Weird: The Al Yankovic Story – Film Review

No other musical artist has changed the game of the industry quite like Weird Al Yankovic. Known for his ridiculous parodies of popular songs, Weird Al has been around since the 70s and is showing no sign of slowing down. Musical biopics have been in demand as of late, with successes like Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman. Now it’s Weird Al’s turn to get the biopic treatment. Yet Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is more in line with Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story than it is with all the rest of the music biopics. It seeks to make fun of all the inaccuracies and hard-partying lifestyles prevalent in those films by being an inaccurate exaggeration of a real musician in only the way Weird Al Yankovic himself could tell it. The story of Weird is not new, as it started off as a Funny or Die sketch starring Aaron Paul as Weird Al, only a decade ago. Now comes a perfect time for Weird to be an actual movie, but with Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al.

At first glance, it would be easy to assume that Weird is a real account of Yankovic’s life since his story has not been told, as far as I am concerned. How did this guy come to be? What inspired him to take popular songs and change the lyrics if not for fun? The world could keep on guessing, but Weird will not answer your questions. Instead, get ready for nearly 2 hours of comedic genius as one gag goes on to the next, eventually reaching a level of unbelievable insanity. If parody is dead, then Weird somehow revived it.

Weird loosely explores nearly every facet of Weird Al’s life from his rocky relationship with his polka-hating parents (Toby Huss and Julianne Nicholson) to his career making song parodies with his bandmates (Spencer Treat Clark, Jack Lancaster, and Tommy O’Brien), his collaboration with childhood idol and radio host, Dr. Demento (Rainn Wilson), and relationship with Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood). How much of it is true is few and far between, yet then again, inaccuracies and exaggerations are what Weird thrive on. We all know that Walk Hard is a parody, because the character of Dewey Cox is made up; a caricature of Johnny Cash if ever there was one. With Weird, Weird Al is a real musician, making the joke of his exploits that much funnier, especially knowing that Yankovic co-wrote the script (even going so far as to make an appearance as the head of a record label). I pity those who know nothing about Weird Al Yankovic expecting it to be a straight biopic until it is too little too late. But if that were the case, it would add an extra bit of irony; something I am sure that Yankovic himself would find just as hilarious.

I had a real good time with Weird, especially being a fan of the musician. It is a beacon of comedy brilliance that 2022 needed, which you could stream for free on The Roku Channel. Though your viewing experience may vary depending on whether your internet can handle it.

GRADE: A

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