Many Los Angeles landmarks have been immortalized in films, but I believe this is the first time that a concert venue is part of the main plot point and in the title of a movie. Yes, our beloved Greek Theater is one of the main characters in the upcoming film, ‘Get Him To The Greek’.
The story is a spin-off of sorts from the film, ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’, where a record company intern is hired to accompany out-of-control British rock star Aldous Snow (Brand) to a concert at the Greek Theater.
On Monday night, The Roxy hosted the film’s other star, Russell Brand, as he debuted his character, Aldous Snow’s rock band Infant Sorrow. The ever charming Brand appeared to thunderous applause like a Manson-esque ringmaster, giving the benediction “May we all get pregnant, even those of us without a womb!”
Then as a joyous surprise to many, he introduced Carl Barat of Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things fame, who kicked off the show with some “songs about death” to fit with the Infant Sorrow theme.
Sandwiched in a booth with some gal pals and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin’ to you) with other various Judd Apatow employees and Funny Or Die denizens milling about the VIP section, I cheered Carl on as he launched into his Dirty Pretty Things hit, ‘Bang Bang You’re Dead’.
Russell resurfaced with his co-star Jonah Hill, to bring out his character’s band in the film, Infant Sorrow. Songwriters Dan Bern and Mike Viola took over vocal duties on songs like ‘Furry Walls’, ‘I Am Jesus’, ‘We Got The Clap’ and others that sounded like they should have been on the soundtrack for the film version of Motley Crue’s ‘The Dirt”. True, the songs are supposed to be bad on purpose, yet it doesn’t work on a Spinal Tap level. After a while I felt like I had gotten to another type of Greek - a frat house, where the in house improv troop were performing for Spring Carnival. We get it. We get it. We get it.
Brand finally did allow the audience to hear the dulcet tones of his voice in a duet with Barat, on the song Carl wrote for the movie, “Let’s Get Fucked.”
Brand, in his self-effacing, nervous fashion, demanded lyrics on paper and hung back, only to burst forward for the second chorus and steal focus as a self admitted attention-hungry comic of his stature will. The set was rounded out with an appearance with the Grand Pooh Bah and Frat House President, Mister Apatow. Then the super group launched into a song penned by Jarvis Cocker, who couldn’t be there because, as Russell told us, “he couldn’t be arsed”.
The song, “Just Say Yes,” is the single being promoted off the soundtrack, and for this night, (which it turns out was one long musical commercial for the film), was one of the better songs. Cocker, with this song and his scoring of Fantastic Mister Fox, has found himself a nice new niche in pop culture. Though I’m betting I’ll like Fox better than Greek, film wise.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love me some Russell Brand. And I do laugh at some of the Apatow films. But just like during this show, midway through most of his films I just get bored and sigh and think “when are we gonna find our female Apatow to champion the funny?”
I’m not talking any Nancy Meyers “It’s Complicated” bullshit. I don’t mean chick flick, leathery Jennifer Aniston finally finds a boyfriend tripe. Or any Sex And The City 12, crap. I mean the type of comedy that Liz Phair would want to see. Something funny, something raunchy, something smart…something for me.
Do I have to do everything myself?
If you want to Get To The Greek, the film opens June 4th. The soundtrack is available June 1st from Republic Records.