Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is a satirical biopic directed by Eric Appel in his feature film directorial debut. He also co-wrote the movie with singer “Weird Al” Yankovic. It was released as an exclusive to the Roku channel.
Alfred Yankovic (Daniel Radcliffe) leaves his disapproving father Nick (Toby Huss) and mother Mary (Julianne Nicholson), heading off to become an accordion player and parody songwriter. During a performance of “I Love Rocky Road,” he is spotted by radio broadcaster Dr. Demento (Rainn Wilson) and given a chance with a big record deal. During an interview, Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood) decides she wants Al to parody “Like A Virgin” and seduces him, giving him inspiration for “Like A Surgeon.” However, when Michael Jackson parodies his hit “Eat It” with the pop song “Beat It,” Al has a mental breakdown leading to a showdown in the jungle.
I loved this movie. If you know Weird Al’s music like I do, you will get all of the inside jokes, meta humor, and even the absurd way the history of his career is presented. His music made me laugh and seeing these parody origins for some of his hits put a smile on my face.
That is not to say that you have to know about Weird Al to understand the humor. Quite the opposite. The film parodies and satirizes musical biopics by mocking all of the tropes. Unforgiving parents. Check. Friends that get dropped. Check. Shady manager. Check. Corrupt label dudes. Check. Volatile relationship. Check. Redemption. Check. It is hilarious and I laughed at virtually every joke.
As for the performances, I will admit that no one was stand out. That being said, Daniel Radcliffe was hilarious as Weird Al. He rocked the fro and pulled off the eccentric shirts with swag. His reactions and dialogue delivery was spot-on, making it a more enjoyable experience. I also have to shout out Diedrich Bader as the narrator and Al himself playing a record producer.
Bottom line, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is a hilarious parody not only of the life of a pop culture icon but also of the genre of musical biopics. It hit all the right notes and has a climax that rocks.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Minor foul language, Drug and alcohol abuse, Some violence, Brief sexual content
FAVORITE QUOTE: You… you think you’re going to stop me from playing? You’ll see. One day I’m going to be the best… Well, perhaps not technically the best, but arguably the most famous accordion player in an extremely specific genre of music!
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of Father Stu and Don’t Worry Darling. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.