Posted on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 by Russ Fischer
Rock musician biopics are pretty foolish. OK, you love a singer or performer and want to see a dramatization of his life, great. No big deal. But after a while they all end up looking alike. I liked Walk the Line just as much as the next guy (OK, maybe less) but we can admit this: these movies are often like endless recombinations of the same elements.
But Weird Al Yankovic…that’s a guy whose life is just screaming to be treated with a high-wattage cast on screen. Why does he love polka? What really went on with Madonna? Was he actually always weird, or just drunk? A new film offers answers.
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Big Love, The Last House on the Left) stars as Al Yankovic; Olivia Wilde (Tron Legacy) stars as Madonna. I never realized that Weird Al and Madonna had a tumultuous romantic relationship, so this movie should be a shocker! But then, I never realized that Al’s past was so sordid; I always thought he lived a far more balanced life.
This trailer is full of great moments, but as far as I’m concerned it’s hard to beat the appearance of Patton Oswalt in a Lost-worthy beard as venerable radio host Dr. Demento. The joke-jock really did help bring Yankovic to the world, as the young singer sent demo tapes to the Dr. Demento Show in the mid-’70s, and the ensuing airplay helped push Weird Al’s career forward. Throw in Gary Cole and Mary Steenburgen as Al’s parents and you’ve got gold.
Appropriately, Weird Al is fully down with this parody; he appears as a skeevy record exec. His appearance helps slot this little film right into the rest of his career: popping the absurdly over-inflated egos of rock and pop performers like a crack shot at a carnival game.