NOW ON ROKU! 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. This 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 them are way “inside baseball.” This lifelong fan of Al got every single one.
“…the life story of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic as if it was written by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.”
Daniel Radcliffe is perfect as Weird Al, just not necessarily in his performance and definitely not by his appearance. The actor 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 Al. Radcliffe is also “jacked up!” I mean Carrot Top kind of muscles. Ladies, Radcliffe’s chest is exposed through most of this movie.
WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story 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 that is not your thing, then this is a hard pass. We’re talking “Weird Al” ridiculous, and if you’ve never made it through a Weird Al album before… well, you’ve been warned. The film’s only real weakness is that it’s front-loaded with the best jokes, and by the end, the pace of the humor 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 the film is the repeat viewing value. I can’t wait to see this 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?
"…if you've never made it through a Weird Al album before... well, you've been warned."