Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is the “true” story of the titular musician, with Daniel Radcliffe in the starring role. Chronicling his early interest in the forbidden fruit of polka music, his meteoric rise to fame and his famously debauched lifestyle, this biopic pays touching tribute to Al Yankovic’s career in its depiction of things that definitely 100% happened. Definitely.
Appropriately for a film dedicated to such a prolific parodist, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is a parody of the biopic genre as a whole, exaggerating the tropes and narrative beats found in many biopics to a delightfully absurd endpoint. There’s a constant barrage of jokes throughout the film, but they’re varied enough and paced effectively enough that they don’t become overwhelming or annoying, with each gag being given the room it needs to properly land – an impressive feat of editing given the quantity of deliberately groan-worthy jokes. There’s an effortless quality to the piece’s comedy and confidence in its delivery that is fitting for a man as unashamedly corny and silly as Al Yankovic, which feeds well into the film’s messages of sincere self-expression.
The feature is also helped greatly by a cast that all understood the assignment at hand, bringing the perfect comedic chops to pull off the film’s extended parody effectively by playing the tongue-in-cheek script with completely straight faces. This helps balance out the inherent ridiculousness of the writing and the premise of the movie as a whole and is an essential part of ensuring it doesn’t feel cynical or insecure about its own stylistic choices.
In a word, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is, well, ridiculous. It’s also absurd and strange and very silly, but what makes the film work is the complete confidence that the cast and crew all have in its nonsense, committing to the bit 100% in a way that pays off in spades. It’s a movie that makes absolutely no concessions for anyone not in on the joke or on board with its unique parodic style, but anyone willing to join in on the fun and dare to be stupid for 108 minutes is in for a great time.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story will stream on the Roku channel from 4th November 2022.
Watch the trailer for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story here: