I went to see a movie today to get out of the house for a bit after breaking up with my girlfriend. I guess I should clarify that it didn’t hit me that hard. It was a mutual thing and we managed to stay friends, but the fact that the distance between us sort of ruined our relationship had me feeling kind of isolated and lonely, so I did what I always do to cheer myself up; I went out and saw a movie. I was going to see Jonah Hex, but I didn’t really feel like something as dark as a scarred cowboy, so I chose Get Him to the Greek. It’s been out for a few weeks, but I figured why not? And then I figured why not write a review for it? I do for everything else anyways.
I didn’t realize going into this movie that it wasn’t really going to help my case in cheering me up too much, by the time the three main characters decide to have a threesome together I realized that the debauchery in this movie doesn’t really serve the purpose of cheering up the audience or even to create dramatic tension. I wasn’t even laughing by that point. It was then that I realized that this movie actually served little purpose at all. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it wasn’t really striving to be anything else, which is too bad. I went into Get Him to the Greek with high expectations. The trailer looked funny and I was expecting debauchery, but entertaining debauchery. Instead I got debauchery that was sometimes amusing, but often served little purpose then to hit us over the head repeatedly, telling us for the umpteenth time that Russell Brand is crazy and Jonah Hill can’t keep up. OK, we get it. You don’t have to tell us again and again in every scene. I kept waiting for Jonah to punch Russell in the face and then nock a few teeth out with his Converse sneakers while he was at it. I also didn’t realize that this film was a spin-off from Forgetting Sarah Marshall until about 30 minutes in, which is too bad because I really liked Sarah Marshall. It was funny and I genuinely cared about the fate of all the characters, all except one of course, the character of Aldus Snow, also played by Brand in the original film. He was little more than the douche-bag boyfriend, an obstacle for the main character to tread around. I never watched Aldus and said to myself, “Gee, I love this character so much! I wish they’d make a movie about just him!” because I genuinely didn’t care about him and they didn’t do the best job of making me care about him here either, except now there was more of him, so I hated him even more. In fact, the only real indication that this movie has anything to do with Sarah Marshall is a brief cameo from Kristen Bell and a credit at the end that says, “Based on Characters Created by Jason Segel” Segel’s charming touch was clearly gone from the film however and it really showed.
Now, reading this so far, you may think that I hated every second of Get Him to the Greek, which is not true. I merely hated every second of missed opportunity, which seemed to happen entirely too often. I did laugh a little, but the missed opportunities for laughs were so frequent that I almost felt bad for the people making this film and I never really felt attached to these characters enough to laugh or wince at their misfortune, just take it all in, like watching an African child on a World Vision commercial. You feel bad. But you forget who they are 10 minutes after flipping the channel. Perhaps there’s an irony then to the joke about Aldus using African children as the theme for his failed recent album. I did appreciate some of the humour though, especially any moments with Sean “P Diddy” Combs who turns in a surprisingly hilarious performance as Aaron Green (Jonah Hill)’s boss. There’s also a few funny moments involving furry walls and the scene where Aldus makes Aaron shove a balloon filled with heroin into his rectum to hide it from airport security was about as amusing as you’d expect.
I guess next I should talk about the plot, though this shouldn’t take too long, since it’s a little thin, to be honest and more than predictable. Basically Snow’s latest album, African Child has bombed miserably due to its poorly hidden racist themes. Shortly after this his long time wife Jackie Q (played by Rose Byrne) splits with him and goes on to have relationships with several other famous rock stars and actors, leaving Snow alone living with his mother in London after a series of public outbursts that have left him with a less than positive image. Meanwhile Aaron Green and his girlfriend Daphne (played by Elizabeth Moss) are having a fine relationship until she suggests moving to Seattle, something Aaron doesn’t really want to do and their relationship goes on the rocks. Things go from bad to worse when Aaron suggest that Snow (one of his favourite rockers) come down to LA for the anniversary of a famous concert he did at the Greek Theatre in LA in 1999, with proceeds benefiting the floundering agency where Green works. You can guess the rest as Green sets off on a long and troublesome journey to well, get him to the Greek.
I have to say, overall Get Him to the Greek wasn’t an awful movie. It was just a missed opportunity at greatness and that’s unfortunate, because it could have been so funny. Instead I left feeling slightly unsatisfied and I wasn’t really cheered up like I wanted. Oh well, I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.
I give Get Him to the Greek 2.5/5.
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