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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Jonah Hill
Russell Brand
Rose Byrne
Elisabeth Moss
Sean Combs.
Directors
Nicholas Stoller.
Screenwriters
Running Time
108 minutes

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Get Him To The Greek
Sex, shrugs and rock ’n’ roll


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Plot
With his record company in the doldrums, ambitious junior exec Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) has a brainwave — get washed-up, boozehound rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) to recreate his sell-out show at the Greek Theatre in LA. That’s the easy part. Getting Snow there is a different story...


Review
Get Him To The Greek
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Althought the end result was, aptly, somewhat forgettable, two things stood out about Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Thankfully, despite repeated exposure, neither of them was Jason Segel’s penis. Instead, the sparky love interest, Mila Kunis, and Russell Brand’s hedonistic singer, Aldous Snow, caught the eye.

So much so in the case of the latter that here we are, just two years later, with Get Him To The Greek, a semi-sequel (the word ‘spin-off’ has been studiously avoided in marketing materials, perhaps for fear of invoking too many Evan Almighty comparisons) that boosts Brand from supersub status to star striker and, somewhat confusingly, throws Jonah Hill into the mix, not as his Sarah Marshall character, a Hawaiian waiter who happens to be an Aldous Snow superfan, but as an entirely different character: a junior record exec who... happens to be an Aldous Snow superfan.

That baffling detail aside, it’s Hill, as the dependable, down-to-earth Aaron, who grounds the proceedings, allowing Brand, in theory, to go nuts as the fickle, febrile Aldous, a charismatic, charming but dangerously cavalier cross between Liam Gallagher, Mick Jagger and, well, Russell Brand. The set-up is classic, the stage set for a mismatched buddy comedy that should be a music equivalent of Midnight Run meets My Favourite Year, the classic Richard Benjamin comedy about a greenhorn who has to babysit his idol — a hard-drinking Errol Flynn type — that is virtually the template for this. And, while Get Him To The Greek is often filthily funny, it’s also patchy and incoherent and smacks of a missed opportunity. Most of which can be laid at the door, not of Brand, who’s fine in his first lead role, but of Aldous Snow.

It’s not exactly a scoop, but most rock stars are blithering, egotistical, self-obsessed twats — and Snow is no exception. When we first meet him, he’s a self-absorbed Sting-like figure, banging on about world peace, drawing Messianic comparisons (“That’s for other people to say, if they think I’m a space Jesus”) and staying off the wagon with his pop star girlfriend, Jackie Q (a nearly unrecognisable Rose Byrne, sporting an ace London dilettante accent and hitherto untapped comic timing).

But when Snow’s career goes south, along with Jackie Q, he clambers back on the booze bus, snorting anything that can go up his nose, and shagging anything that can’t. It’s classic rock star behaviour and, when Aaron first hooks up with Snow, there is genuine comic potential there, mined well in the early London scenes as Snow leads Aaron — who believes he’s on a break from a relationship with his steady Eddie nurse girlfriend — off the road and onto the moor. Another scene, where Snow invites Aaron to critique his recent work, only to hear an all-too-honest appraisal, is also excellent, benefiting from Brand’s ability to veer off in unexpected emotional directions at the flip of a switch. Nice one second; narcissistic and nasty the next — classic rock star behaviour.

But writer/director Nicholas Stoller — who directed Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Segel, who wrote that movie, has no involvement beyond a co-producer credit) — and Brand nail that side of Snow so well that, after a certain point, his arbitrary, self-hating, contrarian wild-man act simply isn’t fun to hang with, whether he’s pathetically beseeching Jackie Q for phone sex while she sleeps next to her new lover, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich (possibly the only cameo, in a film stuffed with them, that works, with Ulrich not only proving a good sport, but providing the impetus for the film’s best line); or yelling for smack like a petulant child; or forcing Aaron and his girlfriend into an unusual form of relationship therapy that can’t — and doesn’t — end well.

Drama is not always the death of comedy, of course, as Judd Apatow — who produces here — has shown with his increasingly mature directorial efforts, most recently Funny People. But Stoller is no Judd Apatow, mishandling the tone of the movie so brutally that it’s hard for the comedy to escape from the cul-de-sacs he constantly leads Snow and Aaron down, as he tries to lend depth to what should have been a fairly simple buddy comedy with a succession of scenes that try to explain why Aldous Snow is a complete prat. This is, of course, par for the course for a spin-off... sorry, semi-sequel, as meat has to be put on the bones of a character who was little more than a cipher last time around. But in doing so, Stoller loses sight of much of the devil-may-care attitude that makes Snow — and, it has to be said, Brand off screen — so alluring.

There’s a lack of stylistic tics — save for a few shots that indicate that Stoller is a big fan of the Mean Streets scene where Scorsese attached a camera to a drunk Harvey Keitel — too that limit a film that should, by its very subject-matter, be drenched in flashy visuals, like a 100-minute music video. Too often Snow’s debauchery dribbles away into dullness. Oh, and the songs are rubbish, stranded in a hinterland between trying to be catchy enough to show why Snow is such a big noise, and funny enough to make you laugh. In the end, they’re neither — it’s like listening to Robbie Williams do a show composed entirely of Victoria Wood tunes.

But there are three little stars at the end of this review, and Get Him To The Greek has more than enough bright spots to earn them. When he’s not playing the petulant prick, Brand displays a winning ability to seem completely real, and he’s at his funniest whenever Snow is being horrendously pretentious or incandescent with mock rage. Hill, meanwhile, is the perfect foil, a naturally funny and immensely likable guy smart enough to take a role that seems relatively straightforward, but who also recognises the scope to milk humour from the various stages of being pissed, stoned, anally violated, terrified and completely Geoffreyed (you’ll see...). It’s a neat combination of straight man and wacky sidekick — and Hill captures Aaron’s growing frustration with Snow perfectly. And, even if some scenes start out promisingly and don’t quite get to the announced destination, there’s still some cracking set-pieces that deliver nicely on the belly-laugh front, most notably the Vegas segment in which most of, if not all of the above, happens to Hill. It’s also home to the film’s best throwaway gag — a Kubrick reference that should bring down any house or hotel.

But the movie, in reality, belongs to a surprising source: Sean Combs. The man formerly known as Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Puffy and other names far too numerous, and silly to list here is no stranger to acting, but he has been, throughout a terribly pompous career, a stranger to comedy. Not anymore. His turn as record label boss Sergio Roma is an unexpected compendium of dead-eyed comedic threats, bizarre non sequiturs (“You ever been mindfucked? Can you feel my dick... fucking your mind?”) and sudden gear-shifts into demented psychosis which makes him feel almost like a Noughties version of Ray Liotta in Something Wild. He’s so good, in fact, that we wouldn’t mind seeing more of him. Spin-off, anyone?


Verdict
Like most of the recent exports from Apatown, Get Him To The Greek — aka Russell Brand’s My Filmy Wilm — is patchy, but home-run hilarious from time to time. If only it didn’t detour into darkness so often, this could have been a genuine treat.


Reviewed by Chris Hewitt

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Get Him To The Greek
Empire Star Rating

this is what p#### used to look like in the 70's"

The african face guy out does every ones performance...Laugh out hilerious from start to finish....although it has its dark unneccesary moments it is better than any adam sandler- happy madison film of the 200's. Brand's performance was good as well as jonah hill and also P-Diddy suprisingly. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dirk Diggler 619 at 17:01, 22 May 2011 | Report This Post


love it

I can't stand Russell Brand's standup but he and everyone else are great. Laughed from start to finish. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 23:27, 19 May 2011 | Report This Post


Music

How can he say the music is rubbish?? I thought it was perfect for the film and very funny!! This film is very very funny and this reveiwer seems more about "oh look what little in joke I got" in this reveiw instead of thinking of the bigger audience!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Andybee76 at 20:40, 14 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

Saw this the other day. Starts off okay but becomes rubbish by the end. The only highlight is P.Diddy stroking the furry wall and 'African Face' is the new name for my band in Rock Band. ... More

Posted by thepluginbaby at 00:46, 07 December 2010 | Report This Post


RE:

A funny film with a great cast, Russell Brand; Jonah Hill and not forgetting P Diddy, who all give solid performances. Hollywood better watch out here comes Russell Brand! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jeevan Singh at 15:09, 04 December 2010 | Report This Post


A has-been rock star and an ailing record company need a quick fix. Cue the chubby guy of the record company office having an idea of bringing the two together to re-enact a legendary concert. We follow Alan as he has been given the unenviable task of bringing this out of control rock star from London to LA in 3 days to perform at the gig of a lifetime. This film is a total no brainer & not something I really wanted to see, but I gave it a go. From practically start to finish I was actua... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by zedphelan at 16:40, 13 November 2010 | Report This Post


Great experience!

Great and extremely funny movie! Too bad they went too far sometimes (unnecessary dildo raping, shitting, vomiting...), otherwise I would've give it 5 stars... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by scabzine at 10:16, 06 November 2010 | Report This Post


Disapointing

Was really looking forward to this. Unfortuantley I found it very dull and boring . There are a couple of funny moments, but they are few and faw between. One to avoid I'm afraid! Russell Brand can do much better. "This year's Hangover" it aint! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by fraser1978 at 10:14, 05 November 2010 | Report This Post


The first two acts of GHTTG are very funny. Brand is the best he's ever been and Hill is at his best since superbad. P Diddy is a standout and every scene he pops up in is gold. But after the brilliant furry wall scen it starts getting deep and dark. The two things no comedy should be, In Bruges being the exception that proves the rule, Brand attempts suicide at one point, and the concert isnt any bit as fun as the performances in the first half. A major dampener in what could have been 2010s fu... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stevolegendbauer at 01:47, 28 October 2010 | Report This Post


RE: This Year's Hangover

Cack, and so was Russel Brand, watched Step Brothers before this and sorry to say that was better, and i Forking hate Will Ferrel ... More

Posted by kargon at 15:11, 24 September 2010 | Report This Post


This Year's Hangover

One characteristic of the Hangover was that it was set in Vegas, a long-time no-brainer for childish comedies. Now imagine Vegas. Now imagine drugs. Now imagine a drug-induced free-for-all between Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, Colm Meaney and Diddy. And there you have it. The scene which sums up what this movie is all about, and by God it's funny. Okay, so they're only in Vegas for a little bit of it, but who cares. Sadly, not everything is funny in this movie. I still think Judd Apatow shoul... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by COLO at 12:00, 02 July 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Get Him To The Greek: Loved It!

Enjoyable film, didn't think i could stand a whole movie of russell brand but it wasn't that bad. it was slow paced though and i really didn't get into it properly until the vegas scene. Jonah Hill's character is really annoying though ... More

Posted by musht at 17:36, 01 July 2010 | Report This Post


Get Him To The Greek: Loved It!

Well after I saw the trailer I thought oh my... Another crap film, but I have been proven wrong. this film like many others had it boring parts but it's high points were amazing, the comedy was slick like it should be and as a whole the film worked, I am a big fan of Russell Brand as a comedian but not as an actor, but again he was very good. The story was great, the casting was great and overall I was very impressed. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by LUCASLITTLEWOOD at 23:30, 30 June 2010 | Report This Post


Get Him To The Greek: Loved It!

Well after I saw the trailer I thought oh my... Another crap film, but I have been proven wrong. this film like many others had it boring parts but it's high points were amazing, the comedy was slick like it should be and as a whole the film worked, I am a big fan of Russell Brand as a comedian but not as an actor, but again he was very good. The story was great, the casting was great and overall I was very impressed. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by LUCASLITTLEWOOD at 23:30, 30 June 2010 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: Edward Nygma L: BOHEMIANBOB L: Edward Nygma Saw it yesterday and although I didn't mind it, it wasn't really as funny or entertaining as it could have been. I've disliked Brand from the start but he was admittedly quite funny in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. A whole film about that character though is a bit much. Main problem is that he's just not at all likeable. It's typical Bruno Syndrome: when a character is so convincingly a wanker that it becomes impossible to... More

Posted by BOHEMIANBOB at 00:27, 29 June 2010 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: BOHEMIANBOB L: Edward Nygma Saw it yesterday and although I didn't mind it, it wasn't really as funny or entertaining as it could have been. I've disliked Brand from the start but he was admittedly quite funny in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. A whole film about that character though is a bit much. Main problem is that he's just not at all likeable. It's typical Bruno Syndrome: when a character is so convincingly a wanker that it becomes impossible to truly care about them an... More

Posted by Edward Nygma at 23:43, 28 June 2010 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: Edward Nygma Saw it yesterday and although I didn't mind it, it wasn't really as funny or entertaining as it could have been. I've disliked Brand from the start but he was admittedly quite funny in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. A whole film about that character though is a bit much. Main problem is that he's just not at all likeable. It's typical Bruno Syndrome: when a character is so convincingly a wanker that it becomes impossible to truly care about them and feel anything for t... More

Posted by BOHEMIANBOB at 12:33, 28 June 2010 | Report This Post


RE:

Saw it yesterday and although I didn't mind it, it wasn't really as funny or entertaining as it could have been. I've disliked Brand from the start but he was admittedly quite funny in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. A whole film about that character though is a bit much. Main problem is that he's just not at all likeable. It's typical Bruno Syndrome: when a character is so convincingly a wanker that it becomes impossible to truly care about them and feel anything for their character. You can s... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Edward Nygma at 11:08, 28 June 2010 | Report This Post


I wish this hairy little fucker would just die. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JapStrangler at 14:36, 25 June 2010 | Report This Post


Good

I like this film it was funny and dark in places but I like a bit of black that sounds wrong anyway what we have here is bromance story. Never do a Jeffry. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bighousewill at 18:19, 24 June 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Disagree with all negative comments

L: jace007 Elizabeth "Mad Men" Moss.... hat a coincidence that Mad Men is her middle name too ... More

Posted by paul_ie86 at 17:17, 24 June 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Tut tut Hewitt

Solid 3 star movie.Completely different to Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It is structurally all over the place-i think the numerous drug scenes are responsible for that. If you don't like Brand-avoid. It's silly nonsense,perfect for a lads night out. ... More

Posted by BOHEMIANBOB at 15:07, 24 June 2010 | Report This Post


Tut tut Hewitt

I think it's slightly sexist that you call his girlfriend a nurse. She's continually referenced as being a doctor. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by NickHilton at 14:45, 24 June 2010 | Report This Post


Disagree with all negative comments

I saw a preview of this yesterday and laughed my ass off unexpectedly in the process! To the person who said "if you've seen one Apatow film, you've seen them all" - really? Haven't they heard of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it?" I think the reviewer has missed the point of the tone for Get Him to the Greek: If a comedy such as this doesn't have its dark moments, it will cease to be believable anymore. For me, the dark turns were welcome and Brand shows us he can be ironically funny and ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jace007 at 15:57, 23 June 2010 | Report This Post


RE:

Painful, too long, unfunny, then way too dramatic, and easily forgettable. When a film wastes Aziz Ansari and Kirsten Schaal, then only has TJ Miller for, what, one, admittedly funny jump cut, minute? Well, not good. ... More

Posted by Ethanial at 15:36, 23 June 2010 | Report This Post


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