Saturday, June 5, 2010

Movie Review: Get Him to the Greek

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Aldous Snow, a name that will live in rock-n-roll history for having the worst album ever with the song African Child being listed as the third worst thing to ever happen to the continent of Africa after war and famine. He may be upset with the album and song, but we are glad that Russel Brand is back playing the hedonistic, self centered, self absorbed rock star that we were introduced to in 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall. This time it's up to Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) to get Aldous from London to Los Angeles in 72 hours. Aaron has to Get Him to the Greek!

How did Aaron get this career make or break assignment? His boss at Pinnacle Records, Sergio Roma (Sean Combs) was asking for ideas to improve sales from his account executives. Aaron suggested getting the rocker back to the venue where he cut a great album, both an album and star that Aaron loves. Unexpectedly he gets the green light to fly to Europe gather the rock star and have Aldous give a great repeat performance. But things couldn't be that simple could it? Aaron is dealing with his own personal relationship and work issues and then has to deal with Aldous who comes with his own set of baggage and peculiar habits.

To help us understand Aldous' current condition we get treated to MTV, TMZ and other tabloid and paparazzi fodder of Aldous' life since the release of African Child. Breaking up with his long time girl friend, relapsing back into drugs and alcohol, the binges and rages and sexual activity that we perceive as the stereotypical rock star lifestyle. All of this plus the pervasive language help to garner the film a very sold R rating. We get introduced to all this information pretty early in the film.

Aaron works to get Aldous on the plane in London. So we now have the set up for a road trip movie as they need to stop in New York on the way to Los Angeles for an appearance on the Today show giving one of the famous Today concerts in the Plaza. The buddy movie starts to kick into gear while the two are traveling almost half way around the world. Aaron gets exposed to the rocker lifestyle while trying to keep his head on straight to accomplish the goal while being hounded by Sergio. Aldous has someone who is not part of his inner circle and can provide an outside point of view. Travel and relationship make baby steps forward with inevitable detours along the way. Aaron walks the fine line of keeping his client and boss happy while trying to maintain his own wits about himself. Not an easy task!

The film has a mix of cameos to lend an air of credibility to the rocker story and enriched the background. Whether it is Mario Lopez reporting on a TV show about Aldous, Aldous being caught on film partying with Pink or Christina Aguilera or story line interaction with Today host Meredith Vieira, their talents add to the story's believability. The funniest cameo for me was with Tom Felton of Harry Potter fame. That one had me laughing out loud.

Directed by Nick Stoller who also directed Forgetting Sarah Marshall, he doesn't forget to pay tribute to the movie that created the character in a scene that I thought was funny. The joke is even funnier if you saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Camera angles that you usually only see on a reality show were used to great effect. There are some very funny scenes and some that make you squirm in your seat a bit. Fuzzy wall is all I'm gonna say. Brand does a great job fleshing out Aldous Snow even more. Hill does a good job balancing the up tight guy with a purpose thrown into the midst of madness. Combs has some very funny scenes as the music mogul who wants to make a buck and keep on top of his underlings.

The movie runs for 109 minutes. At the very end there is an easter egg for those that choose to wait it out. This is an adult comedy.

The Movie Monkey

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