Al Yankovic’s Weird Movie Is Practically Perfect, If You’re Into The Joke

In the world of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, polka parties were the fastest way for rebellious teenagers to get revenge on their parents, and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” is a parody of the 100% original Weird song. Al “Eat It”. Al Yankovic’s story, like Weird Al’s career with which it takes a lot of huge liberties, is a flashy series of parodies that fans of the original material will get immediately, but at a cost – if you don’t know the source material, you may not always be on board.

Spoilers follow for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

The NBC community, in many of its best moments, was a send-off of TV tropes – a constant acknowledgment that TV is a construct made up of ready-made pieces from different shows, networks and creators parroting each other. . It was like a show made that loved television as a medium even though it didn’t care.

Bizarre is in a similar vein, but more focused. At the start of the film, Al declares his intention to become “perhaps not technically the best, but arguably the most famous accordionist in an extremely specific genre of music”. Similarly, Weird is a parody of an extremely specific genre of film, the biographical drama or biopic. However, if you’re looking for a dramatic, straight-forward account of Al Yankovic’s life, you’re going to be doubly disappointed. Not only is that not the story Weird seeks to tell, but Yankovic’s life and career aren’t all that dramatic either. Even as a successful musician, his worst scandal is that Coolio didn’t like his “Gangsta’s Paradise” parody, and he and the late rapper managed to work things out a long time ago. Indeed, Al himself has said that part of the idea behind making a parody biopic about him is that a straight face wouldn’t have anything to say.

To get the most out of Weird, you need to be prepared. The movie is filled with biopic nods and takedowns, poking fun at how they often play quickly and freely with detail and only try with the slightest effort to keep the line clear between actor and the interpreter. In an early scene, Yankovic writes his classic parody of “My Sharona” in real time, looking around the room for inspiration. When he sings, it’s not actor Daniel Radcliffe who sings the tunes, or even a young performer who does a version closer to Yankovic’s voice – it’s the voice of the 63-year-old performer who comes out. from the mouth of the 33-year-old man. .

This version of Al Yankovic lives life fast and hard, going to celebrity parties, putting lit cigarettes in the palms of record executives, hooking up with Madonna and drinking heavily. If you’ve watched Walk the Line or The Doors, the film’s third act feels a lot more like those films than anything that actually happened to Yankovic.

For those who love entertainment industry pamphlets — and movies revolving around that industry, these moments land well. But for those with a superficial appreciation of Al’s music and who don’t know much about the man behind the accordion, especially young audiences who probably haven’t sat down to watch a number of movies and events that the film parodies. , it is entirely possible to miss the joke.

Part of the joy of listening to Weird Al is hearing a familiar tune or style, then listening to Yankovic twist it and turn it on its head – the surprise and joy of the unexpected. The point of the parody is to make you believe for a moment that this is the real thing. In this way, Weird is a perfect match for the man he is talking about; Anyone expecting an Oscar biopic will find themselves caught off guard, like someone who expects to hear “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and instead hears “Smells Like Nirvana.” If you are not in the joke, the title – Bizarre – may seem particularly appropriate.

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

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Al Yankovic’s Weird Movie Is Practically Perfect, If You’re Into The Joke – CNET – ApparelGeek