In “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,” the winningly daffy-droll postmodern satirical biopic about the beloved cult song parodist of the MTV era, Al (Daniel Radcliffe), weird but not yet “Weird,” is sitting around with his roommates when lightning strikes — or, at least, bologna. One of the roommates asks Al to name the thing he’d most like to do in the world. Al, speaking with a fervor bigger than mere desire — he’s talking about nothing less than a dream — replies, with stoic conviction, “Make up the words to a song that already exists.” Moments later, the Knack’s “My Sharona” is blasting away on the radio, and just after he’s taken a package of bologna out of the fridge, he has his a-ha moment. The lyrics come to him in a flash: “Oo my little hungry one! Hungry one! Open up a package of MY bologna…” An irresistible parasitical fake star is born.
“Weird,” it turns out, isn’t a real biopic. It’s a movie that does to the biopic form what Weird Al did to songs like “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Beat It” — imitates it, razzes it, throws mud at it, turns it inside out. And all with supreme affection. Almost nothing in the movie actually happened, save for the song parodies. It’s all relentlessly over-the-top and exaggerated — the Weird Al aga turned into a circus-balloon version of itself. Yet the movie has the spirit of one of the “Naked Gun” films. It’s enthralled with pop culture and in love with the tropes it’s parodying — it makes fun of itself with such gleeful devotion that there’s something sincere about its japery. Part of the joke of Weird Al was that his song comedy had a knowingly over-obvious rib-nudging quality. “Weird,” in outfitting Weird Al’s mock artistry with a mock biopic, takes rib-nudging to the third power. Which turns out to be a pleasingly ticklish sensation….
…Read the Full Article @ Variety
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