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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “‘Greek’ a hilarious, crass journey”

    Jonah Hill

    Get Him to the Greek

    Universal Pictures

    To be released June 4, 2010

     

    Score: B+

     

    After producing seven films in two years, Judd Apatow waited almost a year to produce his sole release of 2010, “”Get Him to the Greek.”” After back-to-back struggles — “”Year One”” and “”Funny People,”” which failed to elicit mainstream success — Apatow returns with his freshest film since “”Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”” Fittingly, “”Greek”” reteams Apatow with much of the film’s talent.

    After the sleeper success of “”Marshall,”” it was announced that British rocker Aldous Snow (Russell Brand in the part he was born to play) would return for a spin-off. “”Greek”” takes place several years after “”Marshall,”” with Snow completely burned out and on every conceivable drug. Young record intern Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) is sent to London to bring Snow to a show in L.A in an attempt to resurrect his career and record sales.

    The return of Brand is bliss, his Snow balancing his capricious emotions with a ludicrous regimen of substance abuse. Hill also returns from “”Marshall,”” but as a new character. With “”Marshall”” writer Jason Segal passing on the film, director Nicholas Stoller took over as sole writer. While Stoller’s writing falls short of Segal’s warmth and authenticity, it excels at the ridiculous.

    Eschewing the typical Apatowian ad-libbed dialogue, Stoller drives the film forward with active scenes. Very much a road trip film, “”Greek”” soars from London to New York to Las Vegas to L.A. without missing a beat. The pacing is snappy, as Snow puts Green through the Pete Doherty boot camp of debauchery, with incredible set pieces that elicit as many laughs as cringes.

    The film is at its best when Stoller lets bad situations progress into utter insanity. In a lot of ways, “”Greek”” is a product of the ’80s school of drug binge comedy taken to Rube Goldberg extremes. It doesn’t take a genius to know that absinthe-based hallucinations of P. Diddy eating his own head will be hilarious.

    The biggest laughs come from Green’s inability to maintain control of Snow — and therefore, himself. Green’s repeated spirals into various narcotic and sexual oblivions, his instruments of choice ranging from a gigantic dildo to an entire armada of drugs that must be ingested before a talk show performance, result in a film with more belly laughs than any other comedy so far this year.

    If there is any blight on the film, it is its unnecessary diversions into warmth. Snow is too unreliable of a character for his romantic narrative arc to strike any realistic chords. His scenes with his ex-wife and son lack context, as his substance problems make him incapable of actual emotion. Similarly, Green’s career-driven girlfriend is atrociously written, without a single genuine or desirable quality. Her inconsistencies stifle the film’s pacing and glee. Thankfully, neither subplot has much bearing on the film.

    Ultimately a success for Camp Apatow, “”Greek”” capitalizes on the disposable nature of its leads. Hill and Brand have nothing to lose, so Stoller rakes them across hot coals of lunacy. It’s a go-for-broke approach that maximizes its comedic return. “”Greek”” won’t hit theaters for a month, but it’s well worth your wait. Any film that can generate repeated humor from multiple forced anal insertions is a keeper, right?

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