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“Get Him To The Greek”: Stealth Conservatism for Those Who Can Stomach Vulgarity
Posted By Chris Yogerst On June 6, 2010 @ 5:00 pm In NewsReal Blog | No Comments
Can you picture a rock star pitching himself as the White African Jesus? If so, you may be slightly disturbed. Also, might have an appreciation for a character like Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Movies about rock stars (or music in general) are extremely hit and miss. There are two tracks to take; there are films like This Is Spinal Tap and films like Walk The Line. Get Him to the Greek is somewhat of a hybrid between these two as it incorporates music, raunchy humor and drug use with larger, more positive messages.
The film opens with two ridiculous music videos, one from Aldous and one from his wife Jackie Q (Rose Byrne). Aldous’ video is of his latest song called “African Baby,” which was deemed one of the worst things to ever happen to Africa. This is followed by a recap of the next seven years after Aldous’ “African Baby” album bombed and the two became sober. We fast forward to last year where Aldous is a washed up rock star and his life is a mess.
Aaron Green (Johan Hill) works for a record label that represents Aldous. Producer Sergio (Sean Combs) calls a team meeting to find a way to create more revenue for the label. Aaron recommends that they have a ten year anniversary for the Aldous Snow “Live at The Greek” album which was extremely successful upon its initial release. Sergio goes for it and sends Aaron to London to get Aldous and get him to a performance at The Today Show in New York City and to The Greek Theater in Los Angeles a day later. He has 72 hours to complete his “mission.” Unfortunately for Aaron, escorting a rock star isn’t easy.
Upon arrival in London Aaron already knows he is out of his element. After botching a few greetings he meets Aldous who takes advantage of Aaron’s vulnerability and they go out drinking instead of hopping on the 6pm flight to LA. From here on out Aaron is more or less forced to drink and take drugs due to pressure from either Aldous or Sergio. While the film starts to appear like another drug induced fantasy the reality is actually the opposite.
NewsReal Blog managing editor David Swindle and I have been talking for about a year regarding something we call “stealth conservatism” in many major films (most notably comedies). If we look at something like Superbad or the work of Judd Apatow (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Funny People) we can see conservative messages hidden cleverly amidst the gross-out gags. Of course, one has to be able to stomach vulgarity in order to see this (easier for younger generations desensitized to foul language).
The same is at work in Get Him To The Greek. Now, that isn’t to say that the filmmakers are conservative by any means. It is just saying that this film is yet another example of conservative sentiments packaged neatly into a film that is promoted for today’s college crowd.
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