I had high hopes for this comedy after the hilarity and inventiveness that was Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but unfortunately I was bitterly disappointed. Rather than oddball characters, innovative plot twists and memorable one-liners, Get Him to the Greek is saturated with laboured cameos and what I can only refer to as obvious slapstick and tasteless sex jokes.
The cast on paper is great – Russell Brand is charismatic as ever with his exaggerated persona carrying most of the film, and Jonah Hill plays the awkward, shy fanboy with comic aplomb. Even P Diddy steals a few laughs, yet somehow something is missing, and it seems to be the direction. Aside from the often immature script, Nicholas Stoller fails to create a unified goal for his actors, who often feel as if they are in different rooms, reading different scripts. One wonders how he has lost his touch so quickly, considering his two leading men also starred in the prequel.
The story had potential: inexperienced intern chaperones drunken has-been rock star on a mission to save his career – but this road trip never quite gets going, and every party and hotel room feels like uninspired repetition, rather than a comic commentary on the tragedy of fame. Yet Stoller has fallen prey to the curse of the sequel and exaggerated once funny characters to the extreme, until they cease to amuse, only annoy.
It feels like we have heard the same gags countless times in mediocre teen comedies, and here a usually great comedy force is let down by poor direction and inadequate, tired material. Rose Byrne as Brand’s ex-lover is also embarrassingly crude as Jackie Q, failing to secure any kind of positive audience response as she gallivants her way through a series of course and indelicate music videos, lacking any kind of irony.
Most disappointing for me was Elisabeth Moss as Hill’s girlfriend Daphne. She is a brilliant actress and is sweet and likeable in this role, yet it is somewhat beneath her after her triumph in Mad Men. She is just one of several underused characters in this movie, as well as Aziz Ansari’s Matty and Nick Kroll’s Larry, both of whom featured in 2009’s I Love You Man and have a certain comic prescence that has been vastly overlooked.
Packed full of stars (Pharrell, Pink, Lars Ulrich) who have very little to offer, and a script that presents little entertainment, this film lacks the witty dimension of Jason Segel and Paul Rudd, leaving one thinking that Stoller should have picked a more original project.