Where to stream it? The Roku Channel
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Evan Rachel Wood, Rainn Wilson, Toby Huss, Julianne Nicholson
Directed by: Eric Appel
Please note: This is a totally real review of a totally accurate biographical film. For some fake nonsense, skip to the end of this article
Citizen Kane. Casablanca. That ad for AMC Theaters with Nicole Kidman. There are rare moments in cinematic history that transport us into a world not as it is, but as it can be. One of beauty, emotion, and well-funded For Your Consideration campaigns.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is one of those films.
This movie is a REVELATION! Fun! Sexy! A crowd-pleaser! I’m totally just not adding this in the hopes Roku uses a pull-quote in their marketing! Also Rotten Tomatoes- unblock my number! I WANT TO GET ROTTEN TOMATOES CERTIFIED.
As I sat, breathless, meditating at the crowning achievement in film I was witnessing while ads for America’s 5G Leader T-Mobile played on The Roku Channel, I knew I was witnessing something groundbreaking.
A Career-Defining Performance
Early in the film, we hear one of Al’s college roommates (and future band members) remark that he has “chills” at Yankovic’s utterance of the lyrics “M-M-M-My Bologna.” Listening to Daniel Radcliffe’s rendition of the classic ballad, I’ll admit that I did, too.
Radcliffe’s complete transformation into the accordion-playing music icon we all know and worship is something that will surely define his career more than other forgettable part he’s had. The actor captures Yankovic’s unique blend of charisma and sex appeal.
His frequent shirtless scenes capture Weird Al as we remember him best: muscley and having sex with Madonna.
Let me just say it: Give. Radcliffe, His. Oscar. And me an interview (seriously, Raddy my DMs are open come Awards season).
Now You Know: The Truth is Out There
This film is unlike other biographical films that play fast-and-loose with the facts. None of that fake news BS here, snowflake! Expect the straight dope. Director Eric Appel and his team of fact-checkers meticulously capture the very real world of the 1980s.
We see cameos from a mass lineup of celebrities playing fellow icons Al’s rubbed elbows with like Oprah Winfrey, Andy Warhol, and Salvador Dali. The film also covers his conflict with drug lord Pablo Escobar.
From his accordion-hating parents to the infamous Yankovic-copycat Michael Jackson, an emotional core to this movie carries us through the most challenging parts of Weird Al’s life.
In All Seriousness, Though
Going into this movie I had pretty low expectations. Despite loving Weird Al and having fond memories of laughing at songs like Albuquerque growing up, I just wasn’t sure how a film based on a 2013 Funny or Die sketch (and with the same director, mind you) was going to work. But it does.
Just as it may seem unlikely that the guy who recorded novelty albums in the 80s would still be going decades later with 12 million records sold and five Grammy Awards to boot, it seems just as unlikely that this satirical “biopic” would be a success. I believe it will be and it was a savvy choice for The Roku Channel to green light it.
Radcliffe surprises us with yet another, shall we say… weird… career choice post-Potter. The cameo lineups are fun, as is the complete absurdity of the plot as it escalates (just wait for the climax, oh boy!).
When it comes down to it, you really have no excuse not to watch it… I mean, it’s free. Just click your Roku buttons already!