Get Yourself to the Movie Theater…
…that is if you liked Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Nicholas Stoller’s (co-writer and director of Sarah Marshall) second comedic outing with Russell Brand and his outrageous rock star persona, Aldous Snow, are back with enough sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll gags to make you keel over for about two hours. However, the comedy genre is fickle indeed as what is funny to one person may be totally annoying or clueless to another. If you are a person that absolutely loves today’s mainstream music, hated Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and currently despises both Jonah Hill and Mr. Brand then you should never see this movie. Everybody else should read on after the break to see whether it is worth yo hard earned green paper.
It most certainly is.
Though Forgetting Sarah Marshall was, at its heart, a film about hard break-ups and relationships, it did supply a great deal of commentary about show business and Hollywood. I did not pick up on these numerous jokes in my first viewing, but it became one of my favorite movies out of the Judd Apatow production facility and naturally I missed out on some zingers when I was in the theater. Stoller and writer/star Jason Segel (who is producing this time around) managed to spoof everything from the American obsession with over-acted crime dramas to chick flicks to Hollywood’s depiction of the “every man” and his lifestyle. What Forgetting Sarah Marshall did for film and television, Get Him to the Greek does for today’s mainstream music scene like Lady Gaga, every current auto-tune rap star, and sell-out musicians. All of these are in Stoller’s cross-hairs and he rarely misses. Other than the great comedic commentary is the wonderfully drug and sex-filled world of Aldous Snow, which is the main reason that the movie exists. His character is so delightfully ridiculous and Russell Brand really makes sure that he was worth his own feature. The nervous, Infant Sorrow fanboy, Jonah Hill manages to bring the audience into Aldous’ world very well. There is something wrong, strange, creepy and smile-spawning about their bonding process.
Get Him to the Greek starts up years after the events of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Aldous has just released his newest album entitled “African Child”, which is one of the most racist albums of all time. Hurt both critically, emotionally, and financially the rock star returns to a life of ridiculous sex and an enormous amount of drugs. Meanwhile Aaron (Jonah Hill) is a subordinate to Sergio (Puff Daddy, yeah he will ALWAYS be Puff Daddy) who is the head of Pinnacle Records. Because of the label’s dip in revenue due to the recession and music piracy, Sergio asks his team how they can stimulate the company’s finances. Aaron (being an Aldous super-fan) proposes that for the ten year anniversary of Infant Sorrow performing at the Greek Theater, they reenact that concert to rejuvenate Aldous’ career and their revenue simultaneously. Sergio agrees and orders Aaron to travel to London and get the rock star to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles within 72 hours. What follows is an absolutely ridiculous journey.
- Puff Daddy has better lines than probably any other character in any comedy that is going to come out this year. I am not kidding, his portrayal of himself is without a doubt one of the funniest things I have seen in a while. If this how he acts at all while he works at Bad Boy Records then sign me up.
- The duo of Brand and Hill works out pretty well. Aldous’ personality literally climbs on top of Aaron’s character, similar to a symbiote from the Spider-Man mythos. The self deprecating rock n’ roll lifestyle is handled both like a joke and a nightmare. This was pretty refreshing in comparison to last year’s the Hangover, where a night of obliteration turns into an enjoyable mystery rather than asking one’s self the ever illusive question of “why did I do this?” Both actors handle the film’s progressions with wit and humility. Isn’t that enough to ask for, besides being funny as hell?
- Rose Byrne does a fantastic job of playing Aldous’ ex wife and similar Lady Gaga persona. She totally sells the character, mind-boggling costumes, heavy sexual overtones and all!
- Each of the character’s ambitions and actions are logically portrayed, which is tough to come by in this summer season. Honestly though, the difference in thought processes from a normal 20-something and a once god-like rock star are handled intelligently enough for the events to follow suit. One sequence is an exception to this, but more on that in a second.
- The threesome sequence is wrong, weird, disturbing and almost therapy worthy. Not because it is too graphic or gross, but that it is extremely uncomfortable for the main character and the audience. It has to be one of the strangest turn of events that I have ever seen since the conclusion to Chasing Amy. Unlike Chasing Amy though, there is absolutely no coherent motivation of such an action despite the scenario. Very, very weird, indeed.
- I have to deduct points from the film for being a somewhat niche comedy. It caters to the same comedic strengths as the last film starring Aldous and some might be turned off by that. I wasn’t, but it may damper other people’s experience.
Sadly, I do not think this will be as much of a success as last year’s break out comedy The Hangover. Get Him to the Greek has some fantastic commentary, but more importantly it is funny as hell. Well, to those that enjoy this type of humor. Like I have been saying, if you like Apatow’s films and you liked Forgetting Sarah Marshall, then you will enjoy this movie thoroughly. If you can not stand this movie’s predecessor or its stars then I would suggest waiting until Will Ferrell’s new flick comes out, or the A-Team. The choice is yours.