Written by / 7/07/2013 / No comments / , , , , , ,

GET HIM TO THE GREEK

year: 2010 cast: Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Sean Combs, Rose Byrne, Lars Urlich, Colm Meaney rating: **1/2
“Your mouth is smiling,” Russell Brand’s has-been rock star Aldous Snow tells Jonah Hill’s put-upon record company gopher Aaron Green, “but your eyes look all sad.” This describes much of what makes Jonah Hill a likable comedic actor: just how vulnerable he can get in desperate situations, and eventually how sarcastic he remains through a tumultuous misadventure…

It’s too bad GET HIM TOO THE GREEK has a title with much more urgency than the movie itself: The plot involving Green having to take Snow (green and snow… how’s that for symbolic?) from England to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, an outdoor venue where Snow will have a ten year reunion concert from the album that, like FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE, made him a sensation. The concert will also save Green’s job and make his boss happy.

Creating a film about a fictional rock star (or band) is never easy since it’s just as important to write tunes that would seem worthy enough for that person’s fame to seem legit. With that in mind, GREEK opens with a truly horrific song called “African Child,” a pretentiously liberal disaster making Snow a punchline in the music industry… it’s much easier writing a flop than a hit.

Russell Brand takes the easy road playing a womanizing smug jerk with a heart of gold, and yet his character, a determined heroin addict seeking the next score in various stopover cities… including New York and Las Vegas… isn’t very funny. And Jonah Hill's constant victim remains in sleep mode even through a breakup, various sexcapades and a heart-pounding overdose... Although it never really seems like GREEK is trying to be hilarious – it's a breezy character study about two polar opposites remaining mellow no matter what the stakes are: they could have been on their way to McDonalds and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

For anyone who has purchased L.A. Greek Theater tickets, you never want those seats that say “Obstructed View,” which means the stage is blocked by beams or girders, and with an overload of gratuitous sex and nudity there’s a lot missing in this limp road movie. And yet, despite the abundant flaws, Brand and Hill have just enough chemistry (or anti-chemistry) keeps the movie watchable for a short ninety-minute ride.
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