I don’t care what anyone says to the contrary: Russell Brand made “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” His performance as the absurdly parodic yet paradoxically self-conscious rocker Aldous Snow might have been the funniest thing I saw in 2008. A spinoff movie was imminent, and after almost two years of waiting, speculating, and checking the news on the rumor mill, we have a trailer. “Get Him to the Greek” is a reality, and I for one am ready to rock.
The movie centers around Aaron Green (Jonah Hill), a music entertainment peon who is sent by P. Diddy (a.k.a. “Sergio Roma” as he is listed on IMDb, but still for all intents and purposes P. Diddy) to bring Aldous Snow, infamous rocker and frontman of “Infant Sorrow,” from London to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Crazy times and life-changing experiences follow.
It looks funny! Jonah Hill has managed to nuance his comedic persona with each film he makes, and although Aaron Green looks and sounds an awful lot like Jonah from “Knocked Up” or Seth from “Superbad” (i.e. full of desperate and transparent attempts to rebound from awkward faux pas), he still looks like a different animal. I’m more concerned about Brand, or rather, the use of his character in the film. In other words, the film stands at risk of contracting Jack Sparrow syndrome. For those unfamiliar with Cap’n Jack Sparrow, he was the swashbuckling rock star anti-pirate from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films played by Johnny Depp. He flourished as the comedic relief in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”: Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley would get too serious, and all of a sudden Jack Sparrow would run across the screen with a pack of dogs and a prostitute nipping at his heels and remind us of how ridiculous our romanticization of pirates was to begin with. Some characters are funny because they are minor characters. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but if it’s all sugar and no medicine, it doesn’t do anyone any good.
So if writer/director Nicholas Stoller (who also directed “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) knows what he’s doing, he won’t overwrite Snow’s character. “Get Him to the Greek” will be Jonah Hill’s first foray into the dangerous territory of protagonist-hood, and I believe in him. Hopefully Stoller does, too.
“Get Him to the Greek” hits theaters June 4.