A few years ago, we met Peter Bretter (Jason Segel), a sad sap of a man, who ventured to Hawaii to escape his naked break-up with his actress gf, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). On that trip, Pete stumbled upon the reason for the sudden split: saucy, sex-obsessed Brit singer, Aldous Snow (played by by hairspray-happy man-child, Russell Brand). The whole scenario was hysterical thanks to Brand’s deliciously devilish one-liners, most of which were improvised by the man himself. Considering how brilliant he was at whipping out the naughty quips, it seemed only natural that Hollywood make comedy all about his debauchery-filled rock star lifestyle. Right?
Get Him to the Greek is being advertised as an unofficial sequel to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but it’s not really related at all. The movie has only two connections to it’s sort-of predecessor: Aldous Snow and a short, but perfectly over-the-top appearance by Sarah Marshall herself, Kristen Bell. Everything else is completely new. For example, where Forgetting Sarah Marshall had Apatow protege Jonah Hill playing a hilariously awkward over-obsessed Aldous Snow fan/waiter, this flick has him doing the exact opposite. Apparently, we’re supposed to forget about all the events of the first movie and take him as a straight-laced music exec who has a healthy long-term relationship with Peggy Olson.
In addition, since we last left Aldous, he’s taken up with a pop tart named Jackie Q (played by a surprisingly hilarious Rose Byrne), fathered a kid, gone completely sober and to quote my favourite faux Brit rocker, Billy Mack, released “a festering turd of a (racist) record” called “African Child.” When Miss Q leaves him hanging, he goes back to the ol’ sex, drugs, and rum and cokes routine, forgoing work for fights with TMZ camera men and public pee sessions. Things change, however, after record label intern Jonah Hill’s Aaron Green pitches an Aldous Snow comeback concert to his boss, Sergio (P. Diddy). Serg loves the idea, and sends Aaron to London to get the former superstar back on track – and to the show at the Greek Theatre. Crack-filled (take that as you will) chaos ensues.
Although the majority of the film has Brand taking on the smart-ass persona he adopted in Sarah Marshall and seems to adopt in real-life, the jokes just aren’t so funny this time around. His loopily long digressions are gone and in their place are lukewarm one-shot funnies, probably a result of a fairly strict script. Although I still love hearing him sing about his “bangers and mash.”
The movie really belongs to Diddy and Hill. The artist formerly known as Puffy is downright ridiculous as a music exec who’s got a degree in mind-fucking. Meanwhile, Hill, who has to go from having a stick up his ass to having, well, a whole bunch of other shit up his ass, cruises his way through his role, bringing easy laughs. Watching him stroke a fur-covered wall while high on a smorgasbord of drugs is stupid comedy at it’s absurdest.
The problem with Get Him to the Greek is that it gets way too serious in it’s midsection, covering such knee-slap-worthy topics as suicide, daddy issues and lost love. But, I guess that’s not really that surprising. Apatow-produced movies always have a straight storyline or two (or in the case of Funny People, a completely straight plot), where the main male character has some sort of epiphany either involving his romantic – or his bromantic – life. It just doesn’t work this time around.
If you’re looking for a Hangover rehash, stay far away from Get Him to the Greek.It will taint your buzz – and have you longing for Jason Segel’s penis. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. C+
EXTRAS: three documentaries (“Getting Him to the Greek,” “Getting in Tune with the Greek” and”The Making of African Child”), five music videos, concert footage, Aldous Snow karaoke, an alternate ending, deleted scenes, an alternate intro, two gag reels, Line-o-Rama, auditions, commentary with Hill, Brand, Moss, Byrne, Stoller and producer Rodney Rothman.