- 1 hr 19 min
iSteve is a 2013 comedy film that offers a satirical take on the life of Steve Jobs, iconic co-founder and former CEO of Apple Inc., which is known for revolutionizing several industries with products like the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. The film stars Justin Long in the titular role of Steve Jobs, marking an interesting choice since Long was previously known for his role in Apple’s “Get a Mac” ad campaigns, where he personified the Mac computer opposite John Hodgman's PC.
The film, directed by Ryan Perez and produced by Funny or Die, doesn't aim to be an accurate biographical portrayal of the Silicon Valley luminary's life. Instead, it is a comedic reimagining that takes significant creative liberties for the sake of humor and entertainment. With this tongue-in-cheek approach, the movie parodies the traditional biopic genre, eschewing factual precision in favor of outlandish interpretations and an irreverent narrative style.
Through its runtime, iSteve follows the arc of Jobs’ life but does so with whimsy and goofiness. It is an absurd tale of an ambitious dreamer who becomes a tech industry titan, loosely touching upon his early years and partnership with Steve Wozniak (played by Jorge Garcia), his initial successes with Apple, his eventual ousting, and his triumphant return to the company. However, the movie injects anecdotal tales and wild deviations that are purely the product of the filmmakers' imaginations.
Supporting Justin Long’s portrayal of Jobs are Art Evans and Juzo Yoshida, who contribute to the film's eccentric charm by playing roles that intermingle with the narrative of Jobs' life, embodying characters that are as much caricatures as they are characters. The cast plays it straight with the material they're given, delivering comedically dramatic interpretations of the tech world's biggest names. This satirical lens enables the film to poke fun not only at Steve Jobs, the person but also at the entire cult of personality that often surrounds tech founders and the Silicon Valley startup scene.
It's important to note that iSteve does not set out to be an educational or factual recounting. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the film is its development timeline, as it was reportedly written in three days and filmed in five, resulting in a rapid production that matches the quick, throwaway jokes of its script. The expedited production schedule and emphasis on humor over accuracy align with the ethos of Funny or Die, a comedy video website known for its hilarious and sometimes absurdist short films, celebrity cameos, and satirical content.
The iPhone and other Apple products, although they may be alluded to, serve more as backdrops for jokes rather than points of plot progression. This satirical view extends to cover Apple's infamous legal battles, its counter-culture marketing strategies, and the idealized version of the American garage inventor mythos. The film doesn't shy away from dramatizing the idiosyncrasies and philosophical musings attributed to Jobs throughout his career, regardless of their accuracy.
The set design and costuming play with the aesthetics of different eras, from the 1970s to the 2000s, adding an additional layer of visual humor by exaggerating the distinct styles of each time period. Technological developments are whimsically portrayed, with gizmos and gadgets serving as fodder for visual gags or ironic commentary.
What sets iSteve apart is that it's more interested in absurdity and laughs than in adding anything substantive to the conversation about Steve Jobs’ legacy. For viewers seeking a lighthearted and somewhat ridiculous version of Job's story, this film may offer a pleasing, if not necessarily enlightening, viewing experience. Those looking for a more serious or historically accurate portrayal of his life and achievements are perhaps better served by other biographical films and documentaries on the subject.
In conclusion, iSteve from 2013 can be characterized as a deliberately over-the-top and comedic interpretation of Steve Jobs' life and career. With its fast-paced comedy, caricatured performances, and disregard for historical authenticity, the film presents an alternative take on the legend of Jobs that is intended to amuse rather than inform. It's a film for those who can enjoy an irreverent parody that intermingles elements of truth with outright fiction for comedic effect.
iSteve is a 2013 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 19 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.2.