Film Review: Get Him To The Greek
Forgetting Sarah Marshall became a smash hit when it was released in the spring of 2008. So when the news about a spin-off cropped up shortly after Sarah Marshall‘s release, the general consensus was a cautious optimism. However, the trailers that cropped up for the movie looked pretty weak. Plus, let’s be honest: this is hardly enough connection to the original film for this to be considered a spin-off. Russell Brand is back and playing his original role, sure. Jonah Hill is back, but he’s playing a completely different character. Long-story short, I had conflicted feelings going into the film. But since we’re in the midst of a quality-film drought, I really had no other choice.
Anyway, the film features Jonah Hill as a talent scout at Pinnacle Records. Hill’s boss, played with suprising hilarity by P. Diddy, sends him to pick up troubled rock star Aldous Snow in London and bring him to the Greek theatre. Snow has fallen on hard times after the release of his ill-conceived single “African Child.” He broke up with his celebrity wife and has begun using drugs and drinking heavily. The rest of the movie plays out like a typical road movie/buddy comedy, as Hill and Brand slowly become friends as they face numerous pit-stops on the way back to Los Angeles.
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the film. It certainly isn’t something that I’ll be watching for years to come, but it made me laugh. What made it work for me was the performances of the two lead actors, Jonah Hill and Russell Brand. Hill is a guy who has rarely played anything other than a caricature, so to see him play an actual human being for a change was nice. Playing the straight man to Brand, he is both funny and likable. Brand is also terrific. The guy just oozes charisma; he’s one of those people who is impossible not to like, even if he’s acting like a dick (or trying to coerce your girlfriend into a threesome).
Unfortunately, the film does not have a ton going for it other than the likable leads. The plot is pretty generic. The supporting actors, with the exception of the surprisingly funny P. Diddy, are nondescript. There are also quite a few scenes that fall flat, in particular (SPOILER WARNING) an excruciatingly awkward threesome near the end of the movie. I also think that this film suffers from a lack of actual funny scenes. There are plenty of funny moments, for sure, but there aren’t many instances I could point to and say “That was hilarious!”
In a summer filled with awful, awful movies, Get Him To The Greek takes over as the de-facto comedy champion. In the land of the blind, the one eyed-man is king, as they say. There’s a good chemistry between the leads, some funny moments, and a feel-good ending where everyone learns something about themselves. Go see this, there’s nothing else out anyway.