Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

by KJ Proulx

Still from ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’ [Credit: Roku]

I, like many others, have at least heard the classic parody songs made by Al Yankovic, but I never knew about his life or really who he was as a person. I just knew him as a person who loved being known as his weird self. When I heard a movie was going to be made about him, I was intrigued, but I was nearly thrown off when I heard Daniel Radcliffe would be playing him. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (in a bizarre release) is now streaming only on Roku, but even though it may be hard to find, here’s why I believe it’s worth watching if you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story tells the true story of how Al Yankovic began to parody famous songs and rise to stardom, sort of. The film begins which Al as a child, living in a family where nobody allows him to do the things he loves, including playing the accordion to make music. After growing up, Al decides to defy his family and parodies many famous songs, which in turn makes him famous, very quickly. The best thing this film has going for it though is the fact that it’s a true story, but really not. This film is so over-the-top that it’s a parody of itself, which is very much an Al Yankovic thing to do, and he was also one of the writers, so that really helped the film as well.

Even though this film gets very inventive in how it tells the story, it does feel conventional too. There are only so many ways you can tell a story about someone’s rise from nothing to super-stardom, but I have to admit this one is very unique. Through some weird visual scenes, committed performances, and an overall spoof of someone’s life, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story does feel different enough. Movies need to learn from this one going forward. We have an overabundance of formulaic true stories these days.

Overall, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story impressed and surprised me in that it was so different. The celebrity cameos are all great and even though he worked on a lot of television prior, the fact that this film is Eric Appel’s first directed feature film is also pretty fantastic. His work here and the humour he was able to time perfectly really put a smile on my face. I definitely recommend this one to people who are aware of Al Yankovic, but I will say that without knowing who he is in real life, this film may just not work for you, or be a little too strange. With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I say check it out.

Rating: 4/5

Check out the trailer below:

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Film Lover First. Critic Second.

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