The StoryRussell Brand and Jonah Hill reunite, with Brand playing the character he created in Forgetting Sarah Marshall while Hill's a completely different character from FSM. Confused? Don't be...just go with it and move on. This time around Hill plays Aaron Green, a record company employee who loves rock and roll and is committed to his job and his live-in girlfriend. When his boss, Sergio (Sean Combs), asks for suggestions on how to perk up sales, Aaron chimes in with the idea of a 10 year anniversary concert by Aldous Snow at the Greek Theatre. Snow used to be a rock god, but after committing career suicide with the horrible "African Child" song/music video, an absolutely disastrous attempt at displaying an awareness and empathy for those in need, he's in desperate need of a career resurrection. When none of his other minions come up with a better suggestion, Sergio commands Aaron to go to London, pick up Aldous and get him to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in time for the concert that's now just a few days away.
The ActingBrand and Hill make for an unlikely but unbeatable tag team in Get Him to the Greek. Hill's given a respectable, responsible doctor girlfriend (Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss showing she has a funny side) and that grounded-in-reality relationship makes us pull for Hill's Aaron when he's being forced into shoving drugs up his rear, injecting adrenaline, and getting sick all over himself on his road trip from hell. And Brand's Aldous also has relationship issues that make him human and not just a silly, drugged up singer. Hill and Brand, and Hill and Moss, have great chemistry and balance each other out, and as their relationships evolve over the course of the film, we genuinely like each of them as people - thanks to their top-notch performances.
Rose Byrne disappears into the character of Jackie Q, Aldous' ex-squeeze and mother of his child. Seriously, it took me half the movie to figure out Jackie Q was Byrne because this character's so far outside of the box Byrne is normally locked in in feature films. With great comic timing and a killer song about her anus, Greek lets Byrne let her hair down and have a little fun, and the 30 year old actress takes full advantage of the opportunity.
Everyone's terrific in Get Him to the Greek, but there's one actor who just slams it home: Sean Combs. Yes, P Diddy - or whatever you want to call him - can actually act. It seemed gimmicky to have Combs play a record company exec, but he's the absolute perfect person for the part. Combs steals scene after scene, going up against two comedic actors with a lot more experience under their belts and giving as good as he gets.
The Bottom LineWriter/director Nicholas Stoller paid as much attention to developing the characters as he did in writing the outrageous jokes and in thinking up the outrageous situations he puts the characters through, and Hill's Aaron and Brand's Aldous emerge as more than just caricatures sent out on a hilarious road trip. Collaborating with his actors, Stoller fleshed out his characters while poking fun wherever possible at pop culture. The result is a film that stands up to the original and surpasses it in laughs delivered.
Get Him to the Greek includes serious scenes, but never takes itself too seriously. And Stoller never passes up an opportunity to put his leads through hell, with poor Hill getting the worst of it. Hill's pain is our gain as Get Him to the Greek, in all its raunchy glory, is the best comedy of 2010 (thus far).
Get Him to the Greek was directed by Nicholas Stoller and is rated R for strong sexual content and drug use throughout, and pervasive language.
Theatrical Release: June 4, 2010