REVIEW: Get Him to the Greek

10 06 2010

Some movies really do need to come with a health warning.  “Get Him to the Greek,” for instance, should inform all moviegoers that that it packs enough laughs in under two hours to make you hurt all over.  Along with the usual beautiful gut-wrenching pain, the comedy is so potent that it can hit you as high as the throat.

For a year now, we have been waiting for a movie as hilarious as the runaway smash hit “The Hangover,” and that movie has finally arrived.  I’ll even be as bold to say that upon repeat viewings, “Get Him to the Greek” could prove to be better.  And I’m not being sensational to grab attention or to wind up on the DVD case; I think I laughed harder, louder, and more consistently.

“Get Him to the Greek” is a spin-off of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and it manages to make the movie that introduced us Aldous Snow look like the ugly step-cousin in every way.  It’s infinitely funnier; the characters are more interesting; the plot is more absorbing.  I didn’t think Brand was all that funny in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” but now it’s clear that the emotional aspect of the movie weighed him down.  Here, he is unleashed and immature as ever.  And it’s an absolute riot.

Brand and Jonah Hill, who plays young record label employee Aaron Green, are the “Odd Couple” for a new generation.  A pairing such as theirs might be labeled a “comic man-straight man routine,” but the movie neither fits those labels nor feels like a routine.  Both get the chance to side-splittingly hilarious, and it absolutely works.  As much as I expected Brand to run away with the movie, Hill gets some of the best laughs of the movie as he tries to adjust to the crazy antics of the rockstar he’s attempting to control.

The laughs come from every angle, not just from the leads.  The supporting cast is absolutely brilliant.  Forget Les Grossman, Sergio (Sean Combs, AKA some form of the word Diddy) is the new choice industry mogul of comedy movies.  He’s the foul-mouthed boss of Aaron who never hesitates to chasten and humiliate employees.  With a mind as sharp as his teeth, Sergio reflects the drive of the industry: money.  He views Aldous as a giant supply of cash and sees Aaron as the driver of the armored truck that will take him all the way from London to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.  Sergio’s unbridled and blunt speaking make for some of the movie’s most memorable and quotable moments.  Combs brings a whole lot of energy to the character, and Sergio bursts off the screen in a blast of outrageous fun.

Rose Byrne, who I had only known for her sweeter roles in movies like “Adam,” absolutely shocked me as dirty girl Jackie Q, Aldous’ ex-girlfriend.  She’s his perfect counterpart: hard drinker, hard partier, and careless of public opinion.  The blatantly and unabashedly sexual lyrics that fly from her mouth are obscenely hysterical.  We rarely see her, but when we do, she’s like a hungover Amy Winehouse with a bit of Christina Aguilera from her “Dirty” days.  Byrne aims to remind us of those crazy startlets we see on E! or TMZ, and she hits it dead-on.  Not quite as hilarious but much more normal is Elisabeth Moss as Aaron’s girlfriend Daphne, whose life is dominated by her work as a nurse.  In order to save their relationship and her sanity, she decides, rather than proposes, a move to Seattle (perhaps a nod to “Grey’s Anatomy?”).  Daphne tries to stay grounded amidst all the crazy events happening around her, and her struggle is worth a few chuckles.  Perhaps the biggest scene stealers though are the periodic celebrity cameos, which often come out of nowhere but are absolutely priceless.

But no discussion of “Get Him to the Greek” can be complete without the music of Infant Sorrow, Aldous Snow’s band.  Every song is great in some way, be it to rock out or to relax.  Yes, even “African Child,” the song the movie claims to be the worst ever written, is great – in a strictly comedic way.  I’ll take “African Child” over “Stu’s Song” any day.  If Russell Brand opted to quit acting and become a rockstar, I’d drop everything and become his biggest groupie.  He totally fits the bill, and he has musical talent.  Thankfully they released an album full of all the Infant Sorrow I could want plus some Jackie Q and a few other memorable tunes from the movie.  But now I’m waiting for the Greek concert DVD.

“Get Him to the Greek” is not a perfect movie, despite what the rating might imply.  Towards the end, it drops off in maturity and as a result becomes strung out and borderline uncomfortably awkward.  However, the laughs keep coming, and it’s hard to be bothered by these little concerns.  In retrospect, they pop out a little bit more, yet I didn’t even think anything of it while I was watching the movie.  It’s a non-stop laughfest from London to Los Angeles in “Get Him to the Greek,” but the flight is really going straight to comedic heaven.  A /



One response

11 06 2010

Wow that is a postive review! The trailers made it look like a film that could go either way and I wasn’t sure, but looks like I was wrong!
It still shocks me just how well Russell Brand does over in America. I’m a bit of a latecomer to liking him because at first, like most Brits, I found him incredibly annoying. But he’s defintiely grown on me and I’ve lapped up his last few stand up shows. Embarassingly, the only film I’ve seen him in is Bedtime Stories, where he was impressively funnier than Adam Sandler, and the clips I’ve seen of Forgetting Sarah Marshall seem to show that he’s better cut out for Hollywood than I think any of us over here gave him credit for.

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