Get Him to the Greek

This casually entertaining spin-off of the 2008 sleeper comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall pretty much does forget Sarah Marshall – and completely eradicates the memory of that film's lead character (Jason Segal) as well. Instead we get a glimpse into the life of Russell Brand's self-absorbed rock star character Aldous Snow.

Quizzically, Jonah Hill, who also starred in Sarah Marshall as a fatuous waiter at a Hawaiian resort, returns in an entirely different role, a put-upon record company assistant assigned by his ruthless boss (a hilarious Sean Combs) to fly to London, pick up the drug- and alcohol-abusing Aldous, and take him to his "comeback" performance at the Greek Theatre, a Los Angeles amphitheater which I actually went to for the very first time the night before I saw this movie.

What follows has been compared to After Hours and The Hangover as a nonstop series of crazy escapades with crazy characters, but I found more comparisons with the Arthur Kopit play Road to Nirvana, in which a would-be Hollywood player is asked to perform increasingly bizarre and horrifying acts of self-mutilation in order to prove his loyalty.

Road to Nirvana and Get Him to the Greek are, of course, both satires of what real-life show business underlings endure from their capricious taskmasters on a daily basis. But is the latter funny? Well, yes, it's often very funny, and Stoller directs with ease. The movie holds up well until its third act, which takes place in LA, at which point the fun runs out and Stoller aims for a mix of sexual discomfort and personal pathos, which doesn't entirely work. But by then the movie has been such a breezy time that I didn't care too much.

Admittedly, while I did enjoy Forgetting Sarah Marshall (and would still call it a vastly superior and more honest film than Get Him to the Greek), I probably would not have gone to see this movie had my wife's boss, Dan Bern, not written several of Aldous Snow's demented songs. So there's your official disclaimer. Anyway, you should have fun watching this on TV when you're a little drunk.