“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” was one of the funniest films I saw inn 2008 and one of the best all-around films to come out of the Judd Apatow camp of comedy. One of the best supporting characters in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” was Russell Brand’s Aldous Snow. Snow, the lead singer for the band Infant Sorrow, was completely insane and hysterically funny every time he was on screen but I would have never thought that there was enough there to carry an entire film. Director, Nicholas Stoller on the other hand did and thus we receive “Get Him to the Greek”
Brand reprises his roll as Aldous Snow in the film which takes place a few years after the events of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. After the failure of his latest album, “African Child”, Snow falls off the wagon and enters a deep creative funk. At the same time as Snow’s career is imploding upon itself, his record company is looking for a way to stay afloat, enter Aaron Green (Jonah Hill), who has an idea that may revitalize Snow’s career and the record companies fortunes all at the same time.
Green proposes that Snow plays an anniversary show at the famed Greek Theater. Green’s boss Sergio (played fantastically by Sean “P. Diddy” Combs) sends Green to England with instructions to retrieve the spastic rock star and bring him to Greek Theater in 72 hours. The film itself is a standard road trip film, filled with wacky hijacks and all the straight up insanity you would expect.
Brand is masterful as Snow and he keeps the film filled with with energy playing off the Hill’s hapless Aaron character. Sadly Hill is not up to the same task and much of his dialog with Snow comes across as awkward. To his credit Hill is in a tough spot and completely out of his element in this film. He needs to play the straight man to Brand’s craziness but I honestly do not think he has the range in him. Hill is at his best in the film when he is unleashed and allowed to be completely off the wall (or on it as the case is at one moment in the film).
As charming and engaging as Brand is as Snow, the biggest laughs to come out of me were courtesy of Combs. Combs, who obviously is just playing an exaggerated impression of himself, does a wonderful job trying to steer Aaron on his path to get Snow to the Greek. When Sergio shows up in Vegas, to the surprise of Aaron, the film turns the hilarity dial up to 11 with Sergio literally chasing Aaron and Snow out of the city after a raucous hotel trashing.
Ultimately “Get Him to the Greek” is a funny film but it does have a few drawbacks that prevent it from being the standout comedy that “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” was. It is formulaic to a fault and runs a tad bit long, which results in a few lull points that distract from the overall production. There is also a highly uncomfortable and unfitting subplot revolving around Aaron and his girlfriend Daphne (Elisabeth Moss) that at times screeches the movie to a stop with its ability to bring the mood down.
Despite its faults though, “Get Him to the Greek” is well worth a watch and should you be looking for a good comedy to combat that summer octane rush, then it just may be the palette cleanser you’ve been looking for.
3 out of 5.