Radio 06.11.10
 
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 Greenville :
            “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 Los Angeles ---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 93.5 KICK-FM