If all of rock music was personified into 1 single person, that person would be Russell Brand. British, tall, lanky, crack-addict thin with demon-possessed eyes and a crazed hairstyle, Brand is the perfect stereotype of what a rock god looks like. He is also very fucking funny. Get Him to the Greek is the latest Judd Apatow-creation and although it has many hilarious moments that had me literally crying with laughter, its ultimately an uneven film thats slowed down by excessively sentimental moments.

Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) is an intern for Pinnacle Records, a music company run by Sergio Roma (Sean “Diddy” Combs). As with all music companies these days, Pinnacle Records is suffering through tough fiscal times due to plummeting album sales. Roma is looking for fresh ideas that will generate new income for his company. Green proposes to have Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) play at the Greek Theater for the 10th anniversary of a famous performance he gave there. Roma likes Green’s idea and he sends him off to London to fetch Snow back to the states for the performance. Simple, right? Well, getting Snow to come back to the States ends up being an experience that would make Hunter S. Thompson proud.

Jonah Hill has proven himself to be a very funny, talented, and smart comic actor. From his star-making turn in Superbad, Hill has continually impressed me with his comedic skills. The fact that an obese, unhandsome dude can land himself a co-starring role in a major studio summer release is a testament to how good he is. Unlike another young contemporary of his, Michael Cera, Hill’s schtick hasn’t gotten old and he seems to vary up his characters rather than maintain the same exact character from film to film (although I will admit that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World looks pretty damn awesome).

Russell Brand. I have been eagerly awaiting this film for the past 3 months or however long the trailer has been out for the main reason that Russell Brand is in this. This guy is like a British Sam Kinison. He’s manic and energetic and totally self-destructive. Brand’s early life reflects the character he plays here, but instead of pursuing a career in music, he gravitated toward acting and comedy. Brand is a firebrand of controversy and that is why I like him so much. After all, who else would have the balls to dress up like Osama Bin Laden the day after 9/11 and bring his drug dealer to MTV Studios (he was fired for that by the way)? He is not only a funny performer in this film, but he also manages to pull off the dramatic scenes in Get Him to the Greek (even though I did have issues with the dramatic aspects of the story). Brand may very well be a worthy successor to Sasha Baron Cohen’s Ali G and this film is a good introduction of his talents to American audiences.

A surprisingly hilarious performance in this film comes from none other than Sean Diddy Combs. He plays the tyrannical, asshole music executive who sends Jonah Hill out to get the washed-up Brand back to the U.S. to perform. Combs isn’t a good actor by any means, but his character’s over-the-top aggressive behavior is comedy gold. Perhaps its the fact that a megastar like Combs is sort of playing an exaggerated version of himself that makes his performance so funny. Regardless, the audience seemed to reserve its biggest laughs for Combs.

Get Him to the Greek has a very simple story that merely serves as a vehicle for the actors to showcase their talents. I guess you might say that the film is really a string of comedy moments, but I don’t think the story was that empty or simplistic and, besides, I didn’t really care given the entertaining performances given by everyone. By the way, the opening scene of this film is side-splitting uproarious. The film opens to a video called “African Child” thats set in war-torn Africa. Aldous Snow is dressed like a white savior who is sent to save a black child from war and famine. Its one of the funniest things I have seen in many years and its an awesome opening to the movie.

The movie runs along at a very good pace for the first 1/2 of the movie as Aaron Green tries to get a washed up, drunk, and stoned Aldous Snow to come with him to L.A. to play at the concert. I did kind of wonder at the plausibility of an intern being sent out to accompany a rock star, but this isn’t the kind of movie to ask those sort of questions. Green is introduced to the hard partying lifestyle of Aldous Snow and its as wild and insane as anyone can possibly imagine. With that said, I warn anyone going out to see this film that the comedy is raunchy so if you like your comedy clean and shitty, then don’t see this. [SPOILERS AHEAD] However, the 2nd half of the film slows down considerably due to the film’s dramatic moments. Snow realizes that he can’t forever live the fast and reckless lifestyle of a rock star or else he will suffer an early and lonely death. Green also patches up his relationship to his overworked doctor girlfriend and everybody is happy by the end of the film. I don’t necessarily mind for a comedy to have a little drama, but not in the sort of manner that seems characteristic of all of Judd Apatow’s movies. In many of his films (last year’s horrible Funny People is a perfect example), the movie abruptly shifts from constant comedy to sentimental drama. There isn’t any real transition and it tends to ruin the pacing of the films. A movie that does a good job balancing comedy and drama throughout the story is About a Boy, which chugs along the same consistent pace and as a result, it doesn’t ever seem to slow down for the audience. I got the opposite feeling with Get Him to the Greek.

Furthermore, another issue I had with the dramatic aspects of the movie is that I couldn’t relate to Aldous Snow’s issues of loneliness, alcohol, and drug abuse. Who can? The life of a rock star isn’t exactly something most of us have personally experienced. Yeah, loneliness is something thats common to many folks, but the shit a rock musician has to deal with is on a whole other level and, consequently, it was difficult for me to feel for Aldous Snow’s problems.

Overall, this is an entertaining film that won’t be a waste of your money. If you’re looking for a good laugh, I guarantee you will find it here in spades. Everyone in this movie delivers top-notch performances and they alone are worth the price of admission. Besides, the alternatives currently playing at the multiplex are pretty shitty so you can’t get much better than Get Him to the Greek.

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