When formidable Pinnacle Records boss Sergio Roma (Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs, "Monster's Ball") asks his employees for ideas, he doesn't suffer fools. Serious music fan Aaron Green ("Superbad's" Jonah Hill) notes that it will be the 10th anniversary of rocker Aldous Snow's (Russell Brand) most famous concert show and proposes that a new concert could feed sales of Snow's back catalog, at least up until his notoriously ill-received "African Child" LP. Green is flabbergasted when Sergio gives him the OK to pursue his idea, but is cautioned that he has only 72 hours from his London touchdown to meet the drug and alcohol dependent Snow and "Get Him to the Greek."
Writer ("Yes Man")/director Nicholas Stoller ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall") takes the best character from Jason Segel's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and spins him off into his own movie, one that is less raunchy and hilarious than borderline sweet buddy movie. The best parts of "Get Him to the Greek" are the hilarious music video parodies and the film's revelation is the comic chops of Rose Byrne ("Troy," TV's "Damages") as Jackie Q, Aldous's on again, off again girlfriend.
Green's big break comes right at the same time his SO, exhausted medical intern Daphne Binks (Elisabeth Moss, AMC's "Mad Men") informs him that they are moving to Seattle where she has been offered a better job. It's a writer's trick to allow Green some single time before reevaluating his relationships at film's end, but it does the job. Once at Snow's London abode, the affable and awestruck Aaron finds himself apologizing for moving Snow's concert date as the rock star seems to believe it's a month away. Sergio's warnings - that famous musicians are master manipulators who must be continuously mind f&*cked - immediately prove true and Aaron's too green to overcome them, at least initially.
And so Aaron finds himself drinking copiously and drugging haphazardly. His status as Aldous's mate also makes him a newfound attraction for females. He's delirious and hung over, but somehow keeps Snow somewhat on schedule. (Meredith Viera's disgust at Green's appearance bringing Snow to the Today Show doesn't appear to be manufactured.) After a triumphant live appearance (Green's failure to produce the lyrics to "African Child" lead Aldous to sing a good song instead), it's on to an unscheduled stop in Las Vegas for Aldous to look up his dad (Colm Meaney, "The Damned United"). But only after he scores some H and insists Green transport it up his rectum. A father/son bacchanal follows in which Aaron is given a 'Jeffrey' (a potent drug cocktail contained in a joint) that finds him stroking fur walls to keep from having a heart attack. After he's been raped by Destiny (literally). Sergio arrives to prescribe his own brand of mind control and the duo race to L.A. where they will face their relationships with their women and each other.
The "African Child" video which opens "Get Him to the Greek" is an inspired bit of bad taste which is alternately described as the most detrimental think to happen to Black culture since the Rodney King beating and the third worst thing to happen to Africa following war and famine. It's a hard act to follow. We see the tabloid and TV breakup of Snow and Jackie Q which causes Snow's fall off the wagon he's ridden for five years. (Jackie Q pops up again as Snow watches MTV via her 'Ring Around My Posie' video, another outrageous highlight; a late night phone call from Snow catches her in bed with Metallica's Lars Ulrich.) Brand has the out of control rock star bit down pat and he's always amusing to watch. Jonah Hill, looking heavier than he has yet, plays the nice guy, and while he has a sweet presence, he rarely has a comic one. The film features a slew of celebrities playing themselves (Brand's fiancee Katy Perry, Pink, Christina Aguilera, "Harry Potter's" Tom Felton) and current cult comics Aziz Ansari and Kristen Schaal in tiny roles with little to do. "Sarah Marshall's" Kristen Bell appears on TV in an ad for Marshall's new series ('Hey, I used to sleep with her!').
Stoller follows the beaten path for this sort of film, making good use of a semi-blackout montage for Green's introduction into 'the life' and unfurling film strip sized screen splits for some visual flair.
"Get Him to the Greek" is a fitfully amusing road movie which all too obviously worships at the altar of "The Hangover." Still, Brand's Aldous Snow is a fun character, Byrne lets go to fly her freak flag and Combs proves adept at comedy and they all make it better than it should be.
Robin did not see this film.
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