Get Him to the Greek (2010)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Get Him to the Greek</strong> (2010)

(On DVD, September 2010) This movie pushes a lot of my anti-humour buttons: I’m still sceptical about a good chunk of the latest British comics, and Russell Brand’s fame seems as unexplainable to me as that of Steve Coogan or Sacha Baron Cohen.  (To say nothing of Jonah Hill, who feels like a less-funny Seth Rogen… and I don’t think of Rogen as particularly funny.)  Raunchy comedies aren’t my favourite sub-genre either, and I’m getting too old to play the spot-the-pop-references game in which Get Him to the Greek often indulges.  Those biases exposed, I still had quite a good time watching the film, in part because of its go-for-broke willingness to throw just about everything at the screen and hope some of it will be amusing to viewers.  Much of the celebrity cameos were wasted on me, except for Paul Krugman’s deliciously unexpected appearance.  Who would have thought?  Brand’s grander-than-life portrait of a rock star living to the maximum is enough to make us pine for the decline of mass-marketed music, while Sean Combs turns in a equally-enjoyable performance as an overblown music executive.  The film’s R-rated language and themes creates an atmosphere in which nearly anything can happen (including some things that you hope wouldn’t) and that kind of dreamlike no-limits feeling is something that’s relatively rare in today’s PG-rated comic landscape. Get Him to the Greek is undisciplined and scattered, but there isn’t as much grossing-out as you may expect… and even some overdone sweetness by the end.  Too bad that the more responsible plot elements end up looking so dull and worn-out compared to the film’s excesses: a script polish may have been able to smooth out some of those edges.  What’s there, however, is at least funnier than most other comedies on the shelf.  It may even surprise those of you who don’t expect much.

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