As the Vietnam War rages on and 9/11 has just happened in some horribly anachronistic America, the Cracked brothers reflect on the future of comedy and the soul of the country. All hope seems truly lost. Troubled, the younger of the two, the idealistic Chad Cracked says, “We need to fight for the future of comedy and bring new life to the soul of this country!” The world-weary Robert Cracked (played by Daniel Day-Lewis under several layers of uglifying prosthetics) then replies: “Yes, we should create a comedy magazine, because comedy and America’s soul have…. cracked.” Zoom out. String music swells majestically. Fade to black, title card for “Laughs: The True Story of How Cracked Magazine Fixed The Soul of America” – and we win every single Oscar. Well, except for the fact that comedian biopics are tricky as hell

Anyway, as Baz Luhrmann’s later cascade of cinematic aneurysms hits theaters with new twists on the same old tropes (hey, we wonder if the movie discusses Elvis having sleepovers with underage girls? It doesn't? Okay), we offer an entire Pictofact just roasting these biopic clichés. But we soon ran into a problem: that the biopic genre is itself one big trope, one big established formula to tell the same narrative trajectories over and over. And this is not like saying that every horror movie or every rom-com is the same. We here mean it literally: when biopics are actually good, they are not really biopics but just dramas with real-life inspiration. “Biopics” is the name for history-distorting, Oscar-baity excuses to reduce otherworldly talent (or massive dickery) to three-act structures, and as such it is mostly a cursed genre. How cursed? Well, it got demolished by one single movie, which even biopic directors now consider homework before doing their own proj – Wait, we got it! The Cracked brothers were close friends with JFK! Man, this thing writes itself!

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Named After a Song

CRACKED.COM AWFUL BIOPIC TROPES SONG NAME AS TITLE Because musician biopics are all about the brand, their names follow two models: the musician's name, or an iconic song of theirs. Examples include Get On Up, Bohemian Rhapsody, Beyond the Sea, Rocketman, Coal Miner's Daughter, and Straight Outta Compton. We can't wait for Riskay's biopic Smell Yo Dick.

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