A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie is a spinoff of Forgetting Sarah Marshall focusing on that comedy's breakout character, musician Aldous Snow. This is yet another hard-R comedy produced by Judd Apatow's comedy machine, including his protege Jason Segel. Like in Sarah Marshall, the Snow character (and everyone around him) curses up a storm and acts like a substance-abusing narcissist who only thinks of partying and having sex. There is lots and lots of strong language (nearly every scene has an F-bomb in it), drinking to excess (vomit included), smoking marijuana, smuggling heroine, and having or talking about sex (including a woman-on-man rape scene played for laughs), threesomes, and venereal diseases. On a positive note, the movie does conclude that a rock star lifestyle is shallow and insignificant, and that it's the creation and performing of music that should be meaningful to an artist -- not the stuff and the partying. Parents should know that this review refers to the R-rated version -- the unrated version pushes all the limits even further.
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What's the story?
In GET HIM TO THE GREEK Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) is an assistant at the fictional Pinnacle Records, where executive Sergio Roma (Sean Combs) needs a killer idea to turn a much-needed profit. The only pitch with any promise is Aaron's idea to stage a 10th anniversary concert of rocker Aldous Snow's (Russell Brand, reprising his unforgettable Forgetting Sarah Marshall role) legendary show at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre. Disgraced since his last album, African Child, flopped and his marriage to singer Jackie Q (Rose Byrne) fell apart, Snow agrees, and Aaron is sent on a 72-hour mission to fetch him in London and bring him to the States for a promotional tour culminating in the big concert. Along the way, Aaron gets caught up in Aldous' crazy lifestyle and ends up partying like a rock star himself. On their transatlantic, cross-country adventure, the mostly wasted odd couple ends up unexpectedly bonding (a little too much) and becoming good friends.
Is it any good?
For parents and teens nearly old enough to vote who enjoy Apatow's school of comedy, this is a laugh-aloud pick. Apatow's comedy disciples are a talented bunch, and director Nicholas Stoller and producer Jason Segel made a brilliant decision to spinoff Aldous Snow and Jonah Hill (although he doesn't play the same character) for this hilarious and surprisingly poignant buddy comedy. Brand was born to play the larger-than-life narcissistic rocker who deep down just wants a hug and an honest friend, and Hill is just the actor to pull off the fanboy record-label peon who desperately wants his favorite musician to return to artistic glory. Brand and Hill's Odd Couple rapport is spot on, and although their trip to the Greek takes a bit too many turns at the end (it felt a good 20 minutes overlong), it's their chemistry that makes the crazy comedy work.
Like in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Snow's group Infant Sorrow sings original songs like "Bangers, Beans and Mash," "The Clap," and "Furry Walls," all of which are ridiculously funny -- albeit cringe-inducing -- and strangely believable rock songs. The songs are one of the highlights of the film, as is the opening making-of video of Snow's horribly misguided and offensive album African Child, in which he depicts himself as a white African Jesus. Underneath all of the fake songs and general debauchery, however, is a story about unlikely friendships, fulfillment, and grown-up, committed relationships. Elisabeth Moss is sweet (and a bit naughty) as Aaron's hardworking-doctor girlfriend Daphne, and Combs was perfectly cast as the record-label millionaire with a gift for "mind f--king" people -- think Yoda.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the filmmakers portray the music industry, celebrity culture, and rock stars in this movie. When celebrities' lifestyles are poked fun at, is it the stars themselves being lampooned or the audiences who are obsessed with them?
What's the movie's message about drinking and getting high day after day? Aldous seems to look at life as one giant party, but is he fulfilled? Why not? What's missing from his life?
What did you think of the Get Him to the Greek trailer? Did it give you a realistic idea of what the movie was going to be about? Did you watch the red-band trailer or the mainstream one? What's your opinion about red-band trailers being so easily accessible to kids?
- In theaters: June 4, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: September 28, 2010
- Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Jonah Hill, Rose Byrne, Russell Brand
- Director: Nicholas Stoller
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 107 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong sexual content, drug use throughout and pervasive language
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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