Yesterday afternoon after a knock down, drag out fight with Dean, I stormed out of the house and took some time to cool off. It was about 20 degrees outside and in my melodramatic haste to get the fuck outta there, I went on foot in nothing but a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie. It was fuckin’ cold.
Having no real idea what I was going to do and where, I just kept walking but eventually decided that I’d sneak into a couple of movies where it would be warm and I could kill some time. I really did not want to come home and was in a foul mood and so I hunted down a movie theater. Honestly, I was just sort of thinking I’d go in and crash and catch up on some sleep because I didn’t want to think and I didn’t want to laugh. I just wanted to be pissed off.
The first movie I saw was Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and although I had no real interest in seeing it, I found a seat and curled up to go to sleep. There wasn’t much of anything I wanted to see playing and there was no way in hell I was going to sit through P.S. I love you. The main reason I didn’t want to see this movie is because as a die hard Johnny Cash fan, I was mad that they made fun of his life and the situations he had lived through. Dewey Cox, I felt, could suck my ass.
I laughed my ass off through the whole movie.
More than being amusing, it was impressive. I knew that John C. Reilly could sing because I’d seen him in Chicago and a few other things but the music for this movie achieved something pretty difficult to do. It was meant to be funny but also to be GOOD at the same time and it certainly accomplished that. It is music you can take seriously even though the lyrics have a tendency to make you laugh out loud.
Dean always said that this was one of those movies that Will Farrell was probably supposed to do but had a scheduling conflict. After seeing it, I doubt this was the case and I think that Reilly was probably the first choice being that he can sing. Still, I expected, at the very least, a cameo by Will Farrell and I watched and waited for it but it never came.
There are a lot of other cameos, though including Frankie Muniz in a laughable role as Buddy Holly, Jack Black playing Paul McCartney, Paul Rudd as John Lennon, Jason Schwartzmann as Ringo Starr, and Justin Long as George Harrison. Also making a cameo is The Temptations as themselves for a very brief moment, Eddie Vedder, Jewel, Ghostfaced Killa, Jackson Browne and Lyle Lovett who perform a rendition of Walk Hard as Dewey Cox gets his lifetime achievement award.
I thought the scenes of the movie that make fun of Johnny Cash’s brother’s death would really bug me but they made them so over the top and ridiculous that I couldn’t help but laugh. As much of a mockery of Walk the Line as this movie is,(Dewey Cox frequently gets pissed off and rips the sinks out of bathrooms…. probably about fifty sinks in all) it also pokes it’s fair share of fun at Ray Charles who went blind after going through the trauma of watching his brother die. Dewey Cox doesn’t lose his eyesight, though… he loses his sense of smell, a running joke throughout the movie that climaxes at the moment he gains it back and collapses in a fit of joyous and hysterical sobs. “Oh my GOD!!! It’s a MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!”
Another long running joke of the film is Dewey Cox’s drug use and his disregard for the fact that he has about 25 children that he has no desire to care for, both things that should make you dislike the character, but portrayed in a way where it’s just too fuckin’ funny to think morally. Tim Meadows, who plays Dewey’s drummer, is frequently walked in on in various bathrooms as he is doing drugs and each and every time he exclaims, “Get outta here, Dewey! You don’t wanna get involved in this shit!” at which Dewey enquires as to what he’s up to. Meadows then will go on to try to dissuade Dewey against taking the drugs all the while making them seem appetizing which inevitably gets Dewey addicted to them:
TM: Get outta here, Dewey… you don’t wanna mess with this shit!
DC: What? What are you doing?
TM: This is MARIJUANA, Dewey!
DC: Well… will it get me all addicted?
TM: No… you can’t get addicted to it, but stay away!
DC: Well…. will I overdose?
TM: No! You can’t overdoes on it but you really don’t wanna get mixed up in it! It makes you CALM and happy!
DC: Um… I think I do wanna get mixed up in it
TM: Okay, come on in.
John C. Reilly plays the role of Dewey Cox from the age of 14 on, which is something hilarious and obviously ludicrous at the same time. When his band performs at a high school talent show and all the other members are kids, it’s pretty damned funny. His age is something that is mentioned a lot in the film as things progress at one point showing him and his wife and child living destitute in a house. His wife tells Dewey to give up his dreams because he is a loser and he responds to this by exclaiming, “Yeah, well for a fifteen year old with a wife and a baby, I’m doing pretty good!”
I have to admit that this was one funny movie. As stupid as parts were, they were still hilarious and the music was so good that you almost forget that it’s parody. If you want to laugh and also have a love of music, then go see it. If you liked This is Spinal Tap, then you’ll love this as well.
The other movie I saw was Charlie Wilson’s War which I was sure would put me to sleep. It was funny, too but not as good as Walk Hard. Tough act to follow, though.
If you’d like a taste of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, I have taken the liberty of posting the soundtrack below.