Get Him to the Greek (2010)
It’s not often that the spin-off ends up being wildly funnier than the movie it’s based off of, but, hey, stranger things have happened.
Get Him to the Greek is about a nice-guy music journalist who’s given an assignment by his boss to fly to England and escort British rocker Aldous Snow – an individual who makes Liam Gallagher look like Justin Bieber – back to L.A. for a 10-year anniversary concert in the hopes that it will make the boss rich and breathe new life into Snow’s waning career. The only catch is that our rock star of the hour has hit rock bottom and his number one priority is to get smashed with his new journalist friend rather than make any sort of attempt to get his life in order, thus making the simple task of getting him from point A to point B an insanely difficult one that no mere errand boy should ever be subjected to.
For those of you out there who’ve seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the name Aldous Snow might ring a bell and, you guessed it, that’s because this is indeed a loose spin-off of the aforementioned official date movie of 2008. Well, the only real things they have in common is Aldous and an amusing reference to him knocking boots with Sarah Marshall, but it’s a spin-off nonetheless.
But spin-off or not, Get Him to the Greek is an experience far from the movie it was born out of. It’s gets a bit sweet by the end, but up until that point, this baby is crude, crass and it doesn’t let up whatsoever. With that being said, my girlfriend didn’t exactly laugh her ass off like I did, but then again, I really laughed my ass off.
The plot here is pretty straightforward: Aldous and Aaron are given a deadline to be at a certain location, Aldous and Aaron get hopped up on absinthe or herion or a superblunt called “Jeffrey”, Aldous and Aaron barely make it there on time, rinse, wash, repeat. Simple, yes, but very effective. The reason it works is because it keeps the plot moving along and it keeps creating one totally nutso situation after another while leaving little to no room for downtime or unnecessary, drawn-out dialogues. The point is that it’s just really refreshing to see a consistent comedy that doesn’t stop being funny from start to finish and that’s somethingSarah Marshall definitely could have taken a queue from.
That’s actually a queue a lot of comedies nowadays could afford to take a queue from. Someone send out a memo already.
So the script is right on and the same goes for all the dialogue and one-liners, but a lot of the credit here goes to the cast.
Just as Russell Brand established himself as comedy gold when he first jumped onto the scene as Aldous Snow, nothing’s changed and he’s only gotten funnier with time. The dude just plays the role naturally, and judging from every picture I’ve seen of him outside of a movie set, it seems like he’s playing Aldous Snow every day of his life. Maybe it’s just a fashion statement, I don’t know, I’m not British, all I know is that it’s working. But considering how completely strange his hosting gig at the MTV VMA Awards was a couple years ago, it’s great to see him back in his element doing what he does best.
And Jonah Hill’s great as our music journalist and die-hard Aldous Snow fan, Aaron. Man, I’m loving that Hill hasn’t fallen into the stereotype that he’s funny because he’s a smidge overweight, because I’m still tired of hearing people say that about Chris Farley and I know a good sense of humor when I see it. The guy was hilarious in Superbad, he’s hilarious here and he just needs to get more leading roles and he’ll be all set.
But the real surprise of the show is effing P. Diddy of all people as Aaron’s boss, Sergio. What Tom Cruise did for Tropic Thunder, that’s what Diddy does here and every time he’s on-screen he had me and the rest of the crowd howling. It’s awesome to see guys like him lighten up and just have fun because I don’t think anyone out there knew that Diddy was so damn funny.
So even though Get Him to the Greek might be a bit more geared towards the guys in the crowd with all its crude humor and rampant swearing, it’s been a good long while since I’ve laughed so hard for so long in a theater, or in general. It might not have the charm or heart or the Dracula song from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but I’d see this again in a heartbeat and I’d be surprised to find a funnier movie come out in 2010.
That’s right, I went there.