Thursday, June 3, 2010

Get Him To The Greek- He Said

Get Him To The Greek is the latest in the many comedies produced by Judd Apatow and his ever expanding cast of friends/comedians.  This is not a widely advertised fact, but you can see hints of what makes his comedies great in here.  It’s the story of a record company lackey, Aaron Green (Hill), going to retrieve a relapsed junky and outrageous rock star, Aldous Snow (Brand), from England to play a show at the famous Greek Theater.  You can bet that hilarious hijinks will ensue throughout this movie.  The people that were at the screening, as well as myself, laughed throughout this whole movie, even if I didn’t quite get what the movie was trying to do.  It definitely was a good time at the movies, and I honestly would see it again if only because it’s one of the better movies out right now.

I went into this movie with mixed expectations; I was familiar with the Aldous Snow character from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and I knew this was a pseudo-sequel of sorts, with Jonah Hill playing a different character than from Forgetting.  This seemed a bit fishy to me, but once you get past this you can have a good time.  Aaron is a good counterpoint to Aldous but neither are extreme personas.  Aaron has some bad boy moments, and he can be outrageous, while Aldous’ big story arc has a lot to do with emotional growth.  I know it’s been done before, but the “bad boy with a good heart underneath” feels natural to Brand and he pulls it off well.  After having read, on AICN, an interview with his own drug and alcohol issues, it gave me a bit of chills, and I almost felt sorry for him having to relive those experiences.  Regardless, the chemistry between this dynamic duo is indeed the best part of this movie.  They fight, party, disagree but it all felt very organic in that way that Superbad did.  The songs that Infant Sorrow, Aldous’ band, play are hilarious in a Flight of The Conchords sort of way, there is a CD out by them with all of the songs played in the movie. 

And for all of the good that it has, I was still left confused as to what the point to the movie was.  Normally most of these raunchy types of comedies don’t really have anything in the form of a message.  But, given how many serious moments involving Aldous and Aaron, I can’t help but feel that Nicholas Stoller tried too hard to emulate Apatow and failed.  For example, there are moments where Aldous become contemplative and tries to repair various relationships and every time he does, it seems that the most outrageous and random things happen that take away from the emotion.  Like I said, if it hadn’t be for the fact that they try to be serious I wouldn’t have minded.  My other big complaint is Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ performance; you know I get it…he’s supposed to be a caricature of the eccentric music executive, but where I have seen actors tackle this same role, Combs’ performance was very one note, and ridiculously annoying by the end of the movie.  We get it; you want to make money and you need Aldous there at the Greek.  He felt like the weakest part of the movie when it came to characters.  Also there is an almost climatic “emotional” scene at the end with Aaron, Aldous and Daphne, Aaron’s girlfriend, that was supposed to be for laughs but honestly felt more uncomfortable in general, and this scene but it left a bad taste in my mouth. .  I will say that Russell Brand needs to get away from these roles; I fear he will start being typecasted even if he is good in the bad boy persona. 

Overall, I’d say you should go out there and check out the movie.  It’s not an opening night sort of movie but this will go great with a group of friends.  It is a funny and entertaining movie, with a few missteps, tonally speaking.  If you have seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall, it definitely feels like its spiritual sequel rather than a formal one.

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