One of the best things about 2008s "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" was it introduced the American audience to British comedian, Russell Brand. Brands secondary character, Aldous Snow, bad boy lead singer of the British rock band Infant Sorrow, stole every scene he was in with his wide-eyed, smarmy charm.
With the characters popularity, as well as the actors, it was only fitting that he should get his own movie, and thats exactly what director and writer Nicholas Stoller (sharing writing credits with Marshall star Jason Segel) did with "Get Him to the Greek."
When we last saw Aldous Snow in "Marshall," he was memorably supplying romantic tips to struggling newlyweds via obscenely large chess pieces and then jettisoning off to parts unknown after cheating on and breaking up with the girlfriend he stole from Segels character. Now, hes releasing an album called African Child and hoping – or more like believing – that it will be as great (if not greater) than The Beatles classic "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band." Naturally, it bombs.
With mounting displeasure over the albums content and plummeting record sales, it seems Snows professional and personal life couldnt get worse, but it does. After seven years and a child together, his pop singer girlfriend Jackie Q (Rose Byrne) dumps the recently sober Aldous on live television and encourages him to start drinking and doing drugs so he can be as exciting as the rock god he once was.
A variety of clips – ranging from striking photographers at airports and on sidewalks to exposing himself in front of Christina Aguilera at the MTV Video Music Awards – show that Aldous has taken Jackie Qs suggestion to heart and fallen spectacularly off the wagon.
Despite Aldous stalling career, he and his band still have a legion of faithful fans, fans like Aaron Green (Jonah Hill). Aaron is an underappreciated something-or-other at a record label. When his tyrant boss, Sergio (Sean ‘P. Diddy Combs), demands ideas to save the struggling company, Aaron timidly suggests an anniversary concert of Aldous Snows epic (and massive moneymaking) show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles 10 years prior.
Aaron is given three days to transport Aldous from London to Los Angeles, which seems like it wouldnt be too big of an undertaking, until he is met with nothing but childish resistance from his rock idol.
After a night of debauchery in the U.K., the pair eventually begin their travel west, but they are hindered by stop-offs in New York (complete with one embarrassing "Today Show" appearance) and Las Vegas (including a drunken fight with Snows freeloading father). Throw into the mix drug smuggling, more debauchery, the consumption of a massive drug concoction referred to as a Jeffrey, and youve got yourself a soldout comeback concert with a potentially dead-in-the-bathroom lead singer Or a potentially dead-by-a-furry-wall, naïve Aaron who just wants to be cool in front of his idol and save both of their careers.
With "Get Him to the Greek," a film produced by Judd Apatow, I was bracing myself for the raunchy, gross-out humor, but was pleasantly surprised that the movie showed more heart than played-out potty humor. Sure, there are some sporadic bits here and there, but its not over the top annoying or graphic.
I wasnt expecting a whole lot from "Greek," but when Aldous and Aaron were slow-motion running down the hallway while being chased by an irate Sergio later in the film, and Brand was sporting that crazy, Cheshire Cat grin of his, it hit me that I was kind of falling in love with this movie.
Brand, Hill and Combs (yes, him too), all have great chemistry in this movie, which helps to smooth out the inevitable lulls in a movie whose plot can be summed up just by reading the title.
I give this movie a B+.
Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.