Thursday, December 20, 2007

laugh hard

There will probably be dozens of newspaper reviews with the same headline as today's blog entry. I went with the obvious choice because I did enjoy "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story." The film is a wild spoof of musical biopics like "Walk the Line" and "Ray." Everyone will be talking about the nude scene but the rest of the movie is plenty funny too. At the beginning, Dewey's brother keeps saying things like "nothing bad will happen to me today" and "I have my whole life ahead of me." We all knew what was coming but the details of the inevitable tragedy were surprising and funny.

Two of my favorite funny women from TV appear as Dewey's wives. Kristen Wiig of "Saturday Night Live" plays his 12-year-old bride Edith who eventually leaves after Dewey finds some success. Jenna Fischer of "The Office" is absolutely radiant as Dewey's duet partner and second wife, Darlene. They sing a double entendre filled song called "Let's Duet" and suggestively eat ice cream cones as the romantic tension between them builds. Jenna writes about that scene and warns people about the R-rating in her MySpace blog. I do wish that the singer who provided Darlene's singing voice was a closer match to Jenna's speaking voice. The difference was just enough to notice. Then again, maybe it was done on purpose for comedic effect.

The cast is stocked with actors who have appeared in other Judd Apatow films. Some of them are only on screen briefly but memorably, especially Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Justin Long and Jason Schwartzman as the Beatles. The movie hit all the rock star cliches I could think of: personal tragedy, drug abuse, trashing hotel rooms and the ultimate redemption. If you can take your comedy served deadpan with a dose of outrageousness and some naked junk, walk, or better yet run, to see "Walk Hard."

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