Tuesday, January 1, 2008

"You Know Who Has Hands? The Devil!"

This movie was fun. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is just what you'd expect from a send-up of music biopics (like Ray and Walk the Line) "from the creator of Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin". I put that last bit in quotes because - believe me - you'll be seeing and hearing that a lot in the coming months. And, for a change, this might not be such a bad marketing thing. All the creative folks involved with those films - as well as Superbad - show definite signs of talent. Ergo, you'll be seeing/hearing that quote whenever any of the following names are associated with a film in 2008: Judd Apatow, Greg Mottola, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg.... I digress. Sorry. Had to get that out there....

Walk Hard works best when it takes itself seriously, like a grade school play where all the kids are supposed to be middle-aged. Star John C. Reilly plays the title character starting at age fourteen(!), and while we as the audience don't buy it, per se, we laugh at the conceit. Dewey gives us a history of American music - blues, R&B, pop, disco, punk, rap - and not necessarily in that order!

The movie does falter at times. While Dewey's turn as a drugged out Brian Wilson figure trying to create his musical masterpiece is inspired, his meeting with the Beatles in India feels like a bad SNL sketch. Speaking of SNL, Tim Meadows co-stars as Dewey's drummer Sam with mixed results. A recurring gag involving bathroom drug use and the Temptations therein is a highpoint of the film, while Sam's bitching about never having been paid for such dalliances over the years grows old fast.

Well, I just shrug. What can I say? The film is what I expected - plenty of fun throughout, though stronger in the early years than the later. Which I guess is true of most successful recording artists. Oh, and that posting title? Something from the night of Dewey's first public gig when he's still a teen. When a song about holding hands sparks the ire of the local priest, he blasts forth with just that invective. Fun.

1 comment:

cdj said...

I've been waiting for this. I am ashamed to say I have seen nary a one of these movies. Something to look forward to when we get back. Thanks for this one!