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Starring:Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, Sean Combs, Elizabeth Moss
Writer: Nicholas Stoller
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Company: Universal

It’s hard to summarize Get Him to The Greek in one sentence, which is what I was always told to do in writing classes. It’s a chaotic movie to say the least, and for most films that is not a good thing, but oddly, it works in this case. The story is about a young record label rep, Jonah Hill as Aaron Green, trying to get notoriously crazy rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) to a show on time, and we are right there with Aaron: out of place and annoyed, but kind of loving it. 

The first few minutes of the movie, arguably the best part, recap Snow’s life since we last saw him in Forgetting Sarah Marshall two years ago (though in the film’s timeline, more time seems to has passed). This montage of rock stardom is laced with satire about the current state of the music industry, which is carried on through the movie with Snow’s ex-girlfriend Jackie Q, a Pussycat Doll-esque over-sexualized and idolized pop star, played by the ever-gorgeous Rose Byrne. 

We then meet Aaron and his girlfriend Daphne (Mad Men’s Elizabeth Moss), who live the tame couple’s life. She is never around, as an intern at a hospital, and Aaron longs for the rock star lifestyle that he sees everyday at work. When pushed for revenue-raising ideas by his boss Sergio (Sean “insert current nickname here” Combs), Aaron delivers a rant-like monologue depicting Aldous Snow as the last real rock star and the importance of brining him to L.A. to perform once again. This rant, along with the satirical intro and scattered jabs at the current music industry, seem to stem from the writer’s own frustration at the changing face of music from drug addled sex gods to charity-owning industry tycoons. 

And so begins the crazy journey of getting Aldous Snow to L.A. from London in three days. Aaron is told to do anything Aldous says while simultaneously manipulating him into cooperation. With a stupider musician it might have been done, but Brand’s Snow is keenly aware of his power over Aaron, and surprisingly smart, though equally self-destructive and self-centered. Snow’s power pulls Aaron into situation after situation in which he is forced to drink, smoke, or otherwise imbibe substances he is not physically or emotionally capable of handling. Of course, Aaron’s drunken stupidity is the cause of 80% of the humor, Jonah Hill’s face alone sent me into fits of laughter. That face, paired with Brand’s faux-deep idiotic statements, drive the movie toward comedy gold. 

Unfortunately, about half-way through, when the duo have finally, and with much vomit spewed by Aaron, made it to Las Vegas (a short pit stop of insanity) I was left wanting something more. In a painfully long string of scenes, Aldous tries to reconnect with his washed up father, which shows us the real, broken man behind the persona, while Aaron maintains a drunken high. Here, the movie loses the balance between comedy and drama. The serious situation is far too heavy for the surroundings (a Hangover-like Vegas suite), and the humor goes too far into raunchy territory, becoming gross and inappropriate to be happening alongside Aldous’s pain. This odd balance between humor and sincerity continues for the rest of the film, with threesomes, suicide attempts, and a few too many racist jokes for a movie with only one black guy. 

Despite this detour into weirdness, which I will blame on bad editing skills, everything comes around again in the end. Aaron and Aldous seem to strike an accord, after their journey from strangers to buddies to downright enemies. Both characters have, as seems to be the case in all these Judd Apatow brand movies, learned something from each other and the journey they took together. They shared an experience which ultimately brought them together because it helped them fix something in their own lives. And though Get Him to the Greek is certainly not without it’s flaws, the acting on the parts of Jonah Hill and Russell Brand, surprisingly, makes it all work. Under all the insanity, drugs, and anal-penetration jokes, is a buddy movie in which the two leads work very well together. 

Final Verdict:
B




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