‘Walk Hard’ joins ‘Spinal Tap’ in music comedy classics
Dewey Cox is a superstar whose tumultuous personal life inspired many songs though out his long career. He is also the fictional star of Walk Hard, the mock biopic, produced by Judd Apatow and starring John C. Reilly as Cox.
With a stellar cast of some of comedy’s finest including Jenna Fischer of The Officce as Cox’s second wife Darlene, SNL stars Tim Meadows and Chris Parnell and Upright Citizen’s Brigade‘s Matt Besser as Dewey’s bandmates, Walk Hard is a music comedy that deserves placement with greats like This is Spinal Tap.
The film takes on many of the most popular music biopics of the past few years, including Oscar hits like I’m Not There, Ray and Walk the Line, with occasional shot for shot parodies.
In an early, life-shaping scene, Cox accidentally cuts his brother in half during a play machete fight. Fans of Ray will no doubt notice the similarities, right down to the color tones used for the sequence.
Spanning Dewey’s decades-long career, Walk Hard makes fun of every music movie cliche from tour infidelity to drug addiction.
In one of the best performances of the film, Meadows is Cox’s long-time friend and bandmate, Sam. While trying to deal with the stress of his failing marriage to his “fourteen-year-old wife” Edith (the outstanding Kristen Wiig of SNL), Cox catches Sam in a bathroom smoking weed. Sam tries to dissuade Cox from trying drugs saying, “Get outta here, Dewey! You don’t want no part of this shit!” before listing a series of reasons to the contrary. After detailing the “horrible” effects of the drug including the fact that it’s “not habit forming” and “the cheapest drug there is”, Sam becomes Cox’s drug buddy. Similar sequences with Meadows involve cocaine and even erectile dysfunction pills and are such a highlight that you just can’t wait for Cox to open a bathroom door and find Sam in there with a series of women and the drug de jour.
The cameos also propel this film to classic status. During one sequence, Cox takes a spiritual journey with the heavily-accented Beatles, played by Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Jason Schwartzman and Justin Long. Former Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz appears as Buddy Holly and White Stripes frontman Jack White is hilarious as Elvis. Even 30 Rock star Jack McBrayer makes a quick appearance as a DJ who plays Dewey’s first hit song.
Walk Hard has a roster of some of comedy’s best and serves as proof that an Apatow film is pretty much a sure thing. It’s available now on DVD or 2-disc special edition DVD with extended unrated version.