Nicholas Stoller’s directorial debut, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was hit-and-miss. It had two stand-outs — Mila Kunis and Russell Brand — but the rest was just your average, run-of-the-mill potty humor with a couple of male genitalia gags to keep people who think the mere sight of the male penis is funny. If that’s the case, I’m not sure how any of the male species makes it to work every day after their morning shower. Get Him to the Greek is equally juvenile in its humor, but is more madcap hilarity rather than sight gags and dick jokes, though the moment Jonah Hill is forced to smuggle heroin into the country is border line as he tries to “clench and sneeze.” Fortunately, that too is quite funny.
Get Him to the Greek brings back Russell Brand’s character from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the UK rockstar Aldous Snow, and instead of a small supporting role he takes center stage. Disgraced after “African Child,” his exploitative most recent album dubbed by one headline to be the “worst thing for Africa since Apartheid,” Snow is back to drugs and drinking. He’s divorced his wife Jackie Q (Rose Byrne) whom has also taken custody of their child. He’s caught philandering with the likes of Pink and cancelling shows left and right. In short, he’s a rockstar of yesteryear, his star is dwindling and he’s in need of comeback while at the same time the music industry needs similar rejuvination.
Jonah Hill is also back for this not-necessarily-a-sequel-sequel, but he’s left his minor role as Matthew the Waiter behind for the much meatier role of Aaron Green, a record company employee assigned to get Snow from London to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles for a huge comeback anniversary concert. Of course, considering Snow is an alcoholic, drug and sex addict and emotionally unstable, the 72 hours Aaron has to get him to Los Angeles is going to be a task.
Filled with sex, drugs and rock and roll, Get Him to the Greek is a road trip film with a party at every stop. Whether that party be on the set of the “Today Show”, putting the “candy in the jar” at Heathrow or getting “Jeffried” in a Las Vegas hotel this film pretty much covers all bases. Brand and Hill are an excellent comedic duo, with Hill’s softer side playing counter to the loud and brash nature of Brand. The two don’t necessarily display the greatest acting you’ll see in a film this year, but their aloof and occasionally clumsy line-reading makes it all the more funny.
P. Diddy is along for the ride as the erratic music executive Sergio Roma who is far funnier than you can possibly imagine. Rose Byrne also adds a nice touch as an sex-crazed rockstar in her own right with songs like “Supertight” and “Ring ‘Round,” which prove to be just as euphemistically inappropriate as Snow’s “The Clap” and “Bangers, Beans and Mash.” The song-writing, in fact, is strong… silly, but strong.
The only problem with Get Him to the Greek is the third act, which has a hard time wrapping up the film’s insanity into an easily presentable happy ending. Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”) plays Daphne, Aaron’s girlfriend, and early on their relationship woes provide plenty of humor. The same doesn’t hold true with a late scene in the film that just doesn’t work, lacks humor and makes for a bit of a rough and tumble conclusion. The film gets drunk on the absurdity of the first two acts and fumbles around before settling down and passing out as the credits begin to roll. No matter, what comes before that third act is wildly hilarious and the finale isn’t as much a showstopper as it is a disjointed conclusion to an otherwise hilarious movie.
Get Him to the Greek is this summer’s The Hangover, though it isn’t as consistently funny and won’t do nearly the business The Hangover did, but as far as R-rated comedy goes it looks as this is your best and only bet for Summer 2010.