This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,”
and here’s my commentary on “Get Him To The Greek,” opening this week at
The Majestic Theater in
“Raunch” comedy has become a genre all its own, with a life of its
own. But after you do the
scatological language, the juvenile sexual histrionics, the casual nudity, and
the even-more-casual drugs, then what? Is
it time now to actually have a story?
The central character is a fat, nerdy record company intern named Aaron
Green (Jonah Hill). His
volcanic-tempered boss (a verbally abusive Sean “P. Diddy” Coombs, who
almost steals this show) demands of his browbeaten staff that they come up
with something exciting. Green
suggests a reunion concert for an aging rock star named Aldous Snow (Russell
Brand), who famously bombed in a patronizing, besotted music video called
“Africa’s Child,” and now lives in exclusion in London, having been
estranged from his wife, his child, his agent, and pretty much anybody who
ever knew him. Green’s
“impossible mission” is to go fetch Aldous Snow and deliver him, at least
somewhat sober, to the concert at Greek Theater in
---that is, “Get Him To the Greek.”
What follows is a series of grand misadventures, where Snow plays up
the dissolute rock star and Green tries to corral him, like trying to grasp
mercury with your fingertips. Snow
admits, at one point, that when he’s sober, he worries about everything, and
is anxious about anything, but when he’s on drugs, he only worries about
getting drugs. It’s about
simplifying his life. Green, for
his part, will do almost anything to please his demanding boss and deliver the
damaged goods reasonably intact. But
at his core he’s a nice guy, surrounded by profligates, wannabes, hos, light
hooks, paparazzi, the spaced-out, and the overly sincere.
We want to root for him as an island of sanity in a sea of squalor,
but, alas, he succumbs to the filth surrounding him like the pristine
Gulf of Mexico
is now succumbing to the spewing oil spill.
And the nauseous goo gets all over everything.
What’s strange is that underneath all the blowout cursing, cavalier
sexuality, and wanton self-destruction, this is a weird kind of buddy movie.
The lonely star and the nerdy handler develop an affection for each
other, almost despite themselves. Almost
to spite everybody.
You don’t take your grandmother to this one.
You may even be embarrassed about seeing it with anyone else at all.
But there are some guilty-pleasure-type funny moments, if you’re
willing to let your “raunch” self come out and play for a while.
This is Ron Salfen, At The Movies, for