The up-and-down-and-up-again story of musician Dewey Cox, whose songs would change a nation. On his rock 'n roll spiral, Cox sleeps with 411 women, marries three times, has 36 kids, 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. Written by
Margot Martindale, Ma Cox, and Raymond J. Barry, Pa Cox, both appeared on the FX TV series Justified. See more »
In the school talent show, which takes place in 1953, the lead guitarist is playing a Harmony Bobcat electric guitar from 1964. See more »
[Dewey meditating with the Maharishi and The Beatles]
Only through meditation can we begin to understand our role.
We're nothing but... grains of sand.
That was freakin' transcendental, Paul McCartney. Don't you agree, John Lennon?
Yes, Dewey Cox. With meditation there's no limit to what we can...
[glares at the camera]
What do you think, George Harrison of The Beatles?
I don't know. You know? I'm just trying to get more songs on the album.
And as Ringo Starr, I'm not so interested in ...
[...] See more »
After the credits there is a black&white clip of Dewey Cox performing Walk Hard in 2002, with the words "The actual Dewey Cox" See more »
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (rated R). Directed by Jake Kasden. Written by Judd Apatow and Jake Kasden. Starring John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Raymond J. Berry, Kristen Wiig, Tim Meadows, Harold Ramis & Chris Parnell. Running Time: 96 minutes. Originally appeared in LakewoodBuzz.com.
Like the film Ray (2004), a young boy and his brother frolic in the bucolic wonderland of the American South of the 1930s. Like Walk the Line (2005), a young man leaves his loving mother and hateful father to find solace in his music. Like... well, you get the idea. This film is primarily a send-up of the musical bio-pic, as Dewey Cox (Riley) channels nearly every rock icon that ever took the stage... from Dylan, Cash, Orbison, and Presley to Brian Wilson. Like his fellow rock stars, Dewey is often tempted by drugs and sex. In a hilarious motif, he is constantly opening a door and finding his drummer, Sam (Meadows), behind it with sexy backup singers and the latest drug of choice. "You don't want any part of this s**t," Sam says, and proceeds to tell Dewey all of the drug's benefits. Despite their wayward ways, Dewey and his band are discovered by a trio of Hasidic Jews and begin to record a remarkable string of number-one hits. As he cruises the decades like Forrest Gump with a guitar, Dewey meets all of his legendary contemporaries, played by uncredited actors you are likely to recognize. Watch especially for Lennon, McCartney and Buddy Holly.
REVIEW: 3 out of 4 Java Mugs
What is remarkable about this movie is the way we feel about the main character, Dewey Cox. It's easy to find sympathy for the likes of Johnny Cash and Ray Charles because we knew them as real people. But why do we feel so strongly about a singer we know does not really exist? Some of the credit goes to the filmmakers, who know which emotional buttons to push, but mostly we have Riley to thank. In an amazing portrayal, he takes what could have been a spoof-worthy sap and turns him into a fully developed character we really care about. Riley actually becomes Dewey Cox, by singing his heart out and even helping to write many of the film's songs.
Other performances are also worthy of note, particularly Fischer's sultry Darlene, Wiig's ever-pregnant Edith and Meadows' drug-addled drummer.
Though Riley's singing is quite good, it is still nice to have the likes of Lyle Lovett, Jackson Browne, Jewel, Ghostface Killah and Eddie Vedder playing themselves and singing those Dewey Cox originals. But none of the music was as brilliant as an early scene with Honeyboy Edwards singing the blues.
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