The Weird Al Yankovic Movie Is Practically Perfect, If You're In On The Joke

In the world of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, polka events had been the quickest approach for rebellious teenagers to get again at their dad and mom, and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” is a parody observe of Weird Al’s 100% authentic tune “Eat It.” The Al Yankovic Story, just like the profession of Weird Al that it takes many big liberties with, is a collection of winking parodies that followers of the unique materials will instantly get, however at a cost–if you do not know the supply materials, you may not all the time be in on the joke.

Spoilers observe for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

NBC’s Community, in a lot of its finest moments, was a send-up of tv tropes–a fixed acknowledgment that tv is a assemble made up of off-the-shelf elements that come from totally different exhibits, networks, and creators parroting one another. It felt like a present made that adored tv as a medium even because it made enjoyable of it.

Weird is in an identical, however extra targeted vein. Early on within the movie, Al declares his intent to develop into “maybe not technically the best, but arguably the most famous accordion player in an extremely specific genre of music.” Similarly, Weird is a parody of an especially particular style of movie, the dramatic biographical film or biopic. However, if you happen to’re searching for a straight-up dramatic retelling of Al Yankovic’s life, you are going to be in for a double disappointment. Not solely is that not the story Weird is trying to inform, however Yankovic’s life and profession additionally aren’t all that dramatic. Even as a profitable musician, his worst scandal is that Coolio did not like his parody of “Gangsta’s Paradise,” and he and the late rapper efficiently hashed issues out way back. Indeed, Al himself mentioned that a part of the concept behind doing a parody biopic about him is {that a} straight-faced one would don’t have anything to inform.

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To get probably the most out of Weird, it’s important to be prepared for it. The film is crammed with nods to and takedowns of biopics, poking enjoyable on the approach they usually play fast-and-loose with the small print and check out solely with the lightest of effort to maintain clear the road between the actor and the performer. In an early scene, Yankovic writes his basic parody of “My Sharona” in real-time, wanting across the room for inspiration. When he sings, it is not actor Daniel Radcliffe belting out the tunes, or perhaps a youthful performer doing a more in-depth model of Yankovic’s voice–it’s the 63-year-old performer’s voice popping out of the 33-year-old man’s mouth.

This model of Al Yankovic lives life quick and arduous, going to celeb events, placing out lit cigarettes within the palms of file executives, hooking up with Madonna, and binge ingesting. If you have watched Walk the Line or The Doors, the third act of the movie performs way more like these films than something that truly occurred to Yankovic.

For those that love lampoons of the leisure industry–and movies that revolve round mentioned {industry}, these moments land properly. But for many who have a surface-level appreciation of Al’s music and do not know a lot concerning the man behind the accordion, particularly youthful audiences that fairly presumably have not sat down to look at quite a few the movies and occasions the film is parodying, it is completely doable to overlook the joke.

Part of the enjoyment in listening to Weird Al is listening to a well-known tune or model after which listening to Yankovic twist it round and flip it on its head–the shock and pleasure of the sudden. The level of parody is to trick you for a second into believing it is the true factor. In that approach, Weird is an ideal match for the person it is about; anybody anticipating an Oscar-bait biopic will discover themselves caught off guard, like somebody anticipating to listen to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and as a substitute listening to “Smells Like Nirvana.” If you are not in on the joke, the title–Weird–may appear particularly apt.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Movie is streaming free on Roku now.



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