Total Recall: Walk Hard While My Biopic Gently Weeps
Opening acts: This is Spinal Tap, Fear of a Black Hat, Sweet and Lowdown
Most artists pay respects to the masters in subtle homages. Woody Allen, on the other hand, wears his inspirations on his sleeve. One doesn't have to look further than Isaac Davis rattling off his favorite things in the world into a tape recorder in Manhattan (97 percent), or the color recreations of Marx Brothers skits in Everyone Says I Love You (82 percent) for evidence. Sweet and Lowdown is quick to call Emmett Ray "the second greatest guitar player in the world" -- a droll joke and direct reference to guitar maestro Django Reinhardt. Ray passes out during a chance encounter with Reinhardt and several facets of Ray's behavior -- he's reckless, a gambler, and has just as much luck as he does talent -- mimics Reinhardt's. But it could be said those are common strains in any musician's life. After all, moral disintegration makes for great idols.
Sweet and Lowdown: You have underwear and socks to wash.
If you can't get your fix from these fictional musical biopics, there are a number of other notables sure to tickle your funnybone and tap your feet. There's the Beatles-skewering mockumentary The Rutles: All You Need is Cash (88 percent), featuring cameos from George Harrison, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, and Bill Murray. Tom Hanks' sweet, energetic That Thing You Do! (91 percent) tells the story of a fictional Beatle-esque band's brief moment in the sun. Chris Rock lampoons gangsta rap in CB4 (63 percent), and the Roger Ebert-penned, Russ Meyer-helmed Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (62 percent) is the X-rated tale of the trials and tribulations of an all female rock band. Rock on!