This isn’t your normal biopic. Pretty much every single aspect of it is exaggerated. The comedy singer-songwriter explodes into a sex symbol, becomes the greatest musician in history, all while having a relationship with Madonna and writing “Eat It” before Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”
That’s exactly what audiences would want from a Weird Al Yankovic biopic, though.
The film’s playful parody of the genre is delightfully in tune with the legendary musician’s own work. It’s helped by a tremendous leading turn from Daniel Radcliffe, who very much looks the part as Yankovic. As he’s repeatedly shown since finishing Harry Potter, Radcliffe thrives when both his character and the film are odd and outlandish, and Weird gives him plenty to have fun with. Whenever the film threatens to deflate, it’s helped by an avalanche of cameos that immediately bring it to life again. Jack Black, Conan O’Brien, and Yankovic himself are particularly hysterical. At the same time, Evan Rachel Wood’s spot-on Madonna and Rainn Wilson’s avuncular Dr. Demento performances stop Weird from ever feeling too one-note. Unfortunately, it’s never as side-splittingly hilarious as it threatens to be. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story still provides a steady stream of consistent laughs that mean it’s constantly enjoyable, while also being the perfect homage to its wonderfully bizarre and sweet inspiration. TV-14, 108 min.