Recently, the film biopic genre has conjured up some interesting and original ways to tell a story based on someone's life. With Elvis, the theatrical element and dazzling production value gave way to an intense and beautiful account that followed Elvis during his good and bad times. In Blonde, the notes went sour to tell a depressing and heart-wrenching film about Marilyn Monroe that was void of any entertainment value. Leave it to Weird Al Yankovic to deliver the most entertaining and fun biopics ever in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. Not only does it feature his brilliant songs but also changes the biopic flow in telling his story that might not be all so true to life. Highly Recommended!
Some years ago, the old internet tv channel Funny Or Die, released a short film that highlighted how Weird Al got famous. Back then the Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul donned the Hawaiin shirt, glasses, and mustache to sing songs like "My Bologna". It told a Weird Al tale of discovering his talents, becoming famous, and falling into one of those generic rock n roll frontman jerk types that hates everyone and everything. Needless to say, this wasn't Weird Al's life, but it was a super fun way to tell a story that stuck to those usual Hollywood biopic formulas. And it worked because, like Yankovic's silly parody songs, it's a parallel parody of his own life. That short film went viral and all seemed forgotten until Weird Al himself and filmmaker Eric Appel made their feature-length version that goes big.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story works perfectly in its ability to tell this bumped-up story that has small nuggets of facts littered about a whole entire narrative that is farcical in such a way that everyone plays their respective roles straight against a backdrop of the absurd. It's quite genius really, just like Yankovic's lyrics. Even having a rough and gruff voice narrate the film pretending to be a version of Weird Al that's been around the block just emotes what kind of hilarious ride everyone expects from one of his albums or insane concerts. As Daniel Radcliffe plays Al Yankovic who always knows he was meant to write funny songs with an accordion, finds his first inspiration while making his roommate's all sandwiches while listening to the pop song My Sharona on the radio and holding a package of Bologna on his hand.
His friends say success does not happen overnight, but in this particular Yankovic story, he writes, records, has the song played on the radio, and gets a big record business meeting all within a few hours. It's from here where the absurdity finds its footing in a romance with Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood), ninja fighting the Mexican Drug Cartel, becoming a mean drunk alcoholic before the first big tour show, and even turning down to headline the reunion concert of Led Zeppelin. It's all made for laughs and with the number of big-name cameos, it's easy to tell just how loved Weird Al Yankovic is by his peers. Even Weird Al cameos in the film in a superbly funny and ironic role that almost breaks the fourth wall.
Where to Watch Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
You can watch Weird: The Al Yankovic Story exclusively on The Roku Channel. The Roku Channel can be downloaded on a Roku Stick, a Samsung TV, or Amazon Fire Stick. It's also available on iOs devices only, but not AppleTV.
The song selections are very rock n roll and just brighten up the screen and sound each time they play out. It has that intense anticipation of one of his hits about to be discovered and then playing it out in full, which is always executed perfectly - even how this film reiterates that Michael Jackson parodied Beat It from Al's Eat It. Radcliffe just owns the screen every time he's front and center as the straight-and-narrow musician who is just trying to make it big, but then turns into a jerk once the money is made. His physical power to be a rock star is simply amazing. Evan Rachel Wood is a force of nature as this hilarious version of Madonna who is ruthless, sexy, and funny. Rainn Wilson plays the fantastic and legendary DJ Doctor Demento who has the only Harry Potter joke in the film and he sells it well. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is just the biopic everyone needs. It's original, funny, informative, musical, and simply marvelous. Highly Recommended!