Scroll To Top

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story Is the Perfect Film For Outsiders

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story Is the Perfect Film For Outsiders

The Roku Channel

“Lean into who you are, no matter what anybody else says,” star Evan Rachel Wood says of the movie’s themes.

One of the queerest, and best, movies of the year is also one of the weirdest.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, directed by Eric Appel from a screenplay he wrote with Yankovic, is out on The Roku Channel today. Starring Daniel Radcliffe as an over-the-top Yankovic powering his way into superstardom, Weird takes the typical music biopic and flips it on its head.

It also stars Evan Rachel Wood, Rainn Wilson, Toby Huss, Julianne Nicholson, and Quinta Brunson, as well as plenty of entertaining cameos.

Forgoing the typical biopic route, Appel decided it would be funnier to make up his own story -- and he was right. I haven't laughed this hard at a movie in years.

Weird is an origin story, an action movie, a slapstick comedy, and a music business parody. And somehow, it makes all of it come together into a sincerely heartwarming tale.

Throughout his life, Al is told by his parents and society to stop being who he is and liking what he likes. Everywhere he goes, he's told that being a polka-loving, Hawaiian-shirt-wearing, comedy-song-writing weirdo is bad. But by the end of the movie, he proves that his best self is his weirdest self.

It never gets old seeing Radcliffe play this almost divinely driven version of Al. All the actors deliver top-notch performances that fully immerse you in this wacky and over-the-top world. It's all so ridiculous that it wouldn't work unless every actor sold it so completely.

This goes triply for Evan Rachel Wood, who plays queer icon Madonna in the movie. Her version of the pop icon is unhinged, depraved, and full of devilish schemes. She's a perfect foil to Radcliffe's Al and the two of them have perfect chemistry throughout.

While the movie doesn't have any actual queer content, it's still a deeply queer film, and that's because of its themes and message.

"Weird Al has been this beacon of light for all the weirdos and has proven that by marching to the beat of your own drum or accordion, you can be just as big as a Madonna or an Elvis," Wood says.

"Lean into who you are, no matter what anybody else says," she continues. "And I know that we're doing biopic tropes and pushing fun at them in this film, but there is a truth to feeling like an outcast and hearing, 'What are you doing? Stop. You're crazy.'"

"But if you can white knuckle it for a second and stick with it, usually other pathways open up," she adds. "You find your tribe. You start attracting like-minded people. You find your family or your chosen family, and that's very true for the queer community."

Wood hopes that the movie inspires people to hold onto the things that make them unique, as those are the things that make them special.

"It was true for me, it's true for a lot of people. Even Madonna. She is such an icon, but at the time, especially in the early eighties, people thought she was weird," she says. "She was the first one that was loading her arm up with bracelets and she thought, 'Oh, my hair looks weird, so I'm just going to tie a stocking in it.' These things just sort of happened by accident and became totally iconic and now, these people are revered as heroes for so many."

The movie shows how biopics can, and should, be done. Please, Hollywood, give us more wild and original stories only sort-of loosely based on real-life people. Please give us more original and unique comedies.

Roku decided the movie will be up for Emmys instead of Oscars, and it would be the best possible future to see Weird collect a whole armful of trophies at next year's ceremony.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is now streaming on The Roku Channel.

RELATED | 10 LGBTQ-Inclusive Movies We're Excited AF to See This Fall

AdvocateChannel promoOut Magazine - Ricky Martin

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories