How do you go about making a worthwhile parody of a genre that needs a good spoofing? By playing it straight, that's how.
That is exactly how Jake Kasdan and Judd Apatow approached Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. It sets its sights squarely on the biopic and the musician sub-category. Even more specifically it seems the base was the Johnny Cash Walk the Line. The creative team of Kasdan and Apatow crafted a film that is strong in its own right, while successfully pointing out the problems with the genre. Rather than just copy scenes from successful films (like the Epic/Date Movies), they played it serious.
The result is a movie that is a comedy, but the performers play as if in a serious film, thus highlighting the cliches and conventions that infect it like a cancer. The movie turns into something quite funny and successful. Granted, the comedy is not for everyone, but then again, what is? A big part of the movie is the music, music that is played as straight as the film is.
Before you can think of the humor contained within this soundtrack, you have to consider the overall quality of the songs and the music. It is an odd thing to think that the music is actually any good from a parody, but it is. Seriously, the music on this album may not be the most original but there is a certain level of quality and a distinct catchiness. It is hard not to like it. Even if the humor is not immediately apparent, it has a way of getting into your head and taking hold. Before you know it, you will be humming along in spite of yourself.
There was a lot of effort put into the songs. Beyond injecting them with humor, which is really only evident on a couple of the tracks, the writers (including Marshall Crenshaw, Mike Viola, Dan Bern, Michael Andrews, and star John C. Reilley) worked hard at making the songs authentic. They went so far as to research language and instrument usage. Their work paid off. The songs sound as if they were plucked right out of the era they were seeking to replicate. This includes songs styled after the likes of Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan as well as psychedelic and disco eras.