‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’ evaluation



CNN
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“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” definitely earns its title, working, appropriately, not as an precise film biography however an outlandish parody of 1, full of comedy cameos and weird flights of fancy.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe and produced and co-written by Yankovic himself, like its namesake’s songs, it’s at instances little too foolish, however nonetheless energetic and attention-getting sufficient to assist put the simply ignored Roku channel on folks’s radar.

The amusing conceit behind the whole challenge – increasing upon a spoof film trailer launched in 2010 – is {that a} Weird Al biopic features like one in every of his chart-topping songs, taking the type of the style however turning it on its head. Throw in a who’s who of comedy expertise popping in alongside the best way, and there’s one thing to maintain viewers engaged and largely entertained, whereas maybe googling alongside to see the place (if all of it) the reality lies.

Take Yankovic’s dad and mom, who inform him flatly as a youth, “Stop being who you are and doing the things you love.” Or the best way he begins enjoying the accordion, after his dad beats a door-to-door salesman inside an inch of his life.

Lastly, there’s Al stumbling into his musical profession, remodeling the track “My Sharona” into “My Bologna” on the fly when his roommates ask him to make sandwiches, and later catching the attention of the novelty-song maestro/disc-jockey Dr. Demento (Rainn Wilson), who really did play a task in Yankovic’s discovery, simply not fairly in the best way depicted right here.

The movie embarks on its weirdest odyssey by charting Al’s relationship with Madonna (Evan Rachel Wooden, in a reasonably uncanny impersonation), who actually did ask him to parody one in every of her songs, however perhaps didn’t grow to be his girlfriend and sooner or later get kidnapped.

Directed by Eric Appel (who produced the aforementioned brief, and shares script credit score with Yankovic, who additionally has a cameo), “Weird” is produced by way of the oldsters at Humorous or Die. At first blush, the thought of manufacturing one thing utterly completely different round Yankovic, infused with the identical playful irreverence that he dropped at his tunes, appears like simply what the physician ordered.

Given its slim underpinnings, the concept it runs out of steam a bit earlier than it’s throughout appears inevitable and tolerable, particularly when making an allowance for that its topic’s most memorable creations run about three minutes, max.

In a method, nothing may very well be a extra good signal of the starvation content material within the streaming age than inflating a bite-sized comedy brief right into a full-blown film. But even permitting for the truth that “Weird” isn’t way more than a snack, as the person in query sang, simply eat it.

“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” premieres November 4 on the Roku Channel.