WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY
Spoof Crosses the Line
Release Date: December 21, 2007
Starring: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer,
Tim Meadows, and Kristen Wiig
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 97 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony
Director: Jake Kasdan
Executive Producer: Lew Morton
Producer: Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan
Writer: Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment
(Columbia Pictures/TriStar/Screen Gems/Provident)
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
Meant to be an irreverent comedy, “Walk Hard” pulls no punches in poking fun of EVERYTHING — from musical genres, ethnic minorities, Christianity, marriage to parenting, etc., so though the content may be offensive, it’s not to be taken literally. However, parents would most likely want to steer their children away from taking in an eyeful of Dewey Cox’s fast-and-furious lifestyle, which depicts him as a drug-abusing bigamist with a penchant for illicit sex, an aversion to fatherhood (though he has dozens of children by multiple women) and a terrible temper that causes him to repeatedly destroy property.
Where WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY truly crosses the line is in the amount of full-frontal nudity and drug use. Full LSD trips are shown, marijuana use is practically advocated, and in a scene strongly implying an orgy of musicians and groupies, a close-up of male genitalia is on full display. Additionally, there is some graphic comic violence in which human beings are chopped in half with machetes, only to continue speaking, and a woman is killed by falling out of a window and is then hit on the head by a radio.
The movie attempts to redeem itself, and the character of Dewey Cox, by introducing its June Carter equivalent, Darlene (Jenna Fischer, Emmy-nominated star of TV’s THE OFFICE). Back-lit with a gaudy cross hanging from her neck, Darlene often encourages Dewey to get off the drugs and to straighten out his life. In keeping with the theme, however, Darlene’s faith becomes comic when she portrays the “virgin tease” and wears a bindi shaped like a cross during Dewey’s transcendental meditation phase.
Dewey’s life culminates at an awards ceremony where he sings about his life and the lessons he’s learned, including “love yourself, but not just yourself.” This is after seeking forgiveness and reconciliation from those he’s hurt in the past, including his many children. Too little too late to give this movie a moral worldview, and the prevalence of sex (both in depiction and implication), drugs, and foul language make this a movie with less edification and more trashy comedy than most probably need to see.
Sadly, the path of Dewey’s life is littered with illicit sex, heavy drug use and prison time. The movie depicts as a man who is a horrible father and husband, neglectful and abusive of those around him and unable to control his temper. Because it’s a spoof, everything is mocked, including Christianity. Overall, Dewey Cox is one character that’s certainly not a good role model for children, nor one that most people of faith and values will find appealing.