In this loose “follow-up” to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek focuses on wild and eccentric Brit rocker Aldous Snow. Weird thing is, although the movie hints at being a continuation of the prior movie (including a cute TV commercial of “Sarah Marshall’s” newest prime-time show) Jonah Hill doesn’t play the infatuated Aldous/Infant Sorrow fan he did in FSM. Weird I know. However, that minor inconsistency didn’t keep me from enjoying the hell out of this movie.
While FSM really surprised me, this was equally as entertaining. As this is, in part, a Judd Apatow film, the story came replete with tons of heart. Further, as expected, the raunchy humor was set to high as usual. But the thing that separates this (and other Apatow films) apart is the focus on fleshing out the characters to the point you care about them with a good story to boot. Refreshing as that’s not something you find in many crude comedy flicks these days. Granted this is very nearly a Hunter S. Thompson “road trip” inspired film, what impressed me was the creativity with each party/binge scene. Where as a film with, more or less, the same amount of repetition might get old fast (and have trouble filling even an 80 minute run time), this film was surprisingly nearly 2 hours and it didn’t feel thin at all.
Again, it’s that focus on characters and story…especially the set up at beginning that attempts to give Aldous more than the 1 dimensional facade he had in FSM. Take the time to invest in a character and you can follow him on anything he does…of course it helps when you have someone charismatic like Russell Brand.
Russell, in a role more likeable than he is in real life, fully embodied that “rock star” personality. Jonah Hill, despite one or two reviews I read panning him, didn’t get on my nerves at all. He was much less the “poet of profanity” he played in Superbad and was, as Aldous called him, an “affable idiot”. This was the perfect part for his acting abilities. In a surprising comedic role, Colm Meaney (playing Aldous’ estranged dad), was funny and gave just a bit more weight to this film that, again to me, wasn’t expected to be anything but forgettable. One liners and gut busting sequences ran wild, funny cameos ranged from Lars Ulrich to Tom Felton and hysterically serious conversations (the best being the one about a threesome) really rounded out this movie quite well.
Now, this wasn’t all party scenes and bathroom humor as shown in the trailers either. Scenes where Aldous really wanted to get back with his ex-wife Jackie Q were slightly heartwarming/breaking. Also the small scene where Aldous talks with his son is tender and touching – it all felt so very Apatow. Some bits do feel a little long and could have been trimmed but in nearly every scene the hilarity was set to MAX and I was actually quite glad to have seen this. To me, the trailers didn’t make this look very good at all (intended that way or not, I’ll never know). Also odder still, most of what was in the trailers wasn’t in the movie. That happens in some movies I’ve seen but I was taken a back to see that 70% of the overused lines from the trailer ceased to be seen (I guess that’s what happens when you have a film with dialog that has been ad-libbed for most of the shoot). Personally I liked it as the movie felt completely fresh and I wasn’t dreading seeing the unfunny parts from the trailer.
Again, I have to say it. I was not expecting to like this movie. I felt the same way about The 40 Year Old Virgin, but I guess being an Apatow picture, I should have known I would have been won over by the story. So while this was a big hit with me, and the comedy being very crass (yet oddly smart and original), I fully enjoyed the nearly 2 hours.
Going back to what was established in FSM, great story aside, I thought the “Dracula Musical” and lyrics to Aldous’ “Inside of You” had some pretty well thought out (almost brilliant) lyrics. That same and more can be said for those songs in Get Him to the Greek. If they ever came out with an actual Aldous Snow/Infant Sorrow album, I’m pretty sure I’d buy it. Hands down the most surprising film I have seen this year.
G-S-T Ruling – 4/5
G-S-T Seal of Approval – GRANTED