GET HIM TO THE GREEK is, ever so loosely, a sequel to 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Both are directed by Nicholas Stoller, both bear the imprint of Judd Apatow and Sarah Marshall's star/writer Jason Segel, and both feature Russell Brand as incorrigible rock star Aldous Snow. The difference: While Brand merely stole every scene he was in in Sarah Marshall, here he's front and center, alongside Jonah Hill. Hill plays Aaron Green, a hapless record company employee who's been tasked with accompanying Snow from London to an anniversary concert in LA.
It's hardly surprising that Greek feels similar to Sarah Marshall and much of the Apatow canon. What is surprising is how deftly Greek maximizes everything Apatow flicks do well: sharp writing, clever improv, and comedy that, miraculously, is about actual characters. Brand and Hill have never been better; Peggy from Mad Men shows up (!) and is awesome; Puff Daddy shows up and is also awesome (!!); and as Brand and Hill traipse across the world, partying and panicking, Greek is consistently hilarious. True, in one or two scenes Greek shows the weakness of other Apatow-approved flicks—there's a bit of sap here, amongst the hard-partying Snow's booze and the out-of-his-league Green's vomit—but when the rest of the film is this fantastic, that's a totally okay trade.