Saturday, June 5, 2010
Being Famous Sucks! -- Reflections on "Get Him to the Greek"
Get Him to the Greek is not a sequel to 2008's comedy classic, Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
It's more like a spin-off.
It's not a spin-off like Joey was a spin-off for Friends. It's more like Fraiser was to Cheers...
Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), the sober rock frontman of Infant Sorrow, is back. He's no longer sober, though, the victim of a horrible break-up from his sweetheart Jackie Q, a singer for whom the break-up meant a major career break. This, along with the failure of his wretched album "African Child," have catapulted him back into the company of alcohol, drugs, and cheap, meaningless sex.
Aldous is too strange to be the sole protagonist, so we are introduced to a new character, Aaron Green (Jonah Hill). Aaron is an Infant Sorrow fanboy working at their record label, Pinnacle Records. During a hysterical staff meeting led by boss, Sergio Roma (Sean Combs, who will always be "Puff Daddy" to me), Aaron pitches the idea of getting Aldous back to the Greek Theatre in L.A. to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Infant Sorrow's top-selling live album. Sergio buys into the idea and sends Aaron to London to fetch Aldous and get him to the Greek within 72 hours.
There's no need to give away the jokes. Just know that they are great, that the trailer doesn't do them justice (because the trailers are edited for general audiences), and you will be laughing hard. Especially at Puff Daddy, who steals the show as the "mind-fucking" Sergio.
Now that I have a chance to consider the film though, it occurs to me how we never see movies where celebrities are happy with their lives. Our culture has dedicated itself to following celebrities around 24/7, and unless these people are on TMZ, they are presented as happy, normal people who are comfortable with their wealth and fame. Yet, so many movies are made with unhappy celebrities. Most recently, Jeff Bridges won the Oscar for his performance as 'Bad' Blake, a washed-up country singer, in Crazy Heart. A couple years ago it was Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr. playing disgruntled actors in Tropic Thunder. And you could even add Iron Man and its sequel to the list, too, as Tony Stark is most certainly a celebrity, and remarkably unhappy in private.
I'm not so naive as to realize that movies about unhappy people are infinitely more exciting than those about happy people, but it's still interesting to see how celebrity is portrayed so negatively. Throughout the film, Aldous is dragging Aaron from party to party, getting him drunk, loaded, and laid. Yet, Aldous is a lonely man. Celebrity has done nothing for him, except give him a means to self-destruct with society's approval. In movies like Greek, celebrityhood is seen as a problem that needs to be escaped.
So, I've decided that I don't want to be famous, or rich, because it obviously sucks!
While I may not want those things, though, I will want to purchase this movie on Blu-Ray when it hits stores this fall. And I think you probably will, too.