So that’s the first of what will probably turn out to be a large number of quotable lines from the very funny GET HIM TO THE GREEK. As far as I know, this is the first really enjoyable movie of the year (CITY ISLAND is a decent but distant second). It would be easy and right to say it’s way too gross, but it honestly means to be a very critical dispaly of the self-indulgent and extravagantly disgusting characteristics of our “celebrity culture.” The movie owes something to MY FAVORITE YEAR and something to ALMOST FAMOUS. It’s not as good as and much more tastless than those two excellent films, and I guess a social scientist could trace the growth of American decadence from the tame but still very adult and funny Sid Caesar show through the undisciplined but good natured adolescent excesses of the heights of rock to today’s commodification of what used to be regarded as depravity. But in each film an innocent and obscure young fan learns a lot, is made better, and is left at least something good to remember about his amazing experiences with someone really famous. And the Russell Brand character is in some ways at least a worthy heir of the Peter O’Toole character from MY FAVORITE YEAR. In each case a lonely, disoriented, womanizing, and drunken almost has-been is allowed a moment of heroic performance and so a touch of real greatness, and a touch turns out to be all each of them needs.

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Articles by Peter Lawler

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