Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Greek" Is Funny At Times, But Disappointing Overall

Sometimes, watching a movie is like going out to dinner at a new restaurant. You spend a lot of time anticipating, waiting and hoping for a good experience. Then, the day comes. You get what it was you've been waiting for. But instead of being satisfied, you're let down. Then you pay the bill, and either you feel that the price was worth it, or you feel jilted. In this case, I didn't feel jilted by paying too much to see a movie, one which I highly anticipated. I felt satisfied that I only spent a dollar to rent it. Had I spent anymore, I would've felt cheated out of my money.

Russell Brand plays Aldous Snow, a British Rocker who, once having lived the life of relative stability and sobriety, relapses back into a life of sex, drugs and rock and roll when his long time girlfriend, Jackie, played by Rose Byrne, leaves him. Famous for his success, as well as one monumental failure, Snow goes from being the epitome of clean living to the stereotypical rock and roller. Enter Jonah Hill. He plays Aaron, a young music executive who takes on the task of going to London and getting Aldous Snow back to Los Angeles to perform at the Greek Theater for the tenth anniversary of Snow's performance at the same theater. As expected with such a charge, the odd-couple go through many strange adventures together. But instead of being funny and enjoyable, and comes across as contrived and convoluted.

This film certainly has it's moments of comedic gold. Russell Brand has made his career playing outlandish characters, such as his portrayal of Aldous Snow. But it's because his characters aren't too far removed from the man himself. Brand is a successful comedian whose honest observations of himself and his surroundings have made him a commodity on the comedy stage. Other comedic gems in the film are Sean Combs (a.k.a Puff Daddy) as record executive Sergio Roma, and Colm Meany's portrayal of Aldous Snow's father, Jonathon Snow. Combs' Sergio is so over the top, it's hard not to laugh at what comes out of his mouth, and the lengths he goes to just to save face. Meany's portrayal as Jonathon is hilarious as well. It's not hard to see that Aldous did not fall far from Jonathon's tree.

Jonah Hill has made a career for himself as well, often playing the roommate (as in "Knocked-Up") or the lovable nerd (as in "Accepted"). However, in this film, one of this first I've seen in which his character is one of the leads, his role is one that I would have probably thought a little harder about before writing it into the script. First of all, the realism in this film doesn't really exist. If I ran a music label, I don't think I would hire a scruffy, twenty something who seemingly has no drive or ambition. Also, if I were a woman, such as Aaron's love interest in the film, played by Elisabeth Moss, I would have to step back and ask myself, "Do I really see myself being with him for the long term?" Seeing these two together, playing a couple made me, as the viewer, step back as well. In reality, it would be difficult to believe that they would work as a couple. Whereas Brand, Combs and Meany are comedic gold, Hill's Aaron Green is more like comic Kryptonite.

Had I spent anymore on this film, I would have felt like having gone to an expensive restaurant and still being hungry afterwords. It certainly had it's comedic gem moments, but over all, I felt it was over-hyped and over-tauted.

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