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From Top Gun: Maverick and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to Nope and Elvis, Summer 2022 has been a huge season for movies. The year isn’t over yet, however, and there are still a few big releases coming. One of these is Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, a wild comedy about the life of “Weird Al” Yankovic. The film was released to a limited audience yesterday, and what did they have to say about it? Read on below for some initial reactions.
A hilariously inaccurate biopic
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story features Daniel Radcliffe, of Harry Potter fame, as “Weird Al” Yankovic. Weird Al, the now 62-year-old musician, rose to fame in the early eighties due to his goofy parodies of popular songs. The movie also features Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna, Rainn Wilson as radio broadcaster Dr. Demento, and a variety of other actors playing celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Hulk Hogan.
As could be expected with anything coming from the mind of Weird Al, the movie is far from a factually correct retelling of the story. The film frames Yankovic and his life as far more raunchy and scandalous than he ever was, and it dramatically exaggerates his lifestyle and love affairs.
A Toronto Film Festival debut
The film debuted at the iconic Toronto Film Festival, joining the 47th iteration of the annual event. The film was screened on September 8th, the first night of the event, and seemed to be a huge success. The film festival is a public event, so anyone who purchased a ticket was able to see the movie almost two full months before its release.
After the movie played, actors Daniel Radcliffe and Evan Rachel Wood came out on stage to talk to the audience and answer questions. They were joined by director Eric Appel and Weird Al himself. Radcliffe was the target of most of the questions, and among other things, he answered questions about learning to play the accordion for the film, what it was like working with Yankovic, and whether there was ever confusion between him and Yankovic on set.
So far, critic ratings of Weird have shown almost universal acclaim. As of now, the film has an impressive 92% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, from 13 critic reviews so far. Critics called it “nostalgic,” “absolutely charming,” and “gloriously ridiculous.”
One particularly impressed critic stated, “What Yankovic and director/co-writer Eric Appel have done, brilliantly in spots, is parody Yankovic’s own life while sending up the whole biopic genre. In a messed-up way, the maneuver is kinda poetic. And so very funny.”
Where can you watch it?
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story will be available for streaming exclusively on the Roku Channel when it comes out. The film will be officially released for streaming on November 4th. If you don’t have a Roku TV, don’t worry – there are other ways to access the Roku Channel. The channel can also be viewed on the Roku website, as well as their iOS and Android apps.