From the opening images of rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) strutting through his video for the god-awful “African Child” and his statement that if people see him as a “African white Christ from space”, well, who is he to stop them, Get Him to the Greek has you laughing, and it never lets you go.
A pseudo-spinoff of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Greek is the latest from producer Judd Apatow and is written and directed by Nicholas Stoller (who directed Marshall). It’s easily the funniest movie of the year so far, but you’ll just have to take my word for it; I can’t share any of the movie’s jokes without risking swift and severe punishment by the FCC, the PMRC, and, frankly, my mother.
Jonah Hill plays Aaron Green, a quiet, reserved lackey at Aldous’ record label. He’s charged with (in a mere 3 days) bringing the lecherous and drug-addled star from London to LA for an anniversary concert, but it’s a task that brings a whole new meaning to ‘easier said than done’.
Aldous, you see, makes Amy Winehouse look like Taylor Swift. Living perpetually in a haze of vodka, heroin, hookers, pot, and combinations of drugs that haven’t even been discovered yet, he can’t be bothered by deadlines and pesky travel itineraries. Adding even more fuel to the fire is the fact that Aaron has all the command and authority of a baby jellyfish. Instead of getting Aldous on a plane, Aaron himself gets well-acquainted with the term ‘debauchery’.
Stoller’s screenplay, no doubt enhanced extensively by the stars’ own ad-libbing, is a non-stop barrage of hilarious (and obscene and profane) gut-busters. But what really pushes Greek to the next level is Hill and Brand’s performances. Had lesser actors attempted to tackle the same material, the result might have been a juvenile mess. Fortunately both are not only hilarious by nature, they can also act, a fact that’s most evident in the final act when the trademark Apatow moment of heart and emotion arrives.
Adding to the fun are more than a dozen cameos, including Pink, Meredith Viera, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, and even Kristin Bell briefly returning as Sarah Marshall. And just try to keep a straight face during Sean (Diddy) Combs’ time on screen. As the head of Aldous’ label, he gives the best, most side-splitting supporting turn since Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder.
Get Him to the Greek is raunchy, hilarious, and the funniest thing to hit the screen since The Hangover…
…even though I needed to wash my ears out with soap afterward.