I (Heart) 'Walk Hard'


'In my dreams, you're blowing me/Some kisses'

I'm obsessed with "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story." Not necessarily because the movie is great (though I did think it was pretty funny, in a stupidly over-the-top "Anchorman" sort of way); but because of the music, which is flat-out fantastic. Who knew that John C. Reilly was such a fluid singer?! Oh, right - anybody who's ever seen "Chicago." (If this acting thing doesn't work out for him, there will always be a place for Reilly in the music world.)

The writing is also sharp, and the musicianship is strong. No surprise if you look at the credits: The band includes the likes of multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin of the Bird and the Bee (and also Geggy Tah, if you remember them from the '90s and that Mercedes commercial) and drummer Joey Waronker, who has toured with R.E.M., recorded with both Paul McCartney and Johnny Cash and played extensively with Beck. Michael Andrews, the guy behind the "Donnie Darko" soundtrack, produced the whole thing. Among the writers: Marshall Crenshaw and Dan Bern.

The songs expertly send up everybody from Johnny Cash ("Walk Hard,") and Elvis Presley ("[I Hate You] Big Daddy") to Bob Dylan (the nonsensical "Royal Jelly") and our old friend Brian Wilson (the downright absurd pocket symphony "Black Sheep," arranged, conducted and co-written by none other than Brian's "Smile" and "Orange Crate Art" collaborator Van Dyke Parks).

My favorite is "Let's Duet," a double-entendre-laced love song that's lip-synched in the movie and accompanying video by Jenna Fischer. In the real world, Reilly's duet partner is a Los Angeles singer by the name of Angela Correa. If there's any justice in this world, my colleague Chris Richards will put this song on his year-end Top 15 (or so) singles list.

In her "Walk Hard" review today, Ann Hornaday calls the movie disappointing ("Why isn't it better?" she wonders), but raves about the soundtrack, noting: "I'm not sure I care to see 'Walk Hard' a second time, but I can't wait to hear it again."

You can read more about the soundtrack here.

Or, you can just watch Lyle Lovett try to talk about Dewey's greatness here:

And here's a brief Ghostface Killah testimonial:

And the "Walk Hard" video itself:

Oh, and I'll have a story in Sunday Style & Arts about the movie's album art. (Did I mention that I'm obsessed?)

By J. Freedom du Lac |  December 21, 2007; 11:03 AM ET Soundtracks
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Comments

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oh wow, that "Duet" video is hilarious! wish i could watch more but my boss keeps comin by my cube. can't wait to see this movie!

Posted by: around | December 21, 2007 11:33 AM

Also check out the Reel Comedy special on Comedy Central (airs today too) for some hilarious moments, including a cameo from an unexpected singer/guitarist.

Posted by: Hemisphire | December 21, 2007 12:07 PM

ghostface's testimonial convinced me I need to see this!

Also, I DO remember Geggy Tah, oh my goodness. All I wanna do is to thank you, for getting that song stuck in my head.

Posted by: shf | December 21, 2007 1:57 PM

just for the record, those "testimonials" are promotional bit they've been using in the previews and commercials... pretty scripted... though lyle lovett is hilarious in his... he, me, he, me.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 21, 2007 7:52 PM

The scene in the movie that happens circa 1960 with dewey and the band getting into what one of his bandmates terms 'punk' is grand on all scales. the dewey 'punk' period is often dismissed by critics. a lot they knew.

Posted by: JSM | December 26, 2007 12:19 PM

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