‘The Strange: The Al Yankovic Story’ review


“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” earns its title by working properly, not as an actual film biography, but as a weird parody of one, filled with comedic cameos and odd flights of fancy.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe and produced and written by Yankovic himself, it’s, like the song of the same name, a little too silly at times, but still energetic and attention-grabbing enough to help put the easily overlooked Roku channel on people’s radars.

The fun idea behind the whole project – unfolding a trailer for the 2010 film – is that a Weird Al biopic works like one of his chart-topping songs, taking the shape of the genre but turning it on its head. Throw in the who’s who of comedy along the way, and there’s something to keep the audience engaged and above all entertained, while perhaps googling (if at all) to see where the truth lies.

Take Yankovic’s parents, who told him at a young age, “Stop being who you are and do the things you love.” Or the way he started playing the accordion after his father beat the door-to-door salesman to within an inch of his life.

Finally, Al stumbles into his musical career, turning “My Sharona” into “My Bologna” on the fly when his roommates ask him to make sandwiches, and later, Dr. Demento (Rainn Wilson), who played a role in Yankovic’s discovery, not as described here.

The film begins its strangest odyssey by charting Al’s relationship with Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood, in a rather odd impersonation), who actually asked him to parody one of her songs, but maybe didn’t become his girlfriend and got it at some point. hostage

Directed by Eric Appel (who produced the aforementioned short, and shares the screenplay with Yankovic, who also has a cameo), “Weird” is produced by the folks at Funny or Die. First, the idea of ​​producing something completely different around Yankovic, with the same playful irreverence he brought to his tunes, feels like just what the doctor ordered.

Given its thin base, it seems inevitable and bearable to think that it runs out a bit before it’s all over, especially given that the most memorable creations of its theme last around three minutes, at most.

In a way, nothing could be a more perfect sign of content hunger in the streaming age than a short comedy bite being inflated into a full-fledged movie. However, even if it’s granted that “Bitxia” is not much more than a bite, as the man in question sang, eat it.

“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” premieres Nov. 4 on the Roku channel.