It would be easy to dismiss all the boobies, drugs, drinking, swearing, puking and other dirty deeds in Get Him to the Greek as “been there done that,” especially considering the director, Nicholas Stoller, was the man behind Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the movie that inspired this current spin-off sequel. And of course we can’t forget the Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40 Year-Old Virgin) connection, as he serves as producer on both comedies. But what makes Get Him to the Greek so fantastic is what allows the Apatow humor formula to work so often: crass, in-your-face comedy, hilarious dialogue performed by talented, charming actors and a dash of honesty and heart to boot.
Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), who we met in Forgetting Sarah Marshall as a vulgar, narcotics-loving British rockstar, is the man Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) is trying to get to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles for an anniversary performance of sorts. It seems Pinnacle Records, headed by Sergio Roma (Sean “P.Diddy” Combs), is struggling to make money in the recession and Roma needs something to jumpstart the label. Green, a huge fan of Snow, comes up with the idea for the concert, a risky one considering Snow’s life is in shambles. His girlfriend, Jackie Q (Rose Byrne), has left him and taken custody of their son, and his most recent song (and video), “African Child,” is called by critics “the worst thing to happen to Africa since apartheid.” Roma reluctantly agrees and sends Green to London to escort Snow back to the USA for an appearance on the Today Show and the eventual concert in Los Angeles.
My one worry about Get Him to the Greek was the “road trip” angle from London to Los Angeles and would it get boring after the first few laughs? I’m happy to report I laughed throughout the entire movie and never once felt uninterested or frayed. This success isn’t buoyed by any special brilliance of the story itself, in fact some of it is quite routine – the girlfriend who is choosing a career over a relationship, the lonely rocker with no true friends, the estranged dad, instead the pizzazz and vigor in Get Him to the Greek comes from the full-bodied acting from Jonah Hill and Russell Brand, as well as surprise gems from Combs, Byrne, and Elisabeth Moss, who plays Green’s girlfriend, Daphne. There are also loads of cameos and winks at Hollywood, but these don’t feel forced or overplayed as they did in Apatow’s Funny People in 2009.
Get Him to the Greek isn’t a perfect movie or comedy. Towards the end of the feature, Combs’ shenanigans and bluster are a little tiring, as is the ending you already knew was coming, but it’s not enough to ruin the film or make you forget all the laughing you’ve done for the last hour and a half. It’s definitely worth the full-price ticket, but be forewarned – this is an R-rated comedy in every way, shape and form, so if you blush easy, you may want to stay away.