Review of Get Him to the Greek
on 2012-07-15 09:10
Movie Review: "Get Him to the Greek" --
Length: 109 minutes
Release Date: June 4, 2010
Directed by: Nicholas Stoller
Stars: 3 out of 5
"Get Him to the Greek" is a comedic film by director Nicholas Stoller. The film's plot revolves around the story of Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), a British rock star who slips back into his drug and alcohol abuse habits after his successful career takes a plunge and he breaks up with his longtime girlfriend Jackie Q (Rose Byrne). In a bid to save his failing music career, Aldous decides to travel to Los Angeles for a concert and several other engagements arranged by his struggling recording company. The company sends one of its agents, Aaron Green, to accompany Aldous on his journey from London. Greene (Jonah Hill) also has relationship troubles of his own with his girlfriend Daphne (Elizabeth Moss). The film's storyline follows the adventures of the two troubled men as they attempt to get to Los Angeles in time for the planned concerts and media engagements.
This movie, which features Judd Apatow as producer, is essentially a hilarious, though mildly coarse, film that humorously unveils the adventures of Aldous and Greene as they head to Los Angeles. While most of the women in the film do not have in-depth or well-developed characters, their presence in the film is nonetheless hilarious and adds an interesting emotional dimension to the film.
"Get Him to the Greek" is unveiled through an episodic narrative, and the film jumps from episode to episode. This can be quite unnerving and confusing for viewers, but this storytelling technique also makes the film interesting because every new episode provides room for fresh adventures and humor. In addition, it effectively diffuses the tension of some of the scenes. The episodic form of storytelling used also infuses bursts of spasmodic humor across the various episodes. This ensures that audiences are kept laughing throughout the film. A common thread in most of these episodes is the trickery and persuasion used by Aldous to convince Greene to do crazy stuff such as drinking a range of both legal and illegal unusual alcoholic beverages. Because he idolizes the rock star, Greene falls for this trick repeatedly.
Though most of the antics that Hill and Brand get into in this film are wildly funny, the film also strikes a balance between humor and seriousness. At one point in the film, Aaron Greene begins to resent his idol and becomes somewhat less devoted to honoring his whims as he gets tired of Aldous's pranks and his apparent lack of seriousness. The audience, however, is able to catch small glimpses of Aldous's serious and caring side especially when he interacts with his father and his girlfriend. These glimpses of seriousness do not affect the film's comedic tone but simply make the characters seem more human so that the audience can relate more easily to them and laugh freely at the humor in the film.
Critics' responses to this film have been mostly positive, with most praising the performances of both the star and supporting actors. For instance, Sean Combs cameo appearances in the film have been praised as "well orchestrated and powerful" by several critics. Jonah Hill's affable nature has been stated as the main reason that he was so ideal for the film, while Russell Brand's performance in the film has been tagged as charming, though his character's personality is mildly lewd.
Some critics have described "Get Him to the Greek" as a merging of two storylines. One achieves humor by its use of unruly, slightly outrageous, behavior, while the other storyline, the latter part of the film, is intriguingly sober and sweet. However, it is quite clear that it is the merging of these two distinct storylines that makes this movie a smash comedy hit that can get its share of laughs from audiences. It is also quite evident that this movie is not just another cliché-ridden, fat-boy/bad boy combination as is commonly used in comedic films to elicit cheap humor. In fact, the two main stars of the film deliver performances that clearly show that there is a lot more to their characters than just being instruments of comedy and humor. The pairing of Jonah Hill and Brand in this film was quite ingenious because their personas create great chemistry for the movie.
Although this is a comedic film, "Get Him to the Greek" is surprisingly refreshing in the way it addresses some serious relationship issues. The storyline shifts from being about boys behaving as if they have no cares in the world to being about men who reveal hitherto unseen serious and sweet sides of their personalities. The sincerity that this comedy offers in its portrayal of the diversity of human emotion is quite intriguing. Overall, there is no doubt that "Get Him to the Greek" delivers in terms of both humor and emotion. It is definitely worth watching.