June 4, 2010

Review: Only Rock 'N Roll – 'Get Him to the Greek'

Get Him to the Greek, the spin-off from the charming Forgetting Sarah Marshall also from writer/director Nicholas Stoller, is a very crude, funny buddy comedy that suffers from slightly from uneven pacing and a weak third act that takes a strange twist.

Russell Brand epitomizes the British rock star selling sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, reprising his Aldous Snow character. His performance is infectious and entertaining despite a few one-note scenes. Jonah Hill (Superbad) delivers a more restrained, straight man performance, playing the likeable and an affable record industry intern. Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) plays his sleep-deprived doctor girlfriend in an underdeveloped role that Moss does her best with.

The best parts of the film are the satirical looks at the music industry and popular music in general. Rose Byrne is hilarious as Snow's ex, Jackie Q, a ridiculous pop star in the mold of Lady Gaga, whose sexually provocative lyrics and crazy music videos border on the absurd. However, Sean "Diddy" Combs absolutely steals the show, kind of the way Brand stole the show in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Comb plays an over-the-top, foul-mouthed record executive in a role reminiscent of Tom Cruise's Less Grossman from Tropic Thunder. Combs riffs and delivers one-liners with the best of them.

Where the film really takes a strange direction is in the third act where a new comedic gag/element is introduced with very little reason or pay-off that really throws off the buddy comedy into more serious, emotional territory. It should be a funny, ridiculous scene but instead plays as awkwardly out of place and wildly off-putting. The film, until then, is pretty evenly paced as the comedy is structured through the deadline of getting Snow to Los Angeles in time for his comeback performance.

I am not sure what was wrong with the film print I was watching but I have no idea why I saw at least a dozen visible instances of a boom mic entering the top of the frame throughout the film to which I found odd and incredibly distracting.

Get Him to the Greek, despite its generic title, is a well-shot, slickly produced comedy with a lot of laughs, good cast, and enjoyably crude humour, but lacks the heart and emotion it tries so hard to achieve in the film's last act with Snow's redemption and the awkward romantic subplot between Hill and Moss' characters.

3 reactions:

Kellyanne Revenaugh said...

I saw the boom mic too! I have looked throughout tons and tons of reviews, and none of them mention the boom mic. It was really really distracting/unprofessional.

Rick Chung said...

I know, eh? It was there constantly throughout the film. It was impossible not to notice. Maybe it was only on a few work prints that weren't suppose to be used.

Unknown said...

I saw it in theaters last night and counted the boom mic 35 times!!! Also saw the camera man in the reflection of the microwave (when Daphne is talking to Aaron on the phone.) I was SO disappointed.

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