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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Early Review: GET HIM TO THE GREEK


It wasn't exactly yesterday that Apatow Productions released a winning comedy, and Get Him to the Greek is surely worth the wait. The movie is everything you could possibly want out of a buddy comedy between an anxious young fan and an out of control rocker. If you haven't seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall, fear not because this is not a sequel, but an all new movie featuring Sarah Marshall's Aldous Snow.
Get Him to the Greek (Single-Disc Edition)



After a somewhat traumatic breakup with pop star Jackie Q (Rose Byrne), Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), lead singer of the rock band Infant Sorrow, has given up his clean streak, and is now the out of control rocker the fans are not exactly ready for. There is not one minute of the film where he is not on some mood altering substance. As a result, he is somewhat fading from the limelight. He's the last of a dying breed; a real rock star.

At his somewhat failing record label, eager young Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) points out to his boss Sergio that it is soon going be the 10 year anniversary of Infant Sorrow's legendary concert, Live at the Greek Theater. After agreeing that an anniversary concert is the best move, Sergio informs Aaron that he will be assigned to escort Snow from his home in London to the Greek theater, hopefully in time for the concert. Why can't Snow be trusted to get there on his own, you ask? The answer is simple... Snow can't be trusted to get there on his own. Since Aaron is a true Infant Sorrow fan, he can't wait to do it, as he will be meeting one of his idols. And it certainly takes his mind off the fact that his girlfriend just dumped him.

The movie is very, very funny. It relies heavily on the performances on two of the funniest guys around, Hill and Brand. Both of them do a fantastic job, not only nailing their comedic lines, but also giving their characters a level of depth I have yet to see these two actors provide. Brand plays Snow as a real person. A real person. He's an out of control rock star, but he's also got feelings, and everything he does is for a reason. Writer/director Nicholas Stoller takes the character we were all so familiar with from Forgetting Sarah Marshall (which Stoller also directed) and builds on him. He is developed, shaped, and molded into a fantastic character.

It's also important to note that Jonah Hill does not play the same character he was in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. At first this bothered me, but I eventually got used to it. Hill is so damn funny in this movie all you can think about is why this is only his second starring role.

One irksome thing about the film is the length. While it wasn't too long, it certainly could be cut down. One scene in a hotel room lasts way too long. I will admit, however, that it is one of the funniest scenes I've seen in years. This is mainly due to the performance of Sean Combs, surprisingly enough. It is rare when a rapper turns to acting and is good at it, Will Smith being an obvious exception. I usually want to punch Ludacris in the face. However Combs is nothing short of hilarious, and he raises the movie's comedy to new levels.

This movie is worth seeing. It's almost cliché to say at this point, but anything with Judd Apatow's name on it seems to be a safe bet. Get Him to the Greek provides all the laughter and heart we've come to love and expect from an Apatow Productions film. The movie is very well written, and it may have some of the best character development I've seen in a comedy in a long time.

Spinoffs are a risky business. There are countless cases of lovable characters getting their own terrible movies. Nicholas Stoller learned from these disasters. This wasn't Kronk's New Groove. Aldous Snow is not exploited for the worse, like in so many spinoffs. Instead Stoller decided to develop him, and explore his humanity. I applaud Stoller for making a very solid movie, and I applaud him for not taking the easy way out. But mostly, I applaud Stoller for making a spinoff that doesn't suck.


4 stars



Get Him to the Greek hits theaters June 4... hopefully.

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