combs), and could give Snow a second chance at worldwide fame.

Aaron is sent to London to accompany Snow to Los Angeles, and what ensues is about as crazy and rock and roll as you can get.

Hill is pretty much perfect for this role, which sort of works out as a mix between his character in "Superbad" and his uber-Snow fan in "Marshall." One would expect him to play the straight man to Brand's out-of-control rock star, but as the film progresses and things get more out of hand, the two really start competing for who's more insane, and because of the great talent the two leads have, they juggle responsibilities extremely well, with Brand acting completely straight one second and a complete screwball the next, and the same goes for Hill, who somehow manages to keep up with Brand at every turn.

And surrounding these two nutjobs is an absolutely fantastic supporting cast, including Rose Byrne as Snow's Lily Allen/Lady Gaga-esque girlfriend, Elisabeth Moss as Aaron's ambivalent and clueless girlfriend, and, as previously mentioned, Sean Combs as Aaron's manager, and Combs is completely hysterical in his brief role.

Like a lot of the recent Apatow-produced films, where "Greek" doesn't quite work is generally when it tries to get serious. The stuff about drug abuse, the dilemmas of celebrity and the conflicts caused by the desire for stardom are all admirable, sure, but the film is at its best when it balances these themes with the laughs. Any attempts at seriously exploring these themes really fall flat.

Another dilemma, albeit a smaller one, is just that, at this point in the history of these Apatow films, it feels like every character is just a carbon copy of one from a previous film. Hill is great, but he's just like the last five main characters in these sort of films. Thankfully, Brand's excellent and wildly original performance makes up for this for the most part, so it's not much of a problem.

As far as films about fictional rock stars go, "Greek" may not be "Spinal Tap" (though the music may be funnier), but it's not far behind, and it's so much fun I'd be willing to see Brand take on this character again.

Grade: B

View the red band trailer for "Get Him to the Greek" below. What did you think of the movie?

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