Get Him to the Greek

Get Him to the Greek, written and directed by Nicholas Stoller, starring Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Elizabeth Moss, Rose Byrne and Sean Combs (2010): Even movies that have only been produced by Judd Apatow have that odd (for today’s comedies) gentleness about them, like a bassline behind the surface dramatics.

Russell Brand reprises his Aldous Snow character from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a wonky rock star given to non sequitirs and epic drug and alcohol abuse. Jonah Hill is the low-level record company employee who suggests having Snow stage a 10-year anniversary show at the Greek theatre in Los Angeles. Sean Combs, straining and heaving mightily in an apparent attempt to replicate Tom Cruise’s bizarro-hilarious performance as a studio exec in Tropic Thunder, is the executive who approves Hill’s plan — and sends him off to pick up Snow in London, England to get him first to New York for the Today Show and then to L.A.

All Hell breaks loose, of course, of course.

There are a lot of laughs here. Hill is gradually perfecting a somewhat unusual comic character — the neurotic fat guy — and he has some killer moments here, including a ridiculous bit in a limosine as he tries to stop Snow from getting stoned and drunk before the Today Show…by smoking all the pot and drinking all the booze in the car. Russell Brand possesses a weird, oily likeability, and he and Hill play pretty nicely off each other. They’re not Laurel and Hardy, but they’re also not Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, thank God. Rose Byrne and Colm Meaney have nice supporting bits as Snow’s estranged WAG and father, respectively. Recommended.

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