Film Review: GET HIM TO THE GREEK

Directed, Nicholas Stoller
Written by Nicholas Stoller
Starring, Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, Sean Combs, Colm Meaney
Elizabeth Moss, Rose Byrne
Released, May, 2010
Running Time, 110 minutes

GET HIM TO THE GREEK

I must admit to a worrisome weakness for comic movies with lads acting badly. Some of them, mostly those starring Paul Rudd, end up being fairly good for what they are. I liked “Forgetting Sarah Marhsall” (2008), “I LOVE YOU MAN” (2009) and “The Hangover (2009) quite a lot. I’m willing to put up with the seven jokes that fall flat for the three that succeed. In other words, the bar is set pretty low here. If Steven Spielberg is the progenitor of the summer blockbuster, Judd Apatow is responsible for much of the rest of the seasonal offerings.

PLOT: Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) is a rock star (first seen in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and that earlier film is alluded to in a clever way in GET HIM TO THE GREEK). He’s fallen on hard times now but Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) is dispatched to London to bring him to the U.S.-first to do a bit on THE TODAY SHOW, and eventually to LA for a concert at The Greek concert venue. The movie’s essentially a road movie detailing the three days the two men spend together. Many of the scenes demonstrate just how badly Aldous Snow can behave and just how difficult it is for Green to handle his charge. Snow is an iconic figure for the younger, Green, which complicates his ability to keep him in line.

The casting of these two parts did a lot to guarantee the film’s success. Both men managed to imbue their characters with more than words on a page. Both men have an inner sweetness paired with an innate loneliness which makes us forgive and root for them. The director (Stoller) instinctively pulls back from making either man too sentimental or too outre. Every time GHTTG looked ready to drift into a serious discussion of male anxiety, it ran away from it. And unless you find vomit unbearable, it’s never offensive.

It was interesting to note that an actress that shines in MAD MEN (Elizabeth Moss), was less successful in breathing life into Green’s live-in girlfriends here. Or perhaps the role was not well written. But Rose Byrne (from DAMAGES, playing Brand’s ex-wife) did a lot with her few minutes on the screen.

This is not the kind of movie you will remember as more than a solid entry in the packet of bromedies that arrived in the first decade of the century, but they make the time pass pleasantly and sometimes that’s enough.

Patti
Patti Abbott writes crime fiction short stories. She hosts a look at Forgotten Books every Friday with readers, writers and reviewers at http://www.pattinase.blogspot.com/. She hopes you’ll join in.