DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?

 
GET HIM TO THE GREEK (director/writer: Nicholas Stoller; screenwriter: Jason Segel; cinematographer: Robert Yeoman; editors: William Kerr/Mike Sale; music: Lyle Workman; cast: Jonah Hill (Aaron Green), Russell Brand (Aldous Snow), Elisabeth Moss (Daphne Binks), Rose Byrne (Jackie Q), Colm Meaney (Jonathon Snow), Sean Combs (Sergio Roma); Runtime: 109; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Mr. Stoller/Judd Apatow/David Bushell/Rodney Rothman; Universal Pictures; 2010)

 
"This outrageous rock parody offers typical crude comedy from producer Apatow's factory."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz 

More vile than witty, more anal than Greek; this outrageous rock parody offers typical crude comedy from producer Apatow's factory, and his usual soft moments of the immature men tenderly realizing they have have some big-time growing up to do before they can be considered responsible adults. It's written and directed by Nicholas Stoller ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall"), whose spin-off film 'rocks on' because of his delicious casting decision of Russell Brand to carry the pic as the bad boy energetic aging rock legend who lives off his smugness, personal issues, his life dilemmas, his charm as a bigger than life star, his narcissism, his obnoxiousness and nerve. For some that great performance might trump how unappealing all the main characters are, how tiresome and lame is the storyline, and how the dirty shock gags are so juvenile (offering at best dumb fun) and, probably, funny to mostly a certain demographic or those who can't help laughing at taboo subject-matter or those who are reconciled that this is where contemporary comedy films have safely landed with an eager audience willing to accept this culture-clash comedy as ground-breaking.

The plot has lackey nerd Los Angeles junior record exec Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) assigned by his unethical bully boss, Sergio (Sean Combs), to escort in three days the uncaring doper Brit rock star, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), from London to New York and on to Los Angeles. There the decadent rocker is to appear in a special show promoted by the record company (Aaron's brainchild) to both resurrect the record company and the rocker's sagging career on his tenth anniversary of his legendary rock concert of his Infant Sorrow album at the same Greek Theatre.

It morphs into a road film as it goes into overdrive to show the good-natured foil Aaron getting nervous at not being able to keep to the schedule and for his efforts to be the good soldier being humiliated by both his raunchy boss and the raunchy rocker. The irrepressible rocker can't keep a schedule, as he gets drunk, high on drugs, encounters women along the way for sex and forces a side trip to Las Vegas to see his equally fucked up dad (Colm Meaney). The subplot has the rocker trying to reconcile a long-time on-the-air break-up with his flashy model/pop star girlfriend (Rose Byrne); while Aaron hopes to reconcile with his nice-girl medical intern live-in girlfriend (Elisabeth Moss), who wishes to relocate to Seattle.

If one can find humor in all the discomfort jokes and all the excesses in keeping up as a celebrity and all the fatuous spoofs leveled at modern-day pop culture venues, then you took more of an interest in the pic than I cared to--I just found its entertainment value at a base level, and its attempt to be subversive as laughable as a fat guy trying to hide a stash of heroin up his ass before boarding a plane.

REVIEWED ON 6/5/2010       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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