A Judd Apatow film’s key to success is that regardless how childish or complex the characters might be, every one is lovable in his or her zany way.
“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” was a comedy that overflowed with such memorable players, I felt the cast was worthy of a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Acting Ensemble.
With exception to Robert Downey Jr.’s Kirk Lazarus in “Tropic Thunder,” there probably hasn’t been a finer comedic character to emerge from the cinema this decade than Russell Brand’s creation of rock star Aldous Snow. It only makes sense that this hilarious crossbreed of Johnny Depp and Hugh Grant should get his own spin-off in “Get Him to the Greek.”
Brand reprises his role as Snow, who after staying sober for seven years has fallen off the wagon. His last album, “African Child,” was a monumental flop and his girlfriend and mother of his child, played by Rose Byrne from the FX series “Damages,” has dumped him. With his career in a rut, Snow spends all his time drinking and doing drugs at his flat in London.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles lives Aaron Green (Jonah Hill), an intern at a record company. Green is in a long-term relationship with a woman named Daphne, played by Elisabeth Moss from “Mad Men.” But she’s so worn out from an internship at a hospital that she rarely has time anymore to go out with her boyfriend.
Green is given the opportunity of a lifetime when his boss (Sean “P. Diddy” Combs) asks him to pick up Snow from London for a reunion concert at the Greek Theater. But Green doesn’t realize the numerous parties, orgies and benders that accompany Snow.
Hill previously played a waiter and wannabe singer obsessed with Snow in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” Here he has tremendous chemistry with Brand, producing one of the funniest on-screen duos since Seth Rogan and James Franco in “Pineapple Express.”
In addition to Hill and Brand, there are hilarious performances from the entire cast. Byrn reveals a completely different side of her in her native Australian tongue as singer Jackie Q. I knew Moss could be funny from a self-parody of her character Peggy Olson on “Saturday Night Live,’ but here she’s a delight woman who might seem controlling at first,but really does love her boyfriend.
Stealing the whole show is P. Diddy as Sergio Roma, a foul-mouthed record company executive who I wouldn’t mind seeing paired up with Tom Cruise’s Les Grossman, the hotheaded, overweight producer from “Tropic Thunder.”
At the film’s core is another outstanding performance from Brand as this unforgettable character. Aldous Snow might not seem like somebody who could evolve beyond a supporting role. However, director and screenwriter Nicholas Stoller brings just the right amount of depth to the picture. He builds Snow into a 3-D individual with a fragile ego and more inner demons than you might expect.
“Get Him to the Greek” isn’t quite as funny as “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” or some of Apatow’s best work, like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Superbad” and “Knocked Up.” Nevertheless, it’s still one of the best comedies of 2010 and certainly the funniest film in theaters right now.
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