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Get Him to the Greek 

Debauched rock star plus ticking clock = typical laughs

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In 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Russell Brand portrayed Aldous Snow, the British libertine rock star who swept up the nice guy's ex-girlfriend. Now Snow's back, in this semi-sequel from Sarah director Nicholas Stoller. In it, a record-company flunky (Jonah Hill, another Sarah vet), at the behest of his boss (an unfunny Sean Combs), must escort Snow -- now a hard-partying, self-pitying artistic failure -- to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles for a comeback concert. It's a Judd Apatow production -- a talky boy's-night-out replete with profanity, drugs and vomit, plus the occasional bared naughty bit -- crossed with the frantic ticking-clock comedy of The Hangover. If that sounds hilariously awesome, then you'll probably laugh. I was mildly amused, but sending up rock 'n' roll excess, as seen through the eyes of a wide-eyed innocent, is played out. Greek holds few surprises, and definitely loses comic momentum in its awkwardly sentimental final reel. Brand is a decent physical comic -- he has the right slinky, debauched air -- and his best moments are small ones. His perfectly arched eyebrow that silently asked "wildly inappropriate three-way?" is much funnier than Snow on a rampage. Also, worth noting: the always reliable Colm Meaney as Snow's absentee dad. And for the high-brows, Greek is this surely this summer's only vulgar comedy with a cameo from economist Paul Krugman. Starts Fri., June 4.

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