WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story

NEWPORT BEACH FILM FESTIVAL 2022 REVIEW! The best advice I can give about seeing Eric Appel’s WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story is that the less you know going in, the better—AVOID SPOILERS AT ALL COSTS. In fact, this review will be short because nothing about this film is worth spoiling. WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story is by far the funniest movie I’ve seen this year in terms of films that love their fans and laugh-out-loud gut-busting moments.

No surprise. WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story is the life story of “Weird Al” Yankovic as if it was written by “Weird Al” Yankovic. The film starts with Alfred Yankovic’s (Daniel Radcliffe) humble beginnings living with his parents, Nick and Mary Yankovic (Toby Huss and Julianne Nicholson). Al fell in love with the accordion, which evolved into rewriting lyrics to songs that were already produced. His music fell into the hands of famed DJ Doctor Demento (Rainn Wilson), who launched Al into stardom, and it all comes crashing down because of a torrid love affair with Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood).

These are mere bullet points to one of the most insane movies I’ve seen in a long time. Fans of Weird Al will feel at home with this parody of rock biopics and parody of Al’s life—think Walk Hard, but PG-13. The jokes are silly, ala UHF, and a lot of the jokes are way “inside baseball,” and for this lifelong fan of Al, I got every joke.

“…the life story of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic as if it was written by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.”

Daniel Radcliffe is perfect as Weird Al. Not necessarily by his performance and definitely not by his appearance, as he looks a lot like Daniel Radcliffe cosplaying as Weird Al. But his boyish demeanor, along with his recent choice of dark roles, make him perfect for this “autobiographical” version of dark Al. Radcliffe is also “jacked up!” I mean Carrot Top kind of muscles. Ladies, Radcliffe’s chest is exposed through most of this movie.

This film is loaded with cameos: Jack Black, Patton Oswalt, Thomas Lennon, Will Forte, Conan O’Brien, Arturo Castro, and even a friend of Film Threat, David Dastmalchian. Like a good cameo, your eyes will light up when you see them on screen and then bust out laughing at what happens to them.

Again, to me, as the funniest film so far this year, my recommendation comes with a few qualifications. The movie is incredibly silly. If silly is not your thing, then it’s a hard pass. We’re talking “Weird Al” silly, and if you’ve never made it through a Weird Al album before…well, you’ve been warned.

The film’s real weakness is that the film is front-loaded with the best jokes, and by the end, the pace of the jokes is slower, and some of the energy is lost in the end. It does risk being too much by the end. Lastly, you need to see this in a theater, if possible, and with like-minded friends.

The best thing about WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story is the repeat viewing value. I can’t wait to see this film again, and I can’t wait to see what you think. The way 2022 looks, WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story has a good shot at an Oscar Best Picture nomination…maybe best song…maybe?

WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story premiered at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival and screened at the 2022 Newport Beach Film Festival.

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