“Get Him to the Greek”, in its simplest form, is a comedy that continues the character of Aldous Snow, this time as a washed up rock star who will make his comeback at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.
The responsibility to deliver the wayward rock star to his assigned appointment falls on Aaron Green, a junior music producer played by Jonah Hill.
As you may remember, the character Aldous Snow, played by British comedian Russell Brand, was introduced to us in the comedy, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”.
In “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”, Brand plays the lead performer in the fictitious rock group “Infant Sorrow”. His part was so successful that lines were added to the script to feature the likable rock star.
Seeing dollar signs, the Hollywood powers that be have brought Russell Brand back in his own feature film which on the surface is a free-wheeling comedy.
If that’s all it was (a free wheeling comedy), I would not have been as intrigued by the movie.
“Get Him to the Greek” develops Aldous Snow as a sympathetic character – partly because he is so pathetic and helpless, partly because he is so likable, and partly because, in the final analysis, despite his fame and fortune, he is lonely.
As Aldous Snow says before going on stage at the Greek, “I feel nervous. It’s good to feel something.”
I remember a story that I heard many years ago. I don’t know if it is true. The story goes that a reporter asked one of the Beatles (the rock group) how he felt about Elvis Presley. I don’t even remember which member of the Beatles that it was.
At any rate, this unknown Beatle responded that he always felt sorry for Elvis Presley. Why? Because the Beatles always had three other people with whom to share their experiences. Elvis Presley had to experience everything alone.
I think of that story alot, and, I thought of it again after watching “Get Him to the Greek”.
Celebrity is no doubt a wonderful thing. But, celebrity isolates the person from other people – just as effectively as a disease for which a person must be quarantined. The rewards are high, but, the price itself is also high.
I am also reminded of a folk song that I remember by Nanci Griffith called “Nickel Dreams”. It’s about a singer who has finally made it. The pertinent lyrics go:
“The money she makes every night ain’t as much as it seems,
Cuz it’s a dollar a wrinkle, and less than a nickel a dream.”
The movie, “Get Him to the Greek”, after all of its laughs, and, irreverence, and drug use, and, wild sex parties, is about a person grappling for meaning and hoping to belong; and, instead, finds himself being marketed just like automobiles or shampoo.
And that’s what makes the movie worth watching.