Get Him to the Greek

Film
3 out of 5 stars
Get Him to the Greek

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Married-rich radical M.I.A. might be having press problems these days, but they’re nothing compared with the pretensions of fictional rocker Aldous Snow (squirmy, effortlessly charming Brand). Get Him to the Greek opens with a devastatingly funny parody—a video for Snow’s self-serious “African Child,” described by shocked music critics as the worst thing to happen to the continent since apartheid. Seven years of infamy lead the debauched frontman to agree to a comeback concert, the brainstorm of superfan label-rep Aaron (Hill). After sparring with his workaholic girlfriend (Mad Men’s Moss, an unlikely partner), Aaron is on his way to London to shepherd Snow to the L.A. concert, scheduled to occur in three days.

And we’re off. When the movie remembers to be the drug-spiked, hard-R comedy you hope for, it’s more than just a fun romp (and, incidentally, superior to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the rom-com from which its Britpop libertine spins off). It’s an unusually fast and inventive scramble through New York TV studios and Vegas party clubs. The heavyset Hill is beginning to cultivate a likable John Candy--esque appeal; playing against the surprisingly sharp Sean Combs, as a hellacious boss, he grounds the movie in approachability as the orbiting players get crazier.

So what’s with the Almost Famous rooftop jump and bummer left-turn? Writer-director Nicholas Stoller can’t really be expecting us to view his movie as a referendum on rock & roll lifestyles; relationship arguments and daddy issues begin to cloud what started out as a perfectly black-lit satire. A climactic three-way in Aaron’s apartment has less oomph than a Lars Ulrich cameo. You desperately want the movie to be bad again.—Joshua Rothkopf

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