Reviews

Review: Get Him to the Greek

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Get Him to the Greek establishes that Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) is a rock star right from the start by opening with one of his ridiculous music videos that parodies Kanye West making and remaking many African based music videos that liken him to Jesus. Then we see Snow’s absurdity and idiocy plummet his career with magazine covers and talk shows scrolling across the screen trying to keep up with his fan fallout.

Jump to a year later when Sergio Roma (Sean “Puff Daddy” or “P. Diddy” Combs) owns a music business that’s jeopardized by the current economy, and Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) suggests to his boss that they launch a comeback concert for Snow. Phone calls are made, plans are set, and it’s up to Aaron to travel to Europe and bring Aldous back to California within three days.

Get Him to the Greek establishes that Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) is a rock star right from the start by opening with one of his ridiculous music videos that parodies Kanye West making and remaking many African based music videos that liken him to Jesus. Then we see Snow’s absurdity and idiocy plummet his career with magazine covers and talk shows scrolling across the screen trying to keep up with his fan fallout.

Jump to a year later when Sergio Roma (Sean “Puff Daddy” or “P. Diddy” Combs) owns a music business that’s jeopardized by the current economy, and Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) suggests to his boss that they launch a comeback concert for Snow. Phone calls are made, plans are set, and it’s up to Aaron to travel to Europe and bring Aldous back to California within three days.{{page_break}}

Jonah Hill’s character actually comes off as just an ordinary guy, and his girlfriend Daphne Binks (Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men) is also successfully portrayed as normal. This is the perfect foundation for using the rest of the movie to push them outside their comfort zones, but instead we see scenes that completely break their character’s moral and emotional rubrics.

Not wanting to disappoint his boss, we entertainingly see Aaron trying to smoke and drink every sinful substance before Snow has the opportunity to, and seeing Jonah Hill walking around extremely drunk and high behind the scenes making noise while Snow boringly handles his press event is great. With Hill so inebriated early on, the rest of the movie’s situations aren’t nearly as entertaining. We don’t really believe harder drugs on day two and three have that much more of an effect on him, but we wish they would since the dialogue is rarely funny.

Instead of creating funny streams of conversation, Greek instead went the route of saying or doing something stupid and following it up with a funny reaction from one of the two lead actors, leaving the audience in a constant ping pong state of not laughing at a scene, and then agreeing with the funny dialogue that points out how silly something just was. That immediately cuts the laughs in half if your scenes themselves aren’t funny, which is the fatal flaw of this film.

There’s a father role that’s mostly pointless other than giving an excuse for Las Vegas filler scenes halfway through, a rock star love interest that starts off entertaining before becoming banal, and then there’s Daphne back at home who completely breaks girlfriend logic and calmly ignores the many drunk dials and butt dials that reveal the debauchery her boyfriend is up to. We don’t see her get emotional or calling him night and day, we just see the movie plant seeds for a three-way sex scene late in the movie that’s expected, but not sold enough by the time it arrives. It not only ruins her character, but also brings down Jonah’s character as well.

P. Diddy’s role as a supporting character was decent with no major downfalls, but it wasn’t the Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder level of success it strived for.  Eventually the film does come up with quite a few one liners that ripped a big laugh out of me, but almost every scene after the first few minutes is entirely forgettable. Part of it is a pacing issue for burning out too quick, but I think the real culprit here is a lack of a better supporting cast. If the majority of your movie is just two people trying to coexist for a few hours, then you’d better make sure they have enough material to keep the audience interested until the end.

Overall Score: 5.65 — Bad.(5s are movies that either failed at reaching the goals it set out to do, or didn’t set out to do anything special and still had many flaws. Some will enjoy 5s, but unless you’re a fan of this genre, you shouldn’t see it, and might not even want to rent it.)