Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Get Him to the Greek

Am I the only one that thinks the Apatow takeover of American comedy is getting a little old? The dude started with a hit (The 40-Year-Old-Virgin) followed with another (Knocked Up) but hasn’t delivered, as a director or producer, since. In short, his films are turning into romantic comedies for men.

Funny gimmick is introduced. Funny gimmick is carried out and talked about for an hour. Funny gimmick hits a road block. Tears and screaming ensue. Everyone makes up. All is well. Fade to black.

That’s how simple the plot development for his films are becoming. In Get Him to the Greek - the less-than-stellar, quasi sequel to the very stellar Forgetting Sarah Marshall - the standard Apatow format is well in tow.

Lame music exec Aaron (Jonah Hill, please go away) is sent to London by his relatively insane boss (Sean “P Diddy” Combs, defining over acting) to retrieve rockstar nut job Aldous Snow (Russell Brand, so good in Marshall) so he can put on an anniversary concert.

With a plotline so simple, I’m amazed director Nicholas Stoller managed to make it so overdone and uninteresting. Aaron and Aldous have a wild night getting drunk and stoned. They wake up and continue to do it all over again. And again. And again. Okay, we get the point. And what’s with all the over-direction? The spinning camera, the imposed heads on the screen, the fast cutting; it’s all a bit too much. And lest we forget the “three-way” that takes place during the end of the movie. A scene in which its participants have about as much chemistry as three senior citizens drinking coffee.

Honestly, Get Him to the Greek isn’t all bad. Some jokes pop (sorry, I… can’t remember which ones, but I know I laughed…twice?) And a few performances are well done, namely by Rose Byrne (one of the most underrated actresses currently working), who plays Aldous’s ex. But for every joke that hits, there are five that miss. Take P Diddy’s explanation of how he is a brilliant “mind fucker”.

“I’m mind-fuckin’ you right now, can you feel my dick all up in yo brain?”

What the hell? How is that funny?

It’s a shame that the best character from Forgetting Sarah Marshall is put little use when given his own movie. Except of course to bring on the typical everything-little-thing’s-gonna-be-all-right Apatow catharsis that we’re all growing weary of. Sorry Judd, I think you need to go back to the drawing board. Your cookie-cutter comedies are spent. D

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