Now Playing Review – Get Him to the Greek

2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall introduced the scene-stealing character of Aldous Snow, who quite deservingly got a spin-off of his own with Get Him to the Greek.  Though it was not exactly what I hoped for, it had enough hilarious bits to tip the scales in a favorable direction.

Following the events of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Aldous Snow’s life has become something that would be the perfect source material for an episode of the E! True Hollywood Story series.  His sexual prowess is as strong as ever, but his sobriety has gone out the window, along with his career as a relevant rock star.  Luckily enough for him there are people like Aaron Green out there who remember the better times of Snow’s musicality.  During a staff meeting at the record company he works for, Aaron throws out the idea that they should have a 10-year anniversary concert at L.A.’s Greek Theater in a few days.  Now he just needs to get Aldous there.

Before I delve into the more important parts of the review, there is something I need to say so that you don’t make the same mistake going into the film that I did.  As a spin-off, this film does a great job of throwing in little references to Forgetting Sarah Marshall while not relying on the past storyline in any capacity other than the main character.  However, there is one glaring problem about these two worlds: though Jonah Hill is in both films, he does not play the same character.  I repeat: HE DOES NOT PLAY THE SAME CHARACTER.  I wish there had been someone to type-scream that at me before I saw this because I was thoroughly confused by the change to the super fan, and was debating whether the writers were ruining his character, or if Hill just didn’t remember how he had played the roll before.  Okay, problem solved…

Russell Brand is back in the role of Aldous Snow, and is just as hilarious this time around as he was in his first performance of the role.  His delivery of the comedy is spot on in any capacity, whether it be the numerous drug/alcohol riddled scenes or the deadpan-leaning readings of his lines, though he is just as capable of pulling off the serious turns his character takes.  Jonah Hill gives a great performance as well as the normal guy thrown into this over-the-top rocker lifestyle for a couple of days, easily holding his own in the scenes against Brand.  However, with all the praise that can be thrown at the two leads, the one man that comes out of left field and surprisingly steals the spotlight in any scene he is in is Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs (I went with his name to be on the safe side) as the head of the record label, delivering some of the most humorous bits in the film.  And finally, Rose Byrne proves that she is just as capable with comedy by playing Jackie Q, Aldous’s ex-wife and music star, venturing far away from all of the more serious roles that I have only seen her in prior to this.

Though this film is a comedy, it is not afraid to delve into the complete opposite end of the emotional spectrum by bringing up major issues in these characters’ lives, keeping them in the realm of complete believability as opposed to caricatures.  Both in these more dramatic moments and the heightened bits of comedy is where this film truly shines, but unfortunately it doesn’t really know what to do when it is in the middle ground.  For a large span of time in the middle of the film I could feel myself sinking into my seat as the film got a little too comfortable in its pacing, creating a lull that lasts for an uncomfortable length before it is knocked out of this rut by one of the most ridiculous scenes I have seen on screen in a long time.

As one of my fellow viewers and I agreed upon, Get Him to the Greek is basically Funny People with the music industry (random cameos and all).  Once it settles into itself, it struggles for the majority of the film to find its pacing, moving between highly hilarious moments and slumps, creating a film that feels like it has been stretched a little thin as it drags on for a little too long.  With that said, it is saved by some amazing performances and ridiculously hilarious moments, keeping it far more entertaining than not.

Final Grade: B-

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