Whether or not you’re a fan of musical biopics, you probably realised that this subgenre became extremely popular during the last few years. Think of movies such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, Judy and Elvis. As a director, you can count on the enormous fanbase of the artist, a massive and well-known catalogue and the performer’s notorious live. For the artists, it’s a great way to gain even more attention (from people they might not have reached otherwise) and get the money that comes with it. You can now add another biopic to the list, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. However, don’t expect it to be like any biopic you’ve ever seen. Like the man, this parody is hilarious, over-the-top, highly witty, and just a blast to watch.
The man, the myth, the legend!
Director Eric Appel (Silicon Valley, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) takes you back to the 1980s. The young Alfred Matthew Yankovic (Richard Aaron Anderson) dreams of becoming one of the most outstanding musicians and accordion players the world has ever known. Not by writing his songs but by changing the lyrics of already written ones to ‘make them better. While he wants to pursue this dream from a very young age, he has to keep it hidden because of his unsupportive parents (Julianne Nicholson and Toby Huss). When he’s finally able to leave the house and move in with some housemates, his musical life is about to take off enormously. When making a bologna sandwich, “Weird Al” (Daniel Radcliffe) hears the song ‘My Sharona’ on the radio, and you can already guess what happens next. Yes, Yankovic’s first hit, ‘My Bologna’, becomes a thing!
The song skyrockets Al and his roommates/musicians, and he can take on any song he wants. Finally, “Weird Al” reaches the success he only dreamed of, and at first, he still keeps his feet on the ground and stays the humble but highly talented musician. However, when his fame rises even more, “Weird Al” becomes an arrogant man, an abuser of many substances and a musician who’s taken advantage of, especially by his girlfriend, Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood). It doesn’t take long before Yankovic his career hits rock bottom. Will he find his way out and become the hilarious and unique musician again, or will his arrogance and bad influence be his doom?
A large than life biopic that runs with the truth
Another reason Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is unlike any other biopic you’ve seen is because the film runs with the truth. While there might be some truthful aspects to this, much of the storyline is entirely fictional. It fits the man, the musician and the legend perfectly well. From the broken relationship with his parents to having to suppress his musical talent, from becoming a rising star to struggling with addiction, it’s all brought to life in the most fictional, entertaining and eccentric way. The story is written to constantly bombard you with hilarious moments, witty conversations and well-known parodies.
The on-point acting performances are also why you should put this film on your to-watch list. Normally when casting someone for a biopic, you at least try to cast an actor/actress that resembles the performer. Well, that’s not the case in this movie. Radcliffe (Escape from Pretoria, Swiss Army Man) looks nothing like “Weird Al”, but who knew that a wig and a fake moustache could do so much! Radcliffe embodies “Weird Al” stunningly with a perfect comedic, emotional and exhilarating performance. He brings a lot of power and energy to this movie and delivers every line (no matter how ridiculous) with fierceness and passion.
While Wood (Kajillionaire, Into the Forest) only makes her first appearance mid-movie, she leaves a lasting impression. She portrays Madonna with humour, rock ‘n roll and charisma. She captures the mannerisms and the personality of the Queen of pop freakishly good! There are also many other guest appearances, all equally brilliant and hilarious, but we don’t want to tell you which one cause they’re too good to spoil.
We can see why “Weird Al” gave his stamp of approval!
When making a biopic, you want the stamp of approval from the artist/performer, and Appel gets the best one you can get. “Weird Al” co-wrote this story and blessed this hilarious homage in the best way possible. We understand why! While Weird: The Al Yankovic Story might not be to everyone’s taste (just like the music itself), it still provides you with enough weirdness, top-notch humour and stunning acting performance to enjoy “Weird Al” his biggest parody to date yet.
Rating: (4 / 5)
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is now available on Roku
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