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Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
An unavoidable spoof of musical biopics.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
John C. Reilly and Jenna Fischer Star in "Walk Hard."
OPENING WEEKEND: $38,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $85,000,000
OTHER PREVIEWS: Alatriste (7/10)
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

September 3rd, 2007: America loves Cox! But behind the music is the up-and-down-and-up-again story of a musician whose songs would change a nation. On his rock 'n roll spiral, Cox (John C. Reilly) sleeps with 411 women, marries three times, has 22 kids and 14 stepkids, stars in his own 70s TV show, collects friends ranging from Elvis to the Beatles to a chimp, and gets addicted to -- and then kicks -- every drug known to man... but despite it all, Cox grows into a national icon and eventually earns the love of a good woman -- longtime backup singer Darlene (Jenna Fischer).

What to Expect: It seems the in thing with the academy these days is musician biopics. The last three ceremonies have been dominated by this genre with Ray, Walk the Line and Dreamgirls taking home numerous golden trophies and, as everyone knows, success breeds parody. Luckily this parody is going to be done right by the new king of comedy Judd Apatow. Apatow has proven time and again that he can make the audience laugh and this time it should be no different with Walk Hard. What makes Apatow so funny is the fact that his comedies usually have multiple levels of jokes. He makes the obvious easy jokes on the surface, but then he usually has a deeper level joke between him and those in the audience that are more familiar with the circumstances of the comedy. Walk Hard tells the story of fictional character Dewey Cox that spans a staggering seventy years of music history. That should give Cox plenty of material to work with. On the surface he can make plenty of stupid jokes with the name Cox (long Cox, hard Cox, you get the point), but on a deeper level, Apatow can cleverly make fun of each genre of music in the time span and the absurdity of the rock star lifestyle.

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The movie will mostly focus on satirizing Walk the Line and Ray, with Dewey Cox resembling Johnny Cash. Some hardcore Cash fans may think it is in poor taste to make fun of him only four years after his death, but I think it is a great complement to the musical legend. Cox's life will humorously parallel Cash's to a T. It will go something like: first wife doubting him, then success, drugs, divorce, second wife who redeems him and then the downfall. In a very funny scene that spoofs the scene from Walk the Line where Cash sings the title track of the movie "I Walk the Line" with his wife, Cox will perform the joke song "Let's Duet" with his wife. However, unlike Cash, Cox will not stick to a single style of music, but perform almost all of them. He first is drawn to the Blues as a young kid after his brother dies playing in a Machete fight. Then, as with every generation, he performs the music that is popular at the time including 60's protest songs, 70's disco and 80's pop rock; it seems there is no limit to Cox's talent. For the 70's disco he can channel Reed Rothchild, his character from Boogie Nights. On Cox's journey through the eras, Cox will encounter many of music's biggest stars which of course will be very funny cameos. Some of the more notable ones include Jack White, lead singer of the White Stripes, as Elvis Presley and the Beatles played by Jack Black as Paul McCartney, Paul Rudd as John Lennon, Jason Schwartzman as Ringo Starr, and Justin Long as George Harrison. Although none of these guys resemble the Beatles in any way, it should all be very funny nonetheless. Other than the hilarious cameos and dumb Cox jokes, many of the movie's big laughs will come from the songs that Cox performs. Apatow and his co-writer Jake Kasdan wrote 32 extremely funny tracks for the movie that actually will all be performed by the actors themselves. Therefore, you need an actor with both comedic and musical experience. That is why I was at first a little surprised when I found out that Cox will be played by John C. Reilly. Reilly is always funny as the goofy sidekick in movies like Boogie Nights and Talladega Nights, but he has never had a starring role. I thought someone like Mel Brooks or Adam Sandler would be better, but Brooks is too old and Sandler is a little boy trapped in a man's body act has gotten kind of old. The more you look at it, the more Reilly seems like a natural pick. He has worked with Apatow before on Talladega, and more importantly he has plenty of singing experience. When he was younger, Reilly was actually in a Blues band, and more recently he even got an Oscar nomination for his part in Chicago. Furthermore, Apatow has had success with promoting the sidekick to star with Seth Rogen in the summer hit Knocked Up. Rogen was one of the supporting actors in 40 Year Old Virgin, but now is a bona fide comedic star. To round up the cast, Apatow dipped into his favorite talent pool: the cast of the Office. This time Apatow tagged Jenna Fischer (Pam) to star opposite Reilly as Cox's wife. I find that casting decision questionable at best. She is a fan favorite on the office, not for being funny, but for her down to earth demeanor and her character's relatable love problems on the show. I personally find Pam's entire story line boring and completely unnecessary. In fact, the only reason she is even there is to appeal to the 18-35 female audience (Wow am I going to get some angry emails for that one). Hopefully the real comedians in this movie, like SNL veterans Tim Meadows, Kristen Wiig and The Daily Show's Ed Helms, can save the day.

In Conclusion: I am so tired of these damn Musical Biopics! I think it is great that finally someone is spoofing them. Apatow's script, the great cameos and hilarious songs should make for one great comedy that would make Mel Brooks proud. John C. Reilly will make the most of his chance to be the star, which, in my opinion, is long overdue. You will laugh in the theater and walk out with many of the songs still stuck in your head. Go see it and you will never look at these biopics the same again.

Similar Titles: Walk the Line, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, History Of The World Part 1
December 21st, 2007 (wide)
April 8th, 2008 (DVD)

Columbia Pictures

Jake Kasdan

John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Kristen Wiig, Tim Meadows, Raymond J. Barry, David Krumholtz, Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Jason Schwartzman, Justin Long, Ed Helms

Total: 57 vote(s).


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Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language.

96 min




Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story at AskMen.com

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