‘The Rodnees: We Mod Like Dat!’


This mockumentary in which a group of failed Brooklyn rappers switch gears after listening to the Beatles wears out its welcome quicker than the shortest track on The Grey Album. Some conceits are amusing (most of the Rodnees’ gigs are for grade-schoolers), but director Farley is lazy with details, relying on interminable interview scenes and tepid tunes that rarely suggest the Fab Four. The actors—terrible lip-synchers—are at times barely audible. But the most grating presence is the obsessed narrator (Wm. D. Kappelmeyer), a man who’s thrown away his family and professional life in order to spend his days parsing the glory of the Rodnees. If Farley had come up with a single melody that could take its place next to the Rutles’ “Cheese and Onions,” or even St. Hubbins—Tufnel’s Merseybeat-era “Gimme Some Money,” we might suspend our disbelief. As it is, we’re going to trot out the mandatory one-word Beatles-album-derived closer: Help!

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 20, 2005

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