Day 2 of TIFF 2022 ended with me in an elevator with a claustrophobic woman.
I will get back to that later.
Weird: The Weird Al Yankovic Is… Kind Of Brilliant
If anything the biopic Weird: The Weird Al Yankovic starring Danielle Radcliffe and written and directed by Eric Appel is how ever single biopic should be — and it’s gonna do wonders for Roku’s viewership.
The theater was packed in the TIFF Lightbox where the movie screened for the first time after it’s big TIFF premiere at midnight the night prior. The biopic is stupid fun and is exactly what you would expect from a Weird Al Yankovic biopic.
The feature biopic was birthed from a 2010 viral video from Appel which included a “true” account of Yankovic’s storied career of song parodies that made him an icon. The movie has ridiculous “cameos” and skewers Yankovic’s life with what I would assume be bits and pieces of truth, but if this movie was 100% true, then I would totally not mind because IT’S WEIRD AL. The movie is supposed to be weird and it excels with flying colors.
Granted, there are moments in this movie that have some red flags because some people might be offended. However, I give it grace because it’s coming from a place of love. Then again, there are people committed to being angry and overpolicing out there, so I am not even gonna may those small moments no mind.
What’s even greater is that the movie totally drags the concept of the Hollywood biopic through the mud. It realizes how many Hollywood biopics — or even all of them — are basically parodies, to some degree, of the lives of the people they are trying to spotlight. And as silly as it is, it is essentially a movie about acceptance and understanding… with an accordion.
The Wild True Crime Podcast Chaos Of Susie Searches
In Sophie Kargman‘s feature directorial debut based on the short of the same name, follows the titular ambitious and smiley college student (played by the absolutely magnetic Kiersey Clemons) who plots to boost the popularity of her true crime podcast when she starts investigating the disappearance of her classmate Jesse (Alex Wolff) who is also a meditation influencer whose catchphrase, “Be Kind” has made him a local celebrity.
Despite her meticulous investigative skills and prowess at amateur criminal psychology, Susie’s podcast isn’t getting the traction she wants. That said, being the super strategic and persevering gal she is, Susie starts to do some things to make her a hero which is great at first but then as more truths slowly start to come to light, things start to go on a slow spiral of “WTF IS HAPPENING?”
Susie Searches starts off as a run-of-the-mill coming-of-age tale of story of acceptance, but then it takes some wild turns. Clemons is spectacular. She deserves more and she leads Susie Searches with commitment, spark and a delightful anxiety that makes it wild rid in the most interesting ways. It’s a solid feature debut for Kargman.
It’s sneaky, sweet and it’s own weird way… it’s provocative and fucked up. It’s becomes less about the actual mystery of it all and more about the generation’s insatiable thirst to become internet famous and beyond.
I didn’t know if Bros would be my cup of tea mostly because my taste for rom-coms is very hit or miss. Luckily, Bros was a fun hit for me… and yes, there is lots of gay horniness. I mean, what would a movie be with out gay horniness? It’s part of our culture.
Co-written by Billy Eichner and Nicholas Stoller, who directs the Universal rom-com, Bros follows Bobby, a witty, cynical author and podcaster navigating single gay life in New York who meets typical buff gay bro Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), a lawyer with boy-next-door good looks who wants more from his life than a dreary profession and his adonis body.
If you have seen David Wain’s satirical rom-com They Came Together starring Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, Bros is that — but hella gayer. With a peppering of Judd Apatowian (he’s a producer) flare like fun cameos and scenes a tad bit longer than they need to be, the movie is…good. I hesitate to say that just because I admit that I, like Bobby, am cynical when it comes to romance — specifically gay romance — specifcally gay, white romance.
However, Eichner knew exactly what he wanted with this movie, the beats he wanted to hit, the LGBTQ issues he wanted to tackle without diving too deep into them (I mean, it’s a rom-com for crying out loud), the Hollywood portrayal of queer culture, and, as I said — THE GAY HORNINESS OF IT ALL. All under this lens that blurs color-by-number Hollywood rom-com storytelling and self-aware satire that completely skewers the genre while giving us a a charming romantic love story that happens to be gay.
And remember that elevator ride I mentioned at the beginning of this recap? Well, I went to the afterparty for Bros at this too-cool-for-school hotel rooftop restaurant. When the clock struck 1 am I was like, “Oh my, I gotta get to bed!”
I took the elevator from the 44th floor back down and right when the doors were about to close I saw a woman try to get in and luckily, I pushed the button to leave the door open for her.
The doors close.
You know that moment in an elevator ride where there’s a specific moment of silence where you know the other person is about to start a conversation even though you don’t want them to? It happened.
The woman looked at me and bluntly said, “I just want to warn you, I am claustrophobic so you may have to rescue me if this elevator gets stuck.”
The elevator was going down from the 44th floor of a building.
It was the longest elevator ride of my life.