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Get Him To The Greek

Get Him To The Greek

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

FIRST impressions aren’t always correct. Taken at face value, Get Him To The Greek looks like a loud, obnoxious lads’ comedy that’s ruined by a typically outrageous performance from Russell Brand.

Yet while it’s many of those things, it’s also hilarious in places, cleverly targeted and a proper guilty pleasure of a movie experience. It also boasts a revelatory performance from co-lead Jonah Hill.

The plot is simple: Ambitious record executive Aaron Green (Hill) is tasked with getting wild-card rock star Aldous Snow (Brand) from his self-imposed London exile to a concert at the legendary Greek venue in LA within 48 hours.

En route, however, Aaron comes of age, especially in his attitude towards his girlfriend (Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss), while Aldous attempts to conquer his demons and reunite with his former girlfriend, Jackie Q (Damage’s Rose Byrne).

Needless to say, the path to LA is frought with hedonistic detours to Las Vegas and New York, as well as all manner of wild parties, orgies and drug and drink induced excess.

Nicholas Stoller’s movie, based on a character who first appeared in his Forgetting Sarah Marshall movie, is as predictably hit-and-miss as you might expect from a comedy that’s prepared to put a Russell Brand creation centre-stage. But when it hits, it’s genuinely hilarious and the successful gags far outweigh those that don’t work at all.

Brand is doing Brand for the most part (so enjoyment also depends on how much you can tolerate him), but also taps into a darker heart behind proceedings that creates a nice edginess in his friendship with Hill’s exec.

But Hill is quite simply marvellous as his comedic foil, providing just the right mix of slapstick and outrage in his dealings with Snow to make him endearing, root-worthy and even occasionally unlikeable.

The stars have an easy-going chemistry that thrives on the obvious differences between the two.

Of the support, Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs also impresses as a self-deprecating studio boss, Rose Byrne is another revelation as a wreck of a rock chick and former love interest, and Moss brings a nice ‘every-girl’ quality to her performance as Hill’s long-suffering girlfriend.

The gags veer towards the gross out and laddish in their exploits but are still very funny, while numerous pot-shots at MTV culture, celebrity worship and the power of the media are well judged and handled. The big set piece moments, meanwhile, almost always deliver, including an extended Vegas hotel room sequence that’s trippy beyond belief.

Stoller’s movie can therefore be said to marry the bro-mance style camaraderie of previous Judd Apatow produced (and directed) vehicles such as Knocked Up and Funny People with something a little darker, such as Scorsese’s After Hours.

It also knows the audience its targeting, as well as the Brit-pop/rock ‘n’ roll bad boy legacy it’s parodying, to ensure that its humour – while bawdy to excess – is also astute and easy to recognise.

The result is a great Friday night crowd-pleaser that’s filthy as hell, yet somehow addictive and endearing to boot. It’s a great night out for anyone who wants to blow off some steam, as well as care about the characters they’re following.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 108mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: November 1, 2010