"Get Him to the Greek"
After his last release, “African Child,” was panned as the "the worst thing to happen to that country since apartheid," Aldus Snow (Brand) went into a self-imposed exile. Now, ten years later, an anniversary show at the Greek Theater might not only resurrect his career but also save the jobs of everyone at the label, not the least of whom is intern Aaron Green (Hill) who’s been assigned the task of getting the notoriously unmanageable talent from London to Los Angeles in 72 hours.
For the trip, they’ve packed too much emotional baggage. Green needs to overcome an infatuation with the rock god and balance his own delicate relationship with his girlfriend; Snow needs to reconcile a failed marriage and patch things-up with his estranged father. Oh, and there’s the music. Snow insists on opening with his last release. Green, however, knows it’s the classics that fans want but is under strict orders from record mogul Sergio Roma (Sean Combs) not to chance bruising the star’s delicate ego, “tell him you brush your teeth to that one every morning!” A near-fiasco on “The Today Show” ultimately set a course for the comeback of the century.
Aldus Snow was a break-out character from the 2008 romcom Forgetting Sarah Marshall, arguably the highlight of that film (though I found the puppet opera, “A Taste for Love,” a snippet of which can be found on YouTube, more entertaining). Brand’s parody of an iconic self-destructing nihilistic rocker is spot-on and hysterical … in small doses. But director Nicholas Stoller (who helmed both films) comes dangerously close to ruining the caricature by adding dimension (pseudo-introspect and detachments from various loved ones, a dweebish son, for instance).
What works best are the hit-and-run gags: the opening mocumentary, Sarah Marshall’s cameo in the promo for “Blind Medicine,” and the knifing in Las Vegas. Clearly the most bizarre is the green room encounter with Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman; a surreal attempt that only accomplishes making the liberal columnist look smallish.
This is one film that should have stuck to the formula. Miss the flight? Rent a car, take a bus, hitchhike. No cash? Take an odd job or put-on an impromptu concert in Peoria and pass the hat. Instead, it’s little more than one big sex, drugs and rock-and-roll cliché.
Get Him to the Greek could have been a funny movie instead of settling for just a few funny moments.
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