Monday, June 7, 2010

Greek Tragedy

The title may lead you to think I didn't like Get Him To The Greek. Actually, I liked it very much. I came up with the title before I saw the movie and was expecting to hate it. It was just too good a title to pass up, plus it does sort of fit the movie. Kind of.

British comedian Russell Brand reprises his role of wildman rocker Aldous Snow he created in the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Jonah Hill was also in that movie playing an embarrassingly hardcore Aldous Snow fan but here he plays Aaron Green, a meek record company intern in the employ of Sergio Roma (Sean Combs), the ruthless and somewhat abusive owner of the record label. In a brainstorming session, Aaron comes up with the idea of Aldous Snow reviving a career that got stuck after his commercially disastrous and somewhat racist album African Child premiered. This was a record in which Aldous envisioned himself as a white African Christ from space so that tells you why the album failed.

Since then, Aldous' longtime girlfriend and mother of his son, Jackie Q (Rose Byrne), herself a famous singer, left him right after she started taking drugs again and managed to get Aldous to do it too which stands as a fine example of why addiction programs tell addicts not to hang around each other. This means that Aaron, assigned with the task of making sure Aldous makes it to the show, must deal not only with a temperamental artist but a temperamental artist made utterly unstable by a raging drug/alcohol habit. And thus, the fun begins though, for Aldous, the fun never really ends.

Get Him To the Greek works not only as a typical Judd Apatow raunch-com nut as an interesting portrait of an addictive personality. Jackie points out that, even during several years of sobriety, Aldous had managed to turn things like sex and yoga into drugs before he finally gave up and went back to actual drugs. Like a lot of addicts, Aldous thinks his experience with addiction is extraordinary in some way when actually it's very typical including the way he tries to rationalize drug use to Aaron. Aldous and Aaron also forge a believable friendship even though Aaron must do things like consume all of Aldous's booze and drugs so Aldous will be sober for an appearance on the Today Show.

One thing I like about movie directed or produced by Judd Apatow is that they are allowed to have more than one or two funny characters. Sean Combs is amazing as Sergio who's not only an intimidating authority figure but can also get down and dirty in the trenches, so to speak, with Aaron as they try to make sure Aldous shows up for his concert. Also, amazingly, Rose Byrne is hilarious as Jackie Q. I say "amazingly" because I can't recall her ever being anything but solemn and serious in anything I've ever seen her do. I'd now love to see her do more comedy.

Get Him To The Greek is a funny and thoughtful film from the beginning right up to when Aaron manages to get Aldous to the Greek. Oh sorry, that was the end. Please insert SPOILER ALERT before that sentence about getting him to the Greek.


Dan Coyle said...

Saw it tonight and loved it. It made me like Jonah Hill for once.

Did you notice Stainer from She's Out of My League was the hotel clerk? That bit was awesome. "WHY DIDN'T HE BRING ME TO THE DOOR"

Michael Clear said...

Yes, I did see him. T.J. Miller has a future in movies. Hopefully, anyway.