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David O. Russell
Robert De Niro
English rock star Aldous Snow relapses into drugs and booze after a break up and a disastrous record. In L.A., Aaron Green works for a record company stuck in recession. Aaron's boss gives him a career making task - to bring Aldous from London to L.A. for a concert in 72 hours. That day, Aaron's girlfriend Daphne tells him she wants to finish her medical residency in Seattle. Aaron's sure this ends their relationship. In London, things aren't much better: Aldous delays their departure several times, plies Aaron with vices, and alternates between bad behavior and trenchant observations. Can Aaron moderate Aldous's substance abuse and get him to the Greek? What about Daphne? Written by
The comedy films of writer/producer/director Judd Apatow have somewhat dominated the last eight years or so. As well as being commercial hits, they have been lauded by critics for their sweet approach to comedy, blended with gross-out aspects and genuinely good scriptwriting. Apart from his best works - The 40-Year Old Virgin, Superbad, Knocked Up - his films can often be lazy, relying on quirky randomness to get through. The overrated Anchorman, which has somehow become a massive cult hit, was the biggest example of this, and although I could watch Will Ferrell all day, the film just felt like it was desperately trying to get through to the other side. Get Him To The Greek is another example of this.
Music producer Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) convinces his somewhat angry boss (Sean Combs) that an anniversary concert for failing rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) is the way forward. Convinced, Green is sent to London to collect Snow and take him on a few promotional spots before arriving back in America for his concert. Snow would rather have endless parties, take lots of drugs, and sleep with lots of women - which is okay with Green, only he has an angry boss on his ass and a girlfriend (played by Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss) who he's not sure has broken up with him or not.
This is really a film of two halves. The first being genuinely funny - with Brand breathing likability into his somewhat loathsome character, and the exchanges between Hill and Diddy being a particular highlight. This is coming from a person that hates Russell Brand. I mean I really, really hate him. But the charm that everyone else seems to see only becomes apparent to me when on the screen. Here he reprises his role from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where I was surprised with his comic timing. When the second half comes around, I began hating him again.
The film simply runs out of ideas, throwing in a troubled father-son relationship between Brand and his Las Vegas-based father Jonathan Snow (Colm Meaney) that is of no interest. It also throws up one of the unfunniest scenes in the film, with Hill being smashed on a 'jeffrey' (a mix up of a variety of drugs smoked like a joint) and stroking a furry wall while Brand and Meaney fight. It resorts to scenes like this because it has no more jokes to tell, and combined with Aldous Snow's increasingly crap and unfunny array of songs, it all feels like it just wants to end.
Sadly, a more interesting sub-plot that reveals Snow's serious drug habit crops up then seemingly fades out without being properly explored. It could have added another dimension to Snow's character, and stopped him becoming a whiny and annoying protagonist. That said, the first half is funny enough to make it worth a watch, and Sean Combs near enough steals the entire film.
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