I went to see Get Him To The Greek yesterday partly because I’d heard good-with-reservations things about it, partly because it started at 4:55 and I walked up at 4:30 and my god was it hot outside, and partly because of Elizabeth Moss.
The gist is, Jonah Hill is a somewhat dewy-eyed fan of "Infant Sorrow,"
Russell Brand Aldous Snowe’s rock band currently (when the movie opens) sunk into its "Greatest Hits" phase after a seriously misguided "African Children"-sploitation album (the character and band originated in Jason Segal’s "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," which I forgot to see). Hill’s character pitches a 10th anniversary concert concept to the seriously insane version of Puff Daddy heading up the Pinnacle record label (played by Sean Combs), and a premise is born. Get Aldous Snowe from London to LA in 76 hours with a quick stopover in NYC for the Today Show. And *scene*
First off, I had to confront and reconfront the fact that debacle comedies make me nervous. Like I actually get tense and worry about the fact that they might miss a flight or not get to LA in time or that this deliberately written, shot and edited series of scenes might somehow actually be a plot digression going awry. (When the Mtastic roommate and I watched "An Affair to Remember," I worried that Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr were going to miss their boat when they went off to visit his Greek grandmother.) SPOILER ALERT: Aldous makes it to the Greek.
I also had to adapt to how surprisingly endearing Russell Brand is. I’ve been hearing about the guy for years, of course, and was against-my-will entertained by his romance with Katy Perry, whose music I don’t like but whose personality-via-media-coverage-of-her-relationship is quite palatable. It doesn’t hurt that he’s sober too, and therefore a lot of his humor comes from that readily identifiable place of dark twistiness masked by a good punchline and a smirk.
The man has a hilarious sense of timing and can actually act, as proven by the Breaking Through The Veil Of Rockstar ‘Tude To The Inner Squishy Soul scene required in all great faux biopics of rockstars (please see also Mark Wahlburg’s Rock Star and Almost Famous).
Brand is like a Christopher Guest movie wrapped up in a Johnny Depp doppelganger. But dirtier. How dirty? The Aged P will understand it best if I say it would be a perfect Friday-after-Thanksgiving post-matinee pre-evening-show movie to see together. The best other movie that has filled that niche? Bad Santa. Brand is expressive and nuanced and probably gave a different reading every take while they were filming.
I’ve liked Jonah Hill as much as I like anyone prone to getting sucked into Apatow’s orbit since Accepted – he gives a nice rendition of Idealist Being Corrupted and comes out the other side chastened and wiser. Like you do. I think one of the elements that sets "Get Him to the Greek" apart from the rest of the Overblown Debacle Comedy Featuring Men Being Gross amid Sex, Drugs and Rock’nRoll oeuvre is the quality of the world these lunatics inhabit. Ridiculous things happen, ridiculous faces are made, ridiculous things are said, but the premise is so simple, so self-aware, and the supporting cast and scenes are so well executed that somehow at the end of the day you almost buy it. Plus the music is decent Brit Rock with the regular lyrics swapped out with absolutely filthy nonsense.