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‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’ is a perfect parody of musical biopic genre

‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’ is a perfect parody of musical biopic genre

‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’ is a perfect parody of musical biopic genre
December 02
13:00 2022

A new musical biopic titled “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” was released this November on the Roku channel.

The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as the titular Weird Al, Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna, Rainn Wilson as Dr. Demento, Toby Huss as Nick Yankovic and Julianne Nicholson as Mary Yankovic.

Viewers follow an exaggerated version of Weird Al’s life that spoofs usual tropes found in musical biopics of the past few years. What truly makes “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” stand out is how the film calls attention to these beats with effective and hilarious meta-humor.

Al’s story begins when he’s a young kid introduced to the accordion by a door-to-door salesman. Things take a turn when his father disapproves and begins to savagely beat the man. What makes it hilarious is how the family immediately moves on like nothing eventful happened.

Because of his father’s hatred for his dreams, young Al decides to move out to live with his friends in college.

He creates his first parody by making a sandwich while listening to “My Sharona,” which soon becomes “My Bologna.” The song becomes a hit amongst the public and draws the attention of a radio jockey called Dr. Demento.

Weird Al crafts hit after hit of song parodies ranging from “Another One Rides the Bus” to “Eat It.”

A particularly fun scene involves Weird Al singing a parody on the spot after being called out by haters who believe he’s a one-hit wonder.

Radcliffe sinks into the exaggerated and theatrical role that dominates every scene he’s in. There’s no hint of his Harry Potter past throughout this entire film. He has a high energy that matches this satirical comedy.

Another enticing character is Wilson’s Dr. Demento. He represents the mentor role to guide Weird Al on his journey to fame and success.

The film’s surprise appearance is Wood’s Madonna, who falls in love with Weird Al for his newfound status. Their love story is completely fabricated but proves to be wildly entertaining as it plays out.

While the film is clearly a parody, the main theme revolves around Weird Al’s estranged relationship with his father. It’s satirizing the musical biopic trope of a troubled childhood, but maintains genuine heart in the relationship.

Throughout the film, Weird Al is constantly ridiculed and teased about his dreams. His antagonizers range from his father to the record label.

The film is an effective underdog story about how Weird Al went against all odds to become an incredible musician.

Humor is the main focus of the film, and it all mostly lands. The most hysterical scene involves Weird Al suddenly learning Kung Fu to fight Colombian drug lords who have kidnapped Madonna. A sudden inclusion of action brings it closer to “John Wick” and “Rambo” than musical biopics like “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The film ceases all realism and goes off a dramatic deep end.

The film’s random nature is its strength, which makes every scene incredibly engaging. It is nearly impossible to lose interest as another outlandish scenario plays out in heavy fashion.

A cool aspect is the inclusion of comedians from all over Hollywood. There won’t be spoilers for who shows up, but make sure to keep an eye out.

Music-wise, the film keeps the spirit and energy of Weird Al’s real songs throughout. There’s practically no difference between Radcliffe’s version and the original.

The most entertaining musical sequence is “Amish Paradise,” which brings an emotional crescendo to Weird Al and his father’s relationship. He’s inspired to make the song because of his father’s long-buried notes.

Any other film would’ve ended here, but Weird Al decides to give the most ridiculous ending yet. The only hint to give is how divergent it is to real life.

“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” is the most refreshing addition to the musical biopic genre in years. While other films strictly follow real life, tthis one decides to give a much more fanciful ending that diverges from realism. It is fitting his biopic parodies other films since Weird Al’s whole profession boils down to parodies.

It may not win any Academy Awards, but Weird Al manages to be the most entertaining way to tell the life story of an iconic musician.

Joaquin’s rating: 4/5

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Joaquin Fernandez

Joaquin Fernandez

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