Welcome back to NOOOOvember, kiddos! Three lovely guest bloggers (The IPC, With a Friend Like Gary, and JJames Reviews) and myself have all been venting about our biggest film disappointments, and you can view all of these therapeutic posts in the NOOOOvember 2013 Archives. But now it’s time for another film letdown.
I opened up this series not only to my fellow bloggers, but also to any of my friends who wished to blow off some steam about the movies that disappointed them, and that’s when a longtime friend of mine stepped up—a wonderful gal whom we shall refer to as HoneyB. She’s a musical theatre major at Millikin University, and she has been a movie buddy for many years. We always have plenty to talk about after a trip to the theater, so I was thrilled that she wanted to contribute. I did not see Get Him to the Greek with her, but after reading her review, I’m pretty okay that I missed this one…
Get Him to the Greek (2010)
Contributed by HoneyB
Synopsis: “A record company intern is hired to accompany out-of-control British rock star Aldous Snow to a concert at L.A.’s Greek Theater.” –www.imdb.com
If you had the luxury of growing up as a teenager in the mid-to-late 2000s (or if you simply liked to indulge in some raunchy humor back then), you are probably well-acquainted with the comedies of one Judd Apatow. From The 40-Year-Old Virgin to Superbad to Knocked Up, Apatow has had a string of super successful films, and I am a huge fan. When I first saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall, it not only cracked my shit up, but it made me see Russell Brand in an interesting new light because up until then I thought he was possibly one of the most annoying creatures on the planet. However, when I saw him in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, he was…whoa, actually funny? I honestly couldn’t believe it. Then I heard that Get Him to the Greek was coming out as a continuation of Brand’s character from FSM and I had to admit, I was intrigued. I figured it was only fair to give it a go, and when I saw that it was coupled with another film I wanted to see at the local drive-in, I just couldn’t pass it up.
…Then I saw it, and I realized my horrible mistake.
I do have to disclaim that this was only produced by Apatow and his company. He didn’t direct or write it, so I can’t fault him with that—only providing money to fund this piece of crap.
To break it down, here are some of the seemingly good aspects that attempt to reel you in:
- THAT LIST OF CAMEOS. If you ever have time to look this film up on my favorite, trusty film website IMDb, just take a glance through that cast and check out the epic list of celebrity cameos. Of course, none of them are for extensive periods of time, but still, the prospect seems promising. You’ve got Pink, P. Diddy (with a pretty decent role), Johnny Depp, Christina Aguilera, Mario Lopez, Owen Wilson, and Pharrell just to name a few, and that already seems pretty cool. In today’s society, it’s completely accurate that the more celebrities you can cram into a film, the more interesting your film seems…even if it’s a cruel trick.
- JONAH HILL. I don’t know about you, but I personally love most things Jonah Hill does. He was a regular on the Apatow circuit of films, appearing in quite a few of them by GHTTG. Granted, at this point we didn’t have his Oscar-nominated performance in Money Ball, his hilarious two-minute cameo in Django Unchained, or the epicness of his performance in This Is the End to compare it to, but still, I had Superbad and Accepted and considered that enough. I will go ahead and say that Hill is not actually bad in this film, and I wouldn’t consider him a downfall. Then again, I love him in most anything he does, so I’ll leave that up to you if you choose to indulge in this trainwreck.
- IT’S A SPIN-OFF OF A GREAT MOVIE. I know I already mentioned this, but FSM was so good, and his character was a laugh riot, so you would think this gives a glimmer of hope for a successful continuation…yeeeeeah, really glad I didn’t hold my breath on that one. Although it’s not technically a “sequel” per se, I should’ve known that the stigma of sequels, for the most part, being inferior to their predecessors would apply.
- IT’S BASED ON CHARACTERS BY JASON SEGAL. I also love this man. He’s kind of amazing. From his comedic roles in films to his lovable character Marshall on How I Met Your Mother, I just can’t get enough of him. Since he wrote FSM, it’s a given that the creation of Brand’s character is his, but I figured if he did it so well the first time, surely the second time would be just as fun.
And then came the reality of the situation…
*SOME SPOILERS AHEAD*
- TOO MUCH RAUNCH. I know, I know, it seems like this is an impossibility and that it can’t be a bad thing. If you’ve seen This Is the End and loved it as much as I did, then you’ll wonder what my definition “too much raunch” could possibly be. However, there’s good raunchy and there’s really, really bad raunchy. Considering there is a scene where Brand uses Hill as a drug mule by stuffing heroin up his ass, you can only imagine what other antics ensue. Don’t get me wrong, Apatow has had references to illegal substances sprinkled throughout his films, so how can I judge this writer on doing the same? But let’s get real, was this really necessary? Just seems like a cheap attempt at comedy to me…and it wasn’t that funny. There’s also a really weird scene with a threesome that is not only awkward, but just…completely ridiculous in the worst way possible. Not to mention there’s a scene where P. Diddy hooks Hill up with some crazy chick who basically rapes him. I don’t even need to go into detail as to why that’s wrong. Sex humor rarely makes me blush, but come on, if you’re gonna use sex, then USE it. Don’t just throw it in for effect or for shock value.
- THE GOD AWFUL PLOT. It’s just all over the place. Between the copious amount of drugs and strange sexual shenanigans, you’d think it sounds like a teenager’s wet dream, but the plot line is so schizophrenic that it just kills the comedy. To keep it short, I’ll just touch on a couple of points. Besides Hill being used as a heroin mule, you’ve also got him at the center of another drug scene where, in order to keep Brand from falling off the wagon, Hill consumes all of Brand’s weed and alcohol, and things go downhill from there. After you are able to wash the weirdness of the rape scene off of you, you jump right into a scene where Hill tells Brand about it and Brand offers him a mega joint with a whole bunch of different drugs, which results in Hill having a bad trip and ends with P. Diddy, for some reason, lighting the lounge on fire. Oh, also did I forget to mention that Brand’s character is a father? Whoops! Must’ve slipped my mind in all the confusion of this film. His character not only has a girlfriend and a son, but his girlfriend is pop star Jackie Q (played by Rose Byrne, the trophy wife bitch Helen from Bridesmaids). However, at some point, Brand finds out she has actually been sleeping with Metallica’s drummer, and that his son might not actually be his. How’s that for a sobering moment? That’s when they slip in the creepy threesome scene which results in Brand going up to the roof, threatening to jump (wait, whaaaat?). After he jumps (albeit into a pool) and breaks his arm, he still decides to go on as to not disappoint his fans, making him realize what’s really important to him, and he decides to get sober for real. I wish I could say that this happily-ever-after crap ending salvaged this film, but honestly, the script was so bipolar that I just can’t get behind it.
- THERE’S MUSIC BY “JACKIE Q”…SHITTY MUSIC. I know this probably seems like it’d be cool, and at first it is. I think it’s pretty creative that they wanted to release a soundtrack that was less music from other artists and more from the characters in the film. So this seems like a fitting idea, and the fact that Jackie Q is supposed to be a racy pop star gives room for some interesting music. Sorry, but for my taste, the music is just trying to be gross. Perhaps that’s the point, and they’re trying to comment on the current state of pop music in relation to sex, but honestly, this just takes it a step too far. With songs like “Pound Me in the Buttox”, “Ring Round”, and “Supertight”, it’s just disgusting. The references aren’t subtle in the least and basically all the songs are repetitive.
- FINALLY, BRAND. I gotta say, and maybe it’s just me, but Brand really lost the aspects of Aldous Snow that I loved from FSM. He just went back to the annoying Russell Brand that I’m all too acquainted with. There’s really no other evidence to provide other than what I’ve already said, and in all honesty, it’s up to interpretation, but he just outright sucked.
Now, before I end this, I have to say that the first time I ever saw The Hangover, I didn’t really like it either. It took me a full second viewing before I was laughing hysterically and falling in love with it, so who’s to say this doesn’t require a second viewing? But it left such a terrible first impression that I don’t think I could ever salvage an inch of respect for this movie. The moral of the story? Russell Brand should never really be the star of anything.
Thoughts? I’d love to hear them. 🙂
Another grand addition to NOOOOvember! Many thanks, HoneyB! More to come soon! 🙂