Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 2007. Apatow Productions, Columbia Pictures Corporation, GH Three, Nominated Films, Relativity Media. Screenplay by Judd Apatow, Jake Kasdan. Cinematography by Uta Briesewitz. Produced by Judd Apatow, Jake Kasdan, Clayton Townsend. Music by Michael Andrews. Production Design by Jefferson Sage. Costume Design by Debra McGuire. Film Editing by Tara Timpone, Steve Welch.
Towards the end of his life, singer Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) is about to go on stage and perform his last big song but finds he needs to take a moment. Cox, we find out from his long time collaborator, can’t go on without thinking about his entire life first. We flash back to his childhood, when Cox accidentally macheted his much more talented and worthy brother in half and inspired the lifelong hatred of his father (Raymond J. Barry). From there this piss-funny spoof takes us through further cliches of musical biopics as it tears apart the self-important pomp of movies like Ray and Walk The Line. Dewey does it all, from early, troubled marriage (“I’m your 12 year-old bride!”) to drug addiction (and what the hell could be funnier than the scene where he learns about pot), a second, sexier wife (Jenna Fischer) and the eventual redemption that comes to all wayward artists. Reilly is fully loaded throughout, giving a performance that is never silly but always really, really funny. The film itself does a terrific job of making fun of a particular type of movie while actually being that type of movie: rich cinematography, impressive production design and, best of all, a magnificent score that includes the wonderful title song.
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (John C. Reilly); Best Original Song (“Walk Hard”)