Genre Spotlight (Secret Santa): Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
My Secret Santa this holiday season is none other than Jonathan MacFarlane, our resident Batman expert. And being a Batman expert he decided it would be best for me to review Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Receiving this film for Christmas, from Jonathan, actually stems from a debate that took place on an episode of our wildly popular podcast of the same name. Our debate was whether Walk Hard was a strong enough selection to qualify as his favorite comedy or if he should submit to me and choose a time tested comedy such as Airplane, Ghostbusters, or Country Strong.
Upon a second viewing, I fully understand the appeal it holds for Jonathan. And while I might not agree, I can certainly see what he likes. Knowing Jonathan the way I do, I’ve compiled a list of the things he liked about Walk Hard:
1. A child is cut in half. Since Jonathan hates all children, this fulfills a longtime fantasy of his.
2. It parodies the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. This works on two levels for Jonathan, since he loves Johnny Cash’s music, but hates Johnny Cash.
3. It shows the true, natural progression of drugs and their gateway effects. As a drug counselor for Alzheimer’s patients, he loves showing this as a reminder.
4. Full frontal guy stuff and junk.
5. It admonishes the exploitative beginnings of rock and roll and how the concept was stolen from Jonathan’s ancestors.
6. It features Jonathan’s favorite actor Rance Howard, who, by the by, is featured in the theme music for our wildly popular podcast of the same name.
7. A young, at the time unknown, Shane Stephenson makes an appearance as “child at party”. While Jonathan hates children, he loves seeing child actors find success, no matter how small.
8. The Beatles make an appearance through the use of modern editing techniques and time travel.
9. While on a PCP bender Dewey destroys a small town “Incredible Hulk” style and they reference the Hulk television series. Jonathan is a Hulk expert as well as a Batman expert.
10. Lots of manly facial hair, which Jonathan admires, but cannot replicate.
While there are some beguiling elements to the above list, I have some more realistic reasons why I enjoyed the movie. John C. Reilly gives a great performance; way better than Rance Howard. The satire is effective in revealing the folly of show business types and their actions. Not only is the satire effective, but it leads to some hilarious moments unparalleled in other films of its type. And while I still don’t see it as a valid choice for “favorite comedy” it is certainly a consistently funny film, from start to finish. Thank you Jonathan for giving me the gift of humor, even if it lands smack dab between Big (#23) and Moonstruck (#25) on my list of “all time favorite comedies”.
Posted on December 23, 2011, in Genre Spotlight, Secret Santa and tagged child actors, David Krumholtz, Jake Kasdan, Jenna Fischer, John C. Reilly, rance howard, Secret Santa, shane stephenson, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.