Get Him To The Greek is an odd bird, on paper – Nick Stoller and Jason Segel, the minds behind the terrific Forgetting Sarah Marshall, reunite to give a supporting character in that movie, Russell Brand‘s demented rock god Aldous Snow, his own movie. We’re used to these kind of B-lister spin-offs from TV shows, but to my knowledge this is the first time it’s ever happened in a movie. Can the boys (under the tutelage of producer Judd Apatow) really wring that much more comedy out of Snow?
The answer, thankfully, is yes. Get Him To The Greek is one of the best comedies of the summer for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the movie rides on Stoller and Segel’s attention to detail. Their script has a laser lock on the ridiculous excesses and oceans of bullcrap that the music industry floats on, from Diddy‘s scene-stealing turn as label owner Sergio Roma (and if you thought I went into this movie thinking that I was going to praise Puff Daddy’s comic timing, you’re crazy, but there we go) to Brand’s inexhaustible appetite for destruction.
The plot is as basic as it can be – record company intern Aaron Green (played by an excellent Jonah Hill, who gets better every movie) must go to England, retrieve Snow, and get him to Los Angeles to play a special 10th anniversary show and hopefully save his record company from foundering into the depths of irrelevance. However, Snow has other ideas, and after immediately sizing Aaron up as a plaything, not a peer, he leads him on a desperate trip through the life of a rock icon, complete with casual drugs, casual sex and loads of hilarious moments.
And, like most of the other flicks that have come out of the Apatow factory in the last decade, Get Him To The Greek triumphs on the strength of its humanity. It would have been easy to make this film an all-out gagfest from end to end, but Stoller takes the time to make Aaron and even Snow into real, dimensional characters – instead of letting the schtick overwhelm him, Russell Brand actually demonstrates a great amount of range diving through Aldous Snow’s emotional morass. Get Him To The Greek is a must-see. Watch the trailer.