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YMMV / Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

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  • Adaptation Displacement: The film is based on Funny Or Die video with the same name, consisting of a fake trailer for the film, released on YouTube in 2010. It even shares the same director as the film, albeit with a completely different cast, with Aaron Paul playing Al instead. Most of the jokes from the short were eventually carried over to the film.
  • Adorkable: Pablo Escobar, of all people. He displays a clumsy, child-like innocence almost every moment he's on screen, whether it's firing assault rifles in time to "Ricky" or pleading with Al to perform "one lousy song" for his birthday party. The only time he isn't adorkable is when he shoots Al, but he reverts to his dorky demeanor a few seconds after.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Believe it or not, there are a few (very few) seemingly unbelievable true facts about Yankovic's life that made it into the film.
    • Al's mother actually banned him from listening to the Dr. Demento Show, requiring him to hear it surreptitiously.
    • Yankovic got his first accordion from a traveling salesman, although in real life the salesman was selling music lessons (either guitar or accordion) from a local music school.
      • Also, his parents were present for the transaction and fully approved because they thought it would be good for him (and, given the existence of "polka king" Frankie Yankovic, amusing if the world had another accordionist by that name). So Al's dad didn't actually beat up the salesman.
    • The demo for "My Bologna" was, in fact, recorded in a public bathroom, though Yankovic actually recorded it entirely by himself in the bathrooms across the hall from the KCPR offices at Cal Poly.
    • Similarly, the film features "Another One Rides the Bus" as an impromptu performance with Al on accordion accompanied by Jon Schwartz beating on a suitcase. In real life, the song was first played and recorded live on the Dr. Demento Show with Al on accordion accompanied by Jon Schwartz (who Al had just met a few hours earlier) beating on Al's accordion case. Al admits that the movie was the first time that "Bus" was recorded in an actual studio.
    • There is a documented phenomenon where being parodied by Yankovic leads to a boost in fame for the original artists, such as "Smells Like Nirvana" boosting sales of Nirvana's album Nevermind. The film refers to it as the "Yankovic Bump", the name it is often referred to in real life as well, though the film's claim that it doubles album sales is obviously a massive exaggeration.
    • Madonna and Yankovic have a strictly platonic relationship in real life,note  but she was actually the one who raised the idea of parodying "Like a Virgin" with "Like a Surgeon". She suggested the idea to a close friend who happened to know Yankovic's manager, Jay Levy, who passed the idea on to Al; this makes Madonna the only artist who gave Yankovic the idea for their song's parody.
    • Coolio wasn't at all happy with "Amish Paradise" when it came out, as is briefly seen in the film, and even feuded with him for years over it before they made up... Though, given that the film ends a decade before "Gangsta's Paradise" dropped, and the film portrays Amish as having been written by Al's dad growing up, that's about it for the accuracy there.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Al's father describes, in excruciating detail over dinner, a gruesome workplace accident that killed a coworker... and then cheerfully notes that there's now a job opening for Al at The Factory!
    • Al's father's reaction to the accordion salesman is to decry him bringing an "object of sin" into his house and then, out of nowhere, beating the shit out of the salesman until he's lying on the floor coughing up blood. What really clinches it is Al's mom calmly apologizing for her husband's attitude and asking the salesman politely not to bleed on the carpet.
    • Everything about the ending where Madonna has Al assassinated at the Grammys, from the fact that this part CLEARLY never happened, to the hitman's absolute lack of any attempt to blend into the crowd, to the solemn photo montage during the credits depicting all of the most ridiculous parts of the movie, including the assassination itself, which is represented by a photo of Al mid-gunshot with blood splatter. Oh, and it's followed by a Stinger where Al comes back as a zombie, and then a song that reiterates how everything you just saw was 100% true.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The lyrics of the end credits song "Now You Know" state at one point "This song is technically eligible for Oscar consideration!". This sadly turned out not to be the case by the time the film was released to everyone, as Roku did not fulfill the requirements to make the film eligible for Oscar nominations, stating that they wanted to focus their efforts on the Emmys instead, much to Al's disappointment.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • Al's three roommates are nothing but endlessly supportive of him. While they do think that his desire to write song parodies is a little bit strange, they encourage him to do what he wants and cheer him on when "My Bologna" becomes an instant success. Later on, when Al performs "I Love Rocky Road" at a dive bar, they step up, pick up some instruments, and basically become his band.
    • Dr. Demento takes Al under his wing almost immediately after discovering him, inviting him to a pool party he's hosting. At the party, he defends Al to the crowd of celebrities when Wolfman Jack expresses his doubts over Al's talent. He eventually offers to adopt Al, but this is on the heels of Al's reconciliation with his father...
    • Wolfman Jack and John Deacon are genuinely won over by Al after he comes up with "Another One Rides the Bus" on the spot, with John being so impressed he even offers him to perform at the upcoming Live Aid. Though Al refuses and laughs in his face, it wasn't for a lack of trying.
    • Al's awards ceremony speech, where he tells the audience to live the life they want to live and be as weird as they want to be.
  • Older Than They Think: Al had previously indulged in a little personal mythmaking with the mockumentary The Compleat Al in 1985.
  • Play-Along Meme:
    • It's not uncommon to see people insist that Michael Jackson's "Beat It" is a parody of Al's "Eat It" rather than the other way around.
    • Since the film ends with Al being assassinated in 1985, there have been many comments made on "Weird Al"-related posts and videos acting like this event actually happened, such as stating how tragic the event was or how amazing it is people are still paying tribute to his work and legacy decades later.
  • She Really Can Act: While Evan Rachel Wood's talent is known and she has a lot of range, her utterly unhinged performance as Madonna in this film is sure to raise some eyebrows.