Here’s something slightly different from Der Komedy Kommandant Judd Apatow: a full-blown parody of music biopics. Judging from its just-released trailer, Walk Hard is going to play much more broadly in the Adam McKay/Will Ferrell vein. And following his bravura turn as the puppy-dog faithful Cal Naughton, Jr. in Talladega Nights, I can’t think of a better actor to anchor this kind of film than John C. Reilly.
When Walk Hard was first announced, I took the hiring of Jake Kasdan as an indication that Apatow – who co-wrote the script with Kasdan – might try to inject some genuine pathos into an otherwise ridiculous story (Kasdan demonstrated a burgeoning facility for managing such a tricky balancing balancing act with his underrated debut feature, Zero Effect). But when I saw Reilly’s Dewey Cox freaking out and literally flipping a car in an earlier version of this trailer tested before the sublime Pineapple Express, I realized this wasn’t going to be grounded in anything approaching reality. If Patrick Duffy getting punched in the face is what we get in return, then I’m cool.
Walk Hard is set for release on December 21, 2007. I remember saying something about this being a potential Best Original Screenplay nominee. I’d like to retract that prediction right about now-ish.