The Dewey Cox Story
Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, the latest comedy from camp
Apatow, is a take off on the rock biography movie that’s
been Oscar bait in the last couple of years. Like the movies
it parodies, (Walk the Line and Ray),
Walk Hard chronicles the life of the hard walking
yet incredibly dim southern boy, Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly).
his humble beginnings as a playful farmboy to his rise as
a multi-purpose rock star, Dewey Cox is basically the Forrest
Gump of musical biographies, crossing paths with everyone
from Buddy Holly to Elvis and even The Beatles.
Hard is not without laughs, and it is a funny movie;
however it falls flat in a lot of places. The biggest problem
with it is that it can’t decide what sort of movie
it wants to be. Its two choices apparently were clever parody
and social commentary on the whole music biography movie
genre or the wacky, tongue in cheek, suspension of disbelief,
sight gag and silly cheeseball movie. Never really deciding
how it wanted to lean, Walk Hard just kind of towed
the line leaving the movie really indifferent.
point, the movie really felt smart, like the filmmakers
actually knew what they were doing and saying. I found myself
thinking, “This is brilliant, they’re spoofing
all those bio pics and it totally works.” Then, that
train of thought would be derailed with a sight gag of a
person cut in half and their dismembered legs standing next
kept this movie from being an absolute disaster was the
acting. Well, the lead acting at least. Reilly, arguably
the only real actor in the bunch (he had an Oscar nom for
Chicago), holds the scattershot story together.
truly Reilly’s commitment to the character of Dewey
Cox that makes any of the peripheral comedy even remotely
funny. If he can’t pull off the innocence of the newly
created rock star, then the corruption scenes of him wouldn’t
work. If he can’t pull off the aging musician burdened
with a life of hard ups and downs, then the wackiness of
his trials and tribulations wouldn’t be funny. Reilly
brings his “A” game to this movie, and it’s
almost the best thing about it.
helped by the super-talented SNL vet Kristen Wiig.
She lays it down as Cox’s first wife and she actually
adds a little depth to her throwaway role. Personal favorite
Jenna Fischer (The Office) plays Cox’s mistress
and eventually his second wife. She is fun and sexy, and
ultimately works, but is basically just a phoned in performance.
of phoned in performances, the film is littered with them
and at first you think that they might actually be funny.
At every smile inducing cameo, you feel as if an even bigger
comedic payoff is coming, but it doesn’t. It just
feels like what it is, all the Apatow crew filling in for
real actors in order to either just be able for all those
friends to work together or the hopes that fans of Apatow
will giggle at the sight of their fav guys and gals.
get me wrong, Apatow’s crew is very talented and funny,
but perhaps under the direction of Jake Kasdan, he just
let them be themselves and didn’t actually try to
the greatest thing about Walk Hard is the music.
You can’t have a parody of a musical biography and
not have the goods in the soundtrack department. The Walk
Hard soundtrack is not only funny, but it’s good,
solid music. I found myself many times, tapping my toe once
the music kicked in. The music easily kept me happy during
many of the lulls in this movie.
Walk Hard has one of the best end of the credits
gags in probably all time. So if you do go to see it, make
sure you stay till the end of the credits. You’ll
be glad you did.
Walk Hard is fun, but it misses its chance to truly
be great. It could have been a true music bio parody that
completely speared the genre, but in the end it ended up
merely being a parody of itself.
almost as if there were two children, one being a good,
talented and gifted, Walk Hard and a dumb, self
important, silly Walk Hard and one of them died.
And sadly in this case… the wrong kid died.