Second time director Nicholas Stoller already has accomplished more in two films than many directors will in their lifetimes. Get Him to The Greek from Universal Pictures is a spin-off of the hit comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall from 2008, written by Jason Segel, who takes on a behind-the-scenes role here Producer/Writer. The story follows British Rock Star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), a man with many vices, on his road to a comeback after a having reached a critical and commercial slump with his offensive last album.
Aaron (Jonah Hill) is a record company intern who reports to label executive Sergio Roma (Sean "Diddy" Combs) who helps construct Aldous' tenth year anniversary comeback concert at The Greek theatre in Los Angeles. There are many challenges though along the way as the head-strong Rocker battles his addiction to drugs, alcohol, a lack of self-love and lingering feelings for his ex-girlfriend Jackie Q. (Rose Byrne). Meanwhile, Aaron's career has pulled him in a separate direction from his sweet girlfriend Daphne (Elisabeth Moss), resulting in their decision to break up. At the same time he must prove to his boss that he has what it takes to successfully complete his assignment, even if it means sacrificing what he believes in for his job. Also, we are in a constant state of worry whether or not Aldous will actually make it to his own show or if he will just self-destruct.
Hill and Brand are a brilliant pairing with the latter being surprisingly effective in this role written specifically for him. He exercises a great deal of control in his performance with some very famous double entendres and biting jabs, yet still manages to convey the incredible sadness and loneliness of Aldous underneath it all. Hill's star is also quickly rising as he captures the reservedness and worrying ways of Aaron succinctly to give Aldous' craziness that right amount of contrast. Also, it is a great surprise to see Mad Men's Moss here and as Daphne she is completely likable after being "done to" by Aaron's reckless partying and antics while on the road with his bad influence of a client.
Get Him to The Greek is a guys' movie. Much of its jokes revolve around lewd sex jokes (i.e. Hill being forced to stuff a balloon filled with Cocaine into his rectum) and the after effects of drinking or drug consumption. Brand's hilarious songs, which we got a taste of in Forgetting Sarah Marshall are out in full effect here, delivering much of the film's best laughs. Those expecting this to be as good as its predecessor will be slightly underwhelmed, but the message of the film that sometimes we have to make mistakes in life to realize what we truly have, rings true and is a rewarding lesson learned. Now in wide release, Get Him to The Greek is a solid effort for a film of its genre. Grade: B+