“Get Him to the Greek” is just like its predecessor “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” except that it isn’t as original, clever, funny and the returning character isn’t quite the same. Other than that it’s an awesome followup, oh and the writing isn’t as good either. But that’s the only differences, and the humor comes from a different angle too. Otherwise it’s right in line.
Why you’ll like this:
Puff Daddy steals the show; Over the top antics; forgettable fun
The idea for this movie was actually kicked around while filming “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”, since Russell Brand’s character Aldous Snow was going over so smoothly it seemed like a no-brainer to create his own spin-off. In this film, Aldous has fallen off his rockstar pedestal by dipping back into drugs, he’s broken off his tumultuous relationship with long time girlfriend Jackie Q (Rose Byrne) and in dire need of some success after the disaster of his last album “African Child”. Sean “Puffy” Combs plays Sergio, a head executive of a music label charges Aaron (Jonah Hill) with the task (and big career chance) of getting Aldous to L.A.’s Greek Theater for a 10th anniversary concert. The challenge of course is to overcome Aldous’ “god of rock” habits to get him to the concert on time from London. Let the hilarity ensue.
Make no mistake, I am an enormous fan of “Sarah Marshall”, I’ve kept it on my DVR for over a year and have seen it quite a few times, but what was delivered is pretty much the same failure every spin-off ends up with. “Let’s take this awesome and interesting character and tell an entirely new tale!” They definitely picked a great character, Aldous Snow was awesome in “Sarah Marshall”, but the problem is that Jason Segel didn’t write this script, and now the tone of the character is completely different, as is the rest of the film.
That isn’t to say there’s no laughs here, but they don’t come from where you expect it, and certainly not in the same inventive understated delivery that stemmed from interesting characters. Instead, “Get Him to the Greek” flips it and tries to create interesting situations for an over the top delivery by loud and straining punchlines. I can honestly say I didn’t expect the best comedy to come from Puffy (he’s “Puffy”, not P. Diddy, he will always be “Puffy”), but Puff gave some awesome lines and nearly all my laughs came from him, he killed it. It actually took me a few scenes to realize he wasn’t playing himself, I didn’t piece together that they kept calling him Sergio, he really seemed to be playing his same caricature from “Making the Band”, and it worked in brilliance.
Why you won’t like this:
Nothing remotely close to “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”; not well developed characters
The biggest disappointment was that Aldous did not feel even like a close relative to his original version. I guess the whole “going back to drugs” thing was supposed to be the reason for this, but it never felt true, which again comes back to Jason Segel not writing this. I can’t recommend this for a theatric viewing, but definitely catch it on DVD for some good laughs, just don’t expect the same quality that this attempts to steal from.
3 out of 5 Stars.
Starring: Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Rose Byrne, Sean “Puffy” Combs
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Running Time: 1 hr.49 min.
Release Date: June 4, 2010