Review: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)

Director: Jake Kasdan | 92 minutes | music, drama, comedy | Actors: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Kristen Wiig, Raymond J. Barry, Tim Meadows, Conner Rayburn, Chip Hormess, Terrence Beasor, Margo Martindale, Honeyboy Edwards, Craig Robinson, Harold Ramis, Phil Rosenthal, Martin Starr, Chris Parnell , Matt Besser, Jack McBrayer, Frankie Muniz, Jack White, Angela Little, Tyler Nilson, Adam Herschman, Gerry Bednob, David Krumholtz, Cheryl Tiegs, Patrick Duffy, Morgan Fairchild, Cheryl Ladd, Jane Lynch, Skyler Gisondo, Kshitij Pendurkar, Simon Helberg, Jacques Slade, Jackson Browne, Jewel Kilcher, Lyle Lovett, Eddie Vedder, Jack Black, Jonah Hill, Justin Long, Paul Rudd, Jason Schwartzman

“Every rock star wants to be an actor and every actor wants to be a rock star,” said John C. Reilly in an interview. In “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”, the lovable curly hair’s dream comes true. Reilly steals the show in his portrayal of Dewey Cox, a character he portrays from his adolescence to when the artist is in his seventies. Does that sound incredible? Not when you know that “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” is a parody of biopics about musicians, such as “Ray” (about Ray Charles) or “Walk the Line” (about Johnny Cash).

Director Jake Kasdan and Judd Apatow, who wrote the screenplay for the film, took a good look at these films, but actually “Walk Hard” is a parody of any music documentary. All predictable elements are in it: a difficult childhood, a number of marriages, many offspring (whether or not out of wedlock), groupies, the meditative period, experimenting with narcotics and the beating of interiors of hotel rooms or any kind of furniture. A normal person usually expresses his anger and frustration in a different way, but everyone “knows” that a rock artist prefers to work for plumbers by breaking down the bathroom. That is why Apatow and Kasdan Dewey Cox repeatedly have washbasins ripped off walls, culminating in a scene where a whole row of washbasins is destroyed. Hilarious.

John C. Reilly, an actor who remains underappreciated despite his Oscar nomination for his role in “Chicago”, comes into his own in “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”. He effortlessly portrays a fifteen-year-old rebellious teenager who runs away from home because after the accidental murder of his talented brother, he can no longer count on the love and support of his father. The father, played by Raymond Barry, continues to argue throughout the film that “the wrong son has died”. Dewey Cox (of course there are a few puns on this name) marries childhood sweetheart Edith, a character nicely played by Kristen Wiig (who also has to pass for anything between the ages of twelve and the elderly). Her love for Dewey remains intact (although she stretches out herself several times, judging by the number of children she continues to bear throughout the film) but confidence in his breakthrough is not there. “I do believe in you. I only know that you will fail, ”reads one of her statements. Brilliant!

Of course, that breakthrough will come and Dewey has to balance between the demanding family life and the busy life on the road, with all the enticements that come with it. Jenna Fischer convincingly plays the role of Darlene Madison, a backing vocalist, who will eventually marry Dewey as well. The song “Let’s Duet” (pronounced “Let’s do it”) they sing together is very well written with wonderfully ambiguous lyrics. John C. Reilly continues to fascinate throughout the film, at one point in the film he plays Bob Dylan so well that you wonder why he wasn’t offered a role in “I’m Not There”, the folk singer biopic. There are more of this kind of feat in the film. So, getting to know Elvis Presley (Jack White from The White Stripes), Buddy Holly (Frankie Muniz) and The Beatles are to tear you apart. The actors who have to pass for The Beatles are surprising but very successful choices: Jack Black as Paul McCartney, Paul Rudd as John Lennon, Justin Long as George Harrison and Jason Schwartzman as Ringo Starr clearly have a lot of fun and the strong comical dialogues. are one of the highlights of the film. “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” is one of the better parodies of the last few years and a must-see for any music lover.

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