Monday, June 21, 2010

Watching "Get Him to the Greek"

I'd seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall on cable, which I actually enjoyed in the way you enjoy a movie you accidentally watch in its entirety on cable. Get Him to the Greek isn't exactly a sequel to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but it does feature the further adventures of rock star Aldous Snow, Marshall's boyfriend from the first film. I don't regret not catching Sarah Marshall in the theater, but it had some good bits.

Under threat of seeing The A-Team on Saturday, I managed to reroute myself to see Get Him to the Greek, which I wasn't actively trying to avoid, but simply didn't care if I saw it.

Honestly, the movie is a bit of a mess. The basic concept of sending a young wanna-be record label rep to go retrieve Aldous Snow from England and bring him to LA was intended to make us all laugh knowingly at the high-living, irresponsible lifestyle of a rock star. But in Sarah Marshall, the character had made a clear point regarding his sobriety. So, rather than just enjoy the funhouse ride of the premise, the movie tries to have its cake and eat it, too, when it comes to the topics of sobriety, drugs and how these issues can effect relationships.

Clearly the movie doesn't want for you to think about this stuff too much, and, in fact, I'd say that a lot of the conclusions the film takes us to don't seem particularly any happier or healthier for anyone than where they started out, while suggesting that everyone is living happily ever after. Which sort of makes me wonder about the creators' lifestyles, but I suppose that's both supposition and none of my business.

I guess I wanted the movie to just embrace the premise without any worry about moralizing or even much but the A-plot in the same way that The Hangover managed to pull off (The Hangover, btw, is a still very watchable movie on a second viewing, I learned about three weeks ago). Get Him to the Greek just doesn't have enough time and isn't written strongly enough to feel like they pulled off what they were trying to attempt, which is too bad as the movie is absolutely at its strongest when the characters are just going with the absurdity of their situation. Slowing down to reflect upon broken relationships, etc... sends the story through herky-jerky tonal shifts that don't suit it, or the actors, very well.

If you've seen the trailers, and you've seen other movies coming out of the Jonah Hill/ Apatow/ Segal camp, then you know that a lot of the movie was likely improvised and given how many scenes didn't include material shown in the trailer, its not hard to guess a lot of content was left on the cutting room floor.

Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is actually surprisingly funny as a character the audience can guess is basically Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. Russell Brand and Jonah Hill execute their parts with the aplomb you'd expect, when the story isn't getting mopey. Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss manages to play a bit more than the hapless girlfriend, given her limited screen time, but this won't be a huge surprise to fans of Mad Men.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't laugh very hard at some scenes, even a few that had me squirming a bit. But at other points I was just left scratching my head at "why did they choose this direction?"

Anyhow, if I wanted to employ a rating system, I'd recommend just waiting for premium cable or a Red Box rental, and lowered expectations. But that' sort of the story of this summer, anyway.

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