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|Get Him to the Greek|
dir-scr Nicholas Stoller
prd Judd Apatow, David Bushell, Rodney Rothman
with Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, Elisabeth Moss, Sean Combs, Rose Byrne, Colm Meaney, Dinah Stabb, Aziz Ansari, Lars Ulrich, Lino Facioli, Nick Kroll, Kristen Bell
release US 4.Jun.10, UK 25.Jun.10
10/US Universal 1h49
Get the party started: Hill, Combs and Brand
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
With all the hallmarks of an Apatow production (vulgarity, racy humour, adults acting like children), this FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL spin-off is lively and silly enough to keep us giggling. But its darker moments make the tone rather uneven.
Aaron (Hill) works at a Los Angeles record label that's struggling to make money, so he proposes restaging the iconic Greek Theater gig by fading rock star Aldous Snow (Brand) 10 years ago. Then his intense boss (Combs) sends Aaron to London to accompany the notoriously unreliable Aldous back to L.A. by way of New York and Las Vegas. And of course nothing goes as planned, all coloured by trouble both guys are having with their girlfriends (Moss and Byrne). Will they make it to the Greek in time?
Silly question. No, there really isn't any suspense in the premise, so the filmmakers concentrate on the antics along the way to a finale we know is coming (although it does arrive with some nice twists). And what makes the journey watchable are performances from Hill and Brand that major in broad goofiness but are tinged with around the edges thoughtfulness. Both of these guys are at a crossroads in their lives, and perhaps they hadn't realised it until now.
These serious themes are buried very deeply within the usual comedy of vulgarity, with rather a lot of vomiting, drug use and teasing sexuality. There's also a lacerating satire of the music business (from Aldous' African Child video to Combs' hilariously full-on performance) as well as playfully clever looks at modern relationships and gender roles. The cast is clearly having fun with all of this, including a continual procession of amusing cameos.
While there are some hysterical sequences along the way, plus several show-stopping one-liners, the film as a whole lurches in fits and starts, stalling completely at times while it regroups for another big set piece. For every riotous moment of manic, substance-fuelled insanity there's another sentimental or vaguely moralistic confrontation. Still, the high points make it worth watching, especially Brand's slippery, unpredictable screen presence. And not many films leave us pondering the soothing joys of stroking a furry wall.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2010 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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