IN 'WEIRD: THE AL YANKOVIC STORY' - WITH EVAN RACHEL WOOD AS MADONNA
I would not use the word "campy" to describe any aspect of Brian De Palma's Carrie, but /Film's Shae Sennett does describe it that way. Sennett details the parody homage to De Palma's film within the new movie Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, which was written by "Weird Al" Yankovic with director Eric Appel:
Just in case this is necessary, spoilers for the biopic parody "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story" lie ahead. You've been warned?
If there's one thing "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story" does well, it's a parody. Weird Al rose to fame performing hilarious takes on hit pop songs, like his version of Michael Jackson's "Beat It," titled "Eat It," and Yankovic's biopic remains true to the comedic sensibility of his work. The film pokes fun at the musical biopic genre as a whole and pays homage to lots of iconic music, artists, and cinema that broke the status quo.
One final pop culture reference is snuck in at the very end of the film. The end of "Weird" mirrors the final scene in Brian De Palma's adaptation of Stephen King's "Carrie," with the role of Sue played by the infamous musician-turned-drug lord, Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood).
Based on a total (un)true story
"Weird" tells the totally true life story of the comedy musician Al Yankovic — just kidding! What fun would that be? "Weird" is actually closer to "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" than it is to musical biopics like Baz Luhrmann's "Elvis." The film's narrative is almost completely fabricated, from Yankovic's tragic backstory as a closet accordion player to his showdown with Pablo Escobar. Some true aspects did make the final cut, like how Yankovic got his first accordion. Other elements were used for comedic effect, like Weird Al's songs, which were played in their originally recorded versions. "One of the many musical biopic tropes we wanted to take the piss out of was the clearly different voice coming out of the actor's head," Daniel Radcliffe explained to The Tonight Show.
Yankovic himself confirmed that a few parts of the biopic are accurate. "There are little nuggets of truth sprinkled throughout the biopic," Yankovic admitted. However, his whirlwind romance with Madonna was not one of them.
Madonna and Yankovic never came close to dating in real life. "Our relationship was platonic," the musician admitted. "The only time I actually met her was in 1985. I talked to her for maybe 45 seconds backstage." Their relationship in the "Weird" universe lasts a lot longer than 45 seconds, however. In fact, Madonna becomes a crucial part of Al's life — and his death.
An homage to Carrie gives Weird a campy send-off
In the "Weird" universe, Al dies in 1985, the same year he met Madonna in real life. A mid-credits scene shows a grief-stricken Madonna placing a rose on his grave. Just like the end of "Carrie," Al's hand pops out of the ground, and tries to drag Madonna down with him. This scene in "Weird" is similar to Brian De Palma's classic on more than just a surface level. Al's assassination at the award show mirrors the scene in "Carrie" where the titular protagonist wins prom queen and is showered in pig's blood. Of course, Madonna played a much bigger hand in Al's death than Sue played in Carrie's.