After Russell Brand and Jonah Hill exhibited hilarious chemistry in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, it was a no-brainer to do a spin-off centered on Brand’s rock star character, Aldous Snow. The 2010 spin-off, Get Him to the Greek, cast Hill in a different role from the original movie.
Viewers might have found it distracting that we were supposed to believe that in this fictional universe, there are two guys who look just like Jonah Hill who have waltzed into Aldous Snow’s life and gushed over him. But their chemistry is so great and the script so darn funny that viewers instantly forgave the inconsistency.
When Aaron first meets Aldous, the rock god asks him for an honest critique of the song “African Child.” Sergio previously told Aaron to tell Aldous that he loves “African Child” so much that he plays it while he’s brushing his teeth, but Aaron decides to tell Aldous how he really feels.
This makes Aldous mad and he explains, “what you did was very spiteful, but it was also very brave and very honest and I respect you for doing that. But the content of what you said has made me hate you. So, there’s a layer of respect, admittedly, for your truthfulness, but it’s peppered with hate. Hateful respect.”
There are a ton of celebrity cameos in Get Him to the Greek, since it’s set in the world of glitz and glamor and fame and fortune, and most of the movie’s scenes take place in exclusive nightclubs that only let in celebrities. Aaron meets Tom Felton, the actor who played Draco Malfoy, and tells him about his table in the back.
Then he adds, “feel free to bring Professor Snape. We’ll play some late-night Quidditch.” Felton says, “just leave it,” and Aaron tells him, “not everybody cares,” to take the air out of his tires. But he’s from Harry Potter, so a lot of people actually do care.
You can never go wrong with a Fresh Prince reference. Sean “Diddy” Combs is hysterical in Get Him to the Greek in the role of madcap record producer Sergio. It’s one of the finest comic performances in recent memory, with every line, joke, and gag landing.
A good example of this is in the scene with Pharrell Williams – one of the many, many, many famous cameos in the movie – when Sergio tells Pharrell not to wear so much pink, because it’s “not gangsta.” Pharrell tells Sergio, “You’re five zippers away from ‘Thriller,’” and with pitch-perfect timing, Sergio quips back, “Oh, and you’re one shirt away from Carlton, motherf****r.”
When Aldous and Aaron get to Vegas after Aldous has gotten Aaron to insert a balloon of heroin into his body, Aaron flips out and pours out the heroin all over the carpet. Aldous freaks out and demands that Aaron go out and get him some more, so he goes down to the front desk and asks if his friend is staying in the hotel: “H-E-R-O-I-N.”
The guy on the front desk has a heroin hookup, but he’s not impressed by Aaron’s subtlety: “I mean, you come here, you ask me if somebody named Heroin has checked in the f**king hotel, ‘cause you wanna buy drugs and that’s how you do it? You pretend that it’s the last name of a f**king guest?”
When Get Him to the Greek begins, we catch up with Aldous Snow on the set of his latest music video, “African Child.” The song turns out to be a total flop, with critics finding it to be tone-deaf, offensive, and really stupid.
We could tell that was going to happen from the video’s behind-the-scenes doc, in which he says, “I was watching the news one day and I saw footage about, uh, war, and I think it was in Darfur, or Rwanda, or Zimbabwe, or one of ‘em, and I thought, ‘This isn’t right, is it?’ And I made some phone calls and it turns out, it isn’t.”
Diddy’s character Sergio is obsessed with “mind-f**king” people. He brings it up a few times. The first time is with Aaron, when he tells him, “I’m mind-f**king you right now.” Aaron isn’t getting it, though, because he doesn’t really know what that is – and it seems like even Sergio is a little unclear himself.
He asks Aaron, “Can’t you feel my d**k f**king your mind?” and Aaron replies, “No, I can’t really feel anything.” But as it turns out, that’s all a part of it. Sergio explains, “See? That’s it. That’s the art of it. I’m mind-f**king the s**t outta you.”
For the first half of Get Him to the Greek, Aldous and Aaron are in London, so we see the culture clash of an American man in Britain. For the second half, they’re in Vegas and L.A., so we see the culture clash of a British man in America.
In the first half, a hungover Aaron is baffled when an English limo driver asks him, “Would you like me to take the Chiswick roundabout through Hounslow and Staines?” Unable to make head or tail of this, Aaron says, “What is this, f**king Middle-earth? Just take us to the airport, okay?”
In an early scene in Get Him to the Greek, we get an early sign that Aaron is missing out on the party scene that comes along with being a record executive. His two co-workers, played by Aziz Ansari and Nick Kroll, have just been to a party at Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s house.
They tell Aaron, “We went into their bathroom. Jay-Z and Beyoncé have these two bidets right next to each other, so they can sit there and hold hands while they get their bunguses cleaned out.” Aaron, crushed with disappointment, says, “You used Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s matching his-and-hers bidets?”
This is a part of a wider monologue about how rock stars refuse to die. After Aaron has managed to get Aldous to the gig at the Greek Theater, despite being really high and having a broken arm with the bone sticking out, Sergio assures him that nothing can kill a rock star.
Aaron is concerned about Aldous’ health and thinks he should get to a hospital, but Sergio tells him to relax, because this is the kind of lifestyle that rock stars’ bodies are used to. He sums it up perfectly with this one-liner: “F**kin’ Ozzy Osbourne’s gonna outlive Miley Cyrus!” It might actually be true.
This is the line that Aldous repeats to Aaron in a Vegas hotel room when Aaron accidentally smokes something called a “Jeffrey,” which Aldous describes as “mostly weed, with a bit of opium as well...ground-up E’s...heroin...Clorox...” Clearly, this is a terrible thing to put in your body, and Aaron took a hit by accident. He’s freaking out.
Aldous takes him over to one of the walls in the hotel room, which is inexplicably covered in fur, and tells him, “Stroke the furry wall.” He ends up writing a song about it that plays us into the end credits when the movie is over.