Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) — There is a series of parody movies right now that have really obvious named like Date Movie or Disaster Movie or Epic Movie (though that have also produced Meet the Spartans and Vampires Suck). The thing is those movies are total dogshit. That’s the state of parody films these days. For a genre that once had the Zucker brothers and Mel Brooks splitting our sides with hilarity, it’s a pretty shit state of affairs nowadays. Judd Apatow, riding high with hit after hit, decided to fix this with Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Co-writing with director Jake Kasdan, Apatow made a parody of self-important musician biopics like Walk the Line and Ray. But here’s where the film sets itself apart from most of the shitty parodies of nowadays: it doesn’t just make references and expect that to be enough. It actually crafts a sort of story. Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) is a singer based mostly on Johnny Cash but also with elements of Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Brian Wilson, and Bob Dylan woven in. Here’s the surprising thing about this comedy: most of the songs are actually pretty decent. Because, go figure, ripping off other movies isn’t enough and Kasdan and company decided to actually give a shit about the movie they were making. The film is full of actors like Kristen Wiig, Jenna Fischer, Margo Martindale, Raymond J. Barry, and Tim Meadows who realize that even though they’re playing over-the-top characters, they’re still characters. Which isn’t to say the film is too grounded.  It brings the absurdity pretty hard (including cameos by the Beatles played by hilariously miscast American actors and a Yellow Submarine-esque acid trip). The biggest thing is that the movie is funny and it’s nice to see a spoof actually do that for a change.

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