Synopsis by Mark Deming
An unusual example of musical cross-pollination is uncovered in this mockumentary comedy from independent filmmaker Lindley Farley. The Rodnees -- Rodney Barnett (Charles Harding), John Rodney (Alexander Baptiste), Rodney York (Mike Hunter), and Rodney "Modney" Wolcott (Davin McLeod) began life as a New York City hip-hop crew whose striking degree of ineptitude at the mike prevented them from getting any paying gigs. One day, the members of the group discovered a copy of the album Revolver by the Beatles, and they soon became obsessed with the Fab Four's sound. Recognizing that the R&B stylings of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Smokey Robinson were a major influence on the Beatles early on, The Rodnees struck upon an idea -- the African-American foursome would embrace the British Invasion pop sounds of the boys from Liverpool, or as one of the band members put it, "What the Beatles took, we'll take back!" Under the guidance of tough-talking manager Roy "Sweet" Bailey (C.F. Jarmon), a former Marine drill sergeant and current dry cleaner, The Rodnees play a series of shows at grade schools and dinner theaters and gain a loyal fan in William D. Kappelmeyer (Moogy Klingman), a stockbroker who gives up his job, his home, and even his marriage to help spread the word about the band. Lindley Farley, the writer and director of The Rodnees: We Mod Like Dat!, also composed the songs, and "The Rodnees" perform in the film.