Friday, November 4, 2022

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Having some fun at the expense of the genre, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story offers up an unapologetically goofy and over-the-top biopic of the son of a factory worker turned platinum recording artist (Daniel Radcliffe) who became famous by creating parody versions of popular songs.

While not as witty or entertaining as Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Weird does satisfy by playing fast and loose with Yankovic's history including a romantic subplot with Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood) leading Al down a self-destructive path, the sudden and various odd inspiration for many of his hit songs, several notable cameos from Jack Black as Wolfman Jack to Paul F. Tompkins as Gallagher, playing up the lewd overtones of accordions and the insane action sequences of our star taking on drug lord Pablo Escobar (Arturo Castro), and in suggesting Michael Jackson's "Beat It" was a parody of "Eat It."

Radcliffe is well-cast for the goofy lead with Toby Huss and Julianne Nicholson as Weird Al's disapproving parents, Rainn Wilson as Al's mentor Dr. Demento, and Diedrich Bader as an older Al who narrates the film. Wood also gets to have fun with a version of Madonna who takes an unexpectedly dark turn in the film. While stepping in for a small role playing producer Tony Scotti, the real "Weird Al" Yankovic also provides Radcliffe's singing voice performing his own songs for a soundtrack the feels very much like a greatest hits volume. 

With the same heightened goofiness of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent from earlier this year, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story provides an upbeat, and at times manic, tale of the quick rise of Weird Al while offering twisted takes on the expected genre cliches including a troubled family backstory, alcohol abuse and the pitfalls of fame, and eventually succeeding at everything the character could have ever asked for.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
  • IMDb: link

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