Get Him to the Greek is the next chapter in the recent re-awaken of the ‘buddy road trip’ genre largely birthed by Judd Apatow. Needed ingredients; sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll then just add water and stir. Bottoms up…
Get Him to the Greek is about a low-level grunt named Aaron Green played by the supersized Jonah Hill (Superbad). He is tasked by his media mogul boss, Sergio Roma (Sean Combs) to escort rock legend Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) from London back to America for his mega-hyped concert at the Greek Theater. An insane amount of hijinks ensue not only causing a lot of soul-searching but also causing these two to become unexpected friends (unexpected to them, it’s obviously telegraphed to us). Relationships, careers, and personal dignity hang in the balance as Aaron and Aldous barely survive their trip to the Greek.
There are ridiculous amounts of shenanigans and tom foolery going on in this story. Some of it works and some of it does not. Like many similar road trip movies, it’s all about what can be done to ‘out shock’ the last scene. Jonah Hill’s conservative character is moderately successful but I found him a little boring at times. He is definitely more comfortable when playing his over-the-top and obnoxious roles he’s been known for. Speaking of comfort, Russell Brand (playing a spinoff role from Forgetting Sarah Marshall) is definitely very comfortable playing the burnt out and way over-the-top aging rocker. It was reported that he is just playing himself and the authenticity shows through. As opposite as they are, their chemistry is undeniable and it helped build the first part of this story.
Something then goes wrong as we enter the latter half. The storylines fray and get convoluted. There is a lot of relationship talk and ultimately it loses too much momentum. Their ‘friendship’ takes some wierd turns and starts losing credibility by the passing seconds. By the time the much-hyped anniversary concert begins, I just didn’t really care about this whole thing. It’s suppose to be the climax of the movie and I found myself unimpressed. Another problem is that for a music film, the music is pretty bland. Their satirized songs are pretty witty but after that the creativity drops off. It certainly didn’t make me run out and download the soundtrack from iTunes.
The surprise bright spot in this whole wacky affair is Sean Combs. He does a fantastic job not taking himself too seriously and playing a role that is as crazy as Aldous Snow, but in a corporate exec sort of way. He may not be the best physical actor in the world but he gives it his all and he becomes the most memorable part in the film.
The dark spot is Jonah Hill, but not for his acting. He is not a pleasant actor to watch. His weight was a genuine distraction while watching. His physical presence reminded me of John Candy or Chris Farley- and I don’t mean in a good way. If he doesn’t go on the Seth Rogin diet soon, he might end up with the same fate as those dead comedians. I have nothing against large people but he just looks unhealthy. It was making me sweat and breath hard just watching him.
All in all, Get Him to the Greek has a few genuine chuckles (The ‘stroking the fur’ gag plays well) but you would have to be a fan of road trip movies to really enjoy this. I didn’t end of liking these characters anymore when the ending credits rolled and as a result the 2 hour journey wasn’t worth it for me. So if you must see this, instead of the Greek theater, try go to the dollar theater.