Get Him To The Greek, Collector's Edition
Don't ever say you can’t get too much of a good thing, because writers and directors like Nicholas Stoller might hear you and take you at your word, following up little unexpected comedic delights like Forgetting Sarah Marshall with overdone, sloppy pictures like Get Him to the Greek, which takes supporting characters who always leave you wanting more and makes the egregious error of giving you exactly that—more. People aren’t happy until they beat a good idea to death these days, overextending comedy that is only brilliant in its subtlety. A joke isn’t funny if you repeat it over and over. But now you can own Get Him to the Greek on DVD, go home, and watch it over and over, remarking the whole time about how much funnier Forgetting Sarah Marshall is.
Stoller sums up a key difference in one of the special features in this DVD collector's edition: “Sarah Marshall was mainly people sitting and talking,” he says. “We call this movie ‘running and screaming.’” To our detriment, Stoller forgets that his strengths do not lie in running, screaming or puking, for that matter. Don’t get me wrong—it’s hard to find fault with the quick-witted Russell Brand and the self-depreciating Jonah Hill in this story about sycophantic record company intern Aaron Green (Hill) escorting his fallen rock star hero, Aldous Snow (Brand), from the band Infant Sorrow to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles to perform a huge career-saving concert. The two comedic actors are the movie’s saving grace and their chemistry is worthy of note, but even their enlivening (often improvised) wit is not enough to save the slapstick, dull, grotesque writing that relies so heavily on substance abuse, bodily functions, and obvious sexual innuendo that is supposed to be funny because it is thinly veiled.
After Snow has fallen off the wagon following the abysmal failure of Infant Sorrow’s highly-anticipated album, African Child, it’s up to Green to save him and, in the process, foster a unique and meaningful friendship with the rock star. At the same time, Snow encourages his new unlikely friend to cut loose a little bit and experience his own life. Most of the movie surrounds scenes of partying, excessive substance abuse, and unrealistic violence. Some of the supporting characters jazz up the plot a bit, including a surprising performance by Sean “P. Diddy” Combs as Green’s boss and truly hilarious portrayals by Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss as Green’s girlfriend, Daphne, and Damages’ Rose Byrne as Snow’s ex-girlfriend and musical partner, Jackie Q. Beyond these fun performances and a slew of music videos from the fictitious album that elicit a few laughs for their over-the-top satire, the film falls just short of expectations set up by its predecessor.
The DVD’s Bonus Features indulge us with full-length music videos of five songs in the movie, most of which feature Brand and Byrne. You can also find songs that didn’t appear in the theatrical release of Greek, such as “Riding Daphne,” inspired by the ménage a trois that Green and Snow share with Moss’ character. Jack Black also makes an inexplicable appearance in the Extras section, performing “Dracula’s Lament” from Sarah Marshall with Jason Segel at the Greek Theater when it is packed with extras.
The rare fan who really wants to immerse him or herself in everything there is to know about Get Him to the Greek will be delighted to know that there’s no shortage of bonus features. In addition to the expected ones (a gag reel in two parts, feature commentary with filmmakers and cast, and a slathering of deleted, extended, and alternate scenes—some of which are funnier than those that were kept in the movie), there is an alternate ending and beginning, the latter of which shows just how Snow fell off the wagon in the first place. The DVD also offers behind-the-scenes documentaries of the movie’s making, full interviews with the actors while in character conducted by such figures as Meredith Viera and Kurt Loder, most of which seem entirely unscripted and are partly featured in the motion picture. This collector’s edition also includes a slightly extended, unrated version of the movie that was not released in theaters. There are several hours of extras together, so if you watch them all after the movie, and pair it with Sarah Marshall and all of its bonus features, you’ll have pretty much a full day of entertainment. I would just recommend seeing Get Him to the Greek first so you can build up to the real laughs.