Get Him to the Greek

W.C. Fields warned, “Never work with children or animals.” Russell Brand and Jonah Hill can add, “Never work with P. Diddy.” When you’re upstaged by a rap entrepreneur with no reputation for self-mockery, fire your agent. This very loose spin-off of Forgetting Sarah Marshall stretches Brand’s Aldous Snow into the star of his own movie. In Marshall, he was a smooth operator. Here, he’s at his nadir: his last album (African Child) was called “the worst thing to happen to Africa since slavery,” and longtime love Jackie Q (Rose Byrne) has dropped him for pop tart famedom and a series of rockers including Lars Ulrich in an unexpected cameo. Enter Hill as a nerdy record company intern—a straight man role that doesn’t suit him—who Diddy entrusts to drag Brand from London to L.A. While the preeningly handsome rock star could carry a film, writer-director Nicholas Stoller doesn’t let him. Instead, he trusts in booze, drugs and tits, edited into montages and repeated literally ad nauseum until Jonah Hill upchucks on his shirt. More than once. What passes for a punch line is, “Lets have some absinthe!” Stoller and co-writer Jason Segel’s disinterest in making their comic leads funny leaves a vacuum that only two people dare to fill. One is comedienne Carla Gallo who has a great go-for-broke scene as a Vegas stripper named Destiny. The other is Diddy, who channels the worst of his reputation into music mogul Sergio Roma. Ruthless, domineering, deadly serious and willing to play dirty, he gets a laugh with every line and makes it look effortless. That’s a technique Hill needs to consider as he drags his puke rags to the dry cleaners.

Click here for Get Him to the Greek in the IE Weekly

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