Saturday, October 14, 2023

'Dicks': An overdose of campy spirit


   Dicks: The Musical  carries on a heavy flirtation with transgression before delivering a reassuring message about the legitimacy of all kinds of love. 
   Director Larry Charles (Borat) turns a show written by Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp into an upbeat big-screen musical that leans heavily on old-pro theatrical skills provided by Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally as a long-divorced couple.
 The movie tells the story of identical twins (Jackson and Sharp) separated at birth. One grew up with Lane’s character; the other with Mullally’s. 
   When the twins, who don't look alike, meet as adults, they attempt to reunite their parents -- a difficult task because Dad is openly gay.
   Mom, whose vagina has separated from her body (don't ask), spends her time in a wheel chair. Dad, by the way, keeps two hideous mini-monsters caged in his home, lovingly referring to them as his "sewer boys." They were captured in city sewers.
   Charles brings the musical numbers to the kind of boil that can elicit applause from an audience that’s willing to go along with the movie's profanity and even sacrilege. Bowen Yang appears as God, another gay character. No need pointing out who might be offended.
      Megan Thee Stallion portrays the boss who supervises both men, each of whom considers himself a crack salesman. 
      I don’t know precisely what Charles had in mind but I took the movie as an encouragement to consider the strange relationship between form and content. Charles astutely follows the form of a musical, paying careful attention to when tunes appear, how they're staged, and who performs them. 
     As a result, he provides genre kick without us having to worry too much about the sentiments being shared.
     Still, if you’re not up for a dirty-talking movie, there’s no need to try this one. Dicks delivers a mixed bag of rapidly fired jokey dialogue, but is less successful at making the grotesque amusing.
      And even if you're ready for everything Dicks has to offer, you may wish the movie seemed like a less self-conscious attempt to demonstrate how rude, crude, and naughty it can be.


Nat said...

Is this something that'd be worth seeing if you're not easily offended or not? Thanks.

Robert Denerstein said...

Can't say. Too individual a question. That's why I qualified my review. Overall, my review is negative. So you can draw your own conclusion. Hope that helps.