If you peel back the layers of obvious drug-induced hysteria, celebrity cameos, and gross-out gags, Get Him to the Greek reveals a well-conceived parody of pop rock stardom and its inherent uphill battles with contentment and sobriety. Dark humor infuses both the caricatures and the catchy tunes found throughout and, save for an out-of-character experiment late in the film, the clever parallels and snappy dialogue keep the pace tight and the laughs steady. Previous comedic examinations of rock ‘n’ roll delve further into the realm of moronic farce, making Get Him to the Greek’s increasingly darker outlook fairly refreshing, even if “P. Diddy’s” cameo-turned-supporting role quickly outstays its welcome.
Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) works at Pinnacle Records under the tyrannical leadership of arrogant millionaire Sergio Roma (Sean Combs). During a meeting concerning the reinvigoration of the record label, the typically timid employee suggests putting on a 10th anniversary live show of Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), a British rock star once bathed in the glory of chart-topping singles and international stardom (whose tongue is ceaselessly frolicking about the perimeter of his mouth), now reduced to has-been status with his band Infant Sorrow and their classless final album “African Child.” When Sergio unexpectedly agrees to the idea, and places Aaron completely in charge, the bewildered liaison must get the narcotics-addicted, washed-up loose-cannon rocker to the Greek Theater in 72 hours – or succumb to the superstar’s depraved lifestyle of incessant drug intake and rampant sexual promiscuity.
Although watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall isn’t necessary by any means, several jokes directly reference that pseudo-prequel. Fortunately no gags are reused between the two films, and although Jonah Hill made a brief appearance in Marshall (but plays a different character in Greek), he’s still quite funny, this time as a leading man. He’s certainly not conventional, but proves once again he can hold his own as a main character, only rarely being outshined by Russell Brand; since Jonah’s no beefcake, he gets to be the pincushion for awkward exploits, pain, embarrassment and experimentations in sex and substance abuse. Hill essentially plays his typical character with the same humor found in his previous efforts to support him, where personal dialogue is stronger than visuals. The editing also increases his effectiveness, demonstrating the numbing qualities of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll humorously and frenetically.
The opening act adduces the thriving potential for hilarity brought about by stereotypes, racism and the mocking of alcoholism and drug addictions. P Diddy’s appearance, a glorified cameo that eats up just a bit too much screen time, confirms it. Get Him to the Greek portrays the rock star lifestyle generally negatively (but with as much attractive chaos as everyone has come to expect), is abundant with segues that are random and incompetent, and features Snow’s crass songs that have a distinctly derivative resemblance to Spinal Tap’s works. But the plot is interesting and the humor consistently amusing, making this a recommendation for those prepared for a raunchy comedy.
– The Massie Twins (GoneWithThetwins.com)