Sunday, November 30, 2008

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)

This movie capped the Thanksgiving holiday. You know the feeling, post-family conversations and catching up, you've lazed around all day and now it's post-function. You are tired yet not ready to hit the sack. That's the perfect time to start watching. Be warned. You will begin watching and it's brutal, and not in a good way, not at first.

Dewey in his diaper thongThis parody, loosely based on Walk the Line, pulls liberally from many musical genres and pop culture. With so many turns, where to start? At the beginning...once John C. Reilly enter the picture, the film shines. His acting is so genuine, he should have been nominated for an Academy Award (I was happy to learn that he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy). Reilly not only embodies but exudes Dewey Cox. The songs are fantastic--most of them catchy with clever and witty lyrics. Reilly performs almost all the songs himself and even Jenna Fischer sings one. Reilly, Judd Apatow and others involved with the film penned the songs themselves.

Walk Hard is epic. It tells a layered story that isn't as flimsy as you'd expect. It traces the life of this made-up icon through his waltzes with different musical genres trying to find himself and wrestle the demons that torment him. Gratuitous fun is a plenty: the intro-to-drugs scenes led by Tim Meadows, the sink-ripping and references to being cut in half. This is no Scary Movie 4 (parts of which I did enjoy). The five of us watched this one and we loved it (except for the one who fell asleep); however, I wonder if I misquoted how much they liked it. Did we like it because we were sleepy and on the drink? I re-watched it yesterday and it passed the test. I enjoyed it more upon second viewing. The humor is good, the scenes are surprisingly fun. The Beatles scene is brilliant. It's fast, funny and original. The behind-the-scenes of this one is super interesting--depicting how they wrote the music and worked with Reilly as a singer. It's like watching a band documentary making-of. If you haven't seen this one yet, see it soon. If you've seen it already, see it again. I'll be adding movie and soundtrack to my collection. It's a brilliant musical comedy art piece. I would compare it to the Rocky Horror Picture Show but that isn't fair to RHPS, which is a masterpiece. Think of Walk Hard as RHPS's "little indie cousin who could."

There are so many cameos that you are sometimes distracted from the action trying to figure out who's who. You have not only Jack White and Jack Black (can't be a coincidence) but add to that Paul Rudd, Craig Robinson, Jason Schwartzman and many of the Freaks and Geeks alums.

Director and co-writer: Jake Kasdan (co-wrote with Judd Apatow)

Country: US

Genre: Comedy/Spoof

Run time:  96 minutes (felt like longer--in a good way)

Scale: 4.5

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