So. You want to be a rock and roll star?
This is a movie I was really looking forward to once I saw the trailers. The larger-than-life rock star life-style often makes for some real fun movie-going and “Greek” doesn’t disappoint, though it does have some rough spots.
The casting is awesome. Russell Brand is perfect as somewhat-past-his-prime British rocker, Aldous Snow. He’s got the right look for starters – thin, wiry, kind of out of control, long Jesus-like hair. He carried off the right attitude as well. If you rolled together the classic Brit rockers you’d get Aldous. He was brilliant in the role. I’d never heard of the guy before but it was genius casting.
Jonah Hill plays the guy from the record company who’s a fan of Snow and is charged with getting him from London to Los Angeles in 72 hours to play at a concert. He does pretty well as a young guy who more or less gets a chance to meet his idol and live out his dream – and then gets to see the “darker” side of rock and roll up close. P. Diddy plays the record executive and he’s great in the role. He’s not a natural actor … he’s just not as smooth as the rest of the cast delivering his lines … but he’s believable and damn funny.
The story is kind of what you’d expect given the plot. Lots of drugs, girls, partying, and so forth. But its well acted and well written and you just enjoy watching Hill and Brand and Combs work the script. If you grew up in the age of Led Zeppelin or The Who a lot of what goes on is almost nostalgic.
The also do a good job poking fun at some of the cause-based albums that get produced. It’s not an in-your-face statement, but a failed album by Snow about Africa sets the groundwork for the rest of the plot. It’s a nice touch, either way. The music written for the actors to sing in their roles also poked fun at the trend towards vulgarity in current music. Subtle, but I liked that little touch.
There are some slow and awkward parts, though. Some of the scenes in Vegas with Snow’s father wander on and don’t really add too much. A few scenes with P. Diddy just don’t have the timing right and the pauses are a little too long. The whole “3-some” scene was pointless and added nothing to the story.
Whatever this film lacked in originality (the whole rock-and-roll stereotype has been done to death) it more than made up for in writing and watchability. There were some twists on the genre that were great – like the “Jeffrey” and “fuzzy walls”. It really looked like the main characters were enjoying making this film.
This movie is worth seeing. Though I don’t know if anyone under 30 will get some of the references or the nuance.