Dicks: The Musical movie review (2023)

September 9, 2023 - Movies

Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp play the title characters, Trevor and Craig, respectively, a pair of royal assholes who have been granted every privilege in life just by being male, straight, white, and rich. They sing about how perfect their lives are but hide their loneliness, hoping to find the families they never had growing up. You see, they’re identical twins (not really, but just go with it) who were separated at birth. Reunited at a job where they sell parts—not actual machines, just the parts for them—they realize that they are each other’s long-lost brothers, and they devise a plan to reunite their parents, played fearlessly by Megan Mullally and Nathan Lane. Mullally’s Evelyn is a caricature of an old kook who talks to her bric-a-brac and claims her genitalia literally came to life and fell off a few years ago. If that’s not weird enough, Lane’s Harris sings about being gay now, and his love for a pair of puppets called the Sewer Boys, hysterically analog creatures he found in the underground years ago and now raises, feeds, and fears. This is a difficult movie to do the plot recap thing on. Just trust me. Bowen Yang plays God. That probably tells you everything you need to know.

“Dicks: The Musical” is obviously a “The Parent Trap” riff, but this one ain’t for kids. Jackson and Sharp are quite good, leaning into every ridiculous concept in the film. They totally sell the alpha male obnoxiousness of Trevor and Craig to start, but get even funnier when they turn to reveal their loneliness and go undercover to reunite their truly odd parents. To say they commit would be an understatement, and there’s something about watching performers willing to go all-in—even when a joke doesn’t land, something is entrancing about the high-wire act of these performances. Having said that, I wished “Dicks: The Musical” didn’t repeat itself so often—if you like Mullally’s p*ssy joke, don’t worry, you’ll hear it a bunch more times, and the Sewer Boys bit get old before it hits its bizarre endpoint. It has so much energy in its best scenes that one wishes it found other places to spend it in terms of storytelling.

Believe it or not, the music itself helps. Besides a bit by Megan Thee Stallion that feels overproduced compared to the rest of the movie, the music here kinda rules. It probably helped to have Marius de Vries as the music producer, given his pedigree that includes “La La Land,” “Moulin Rouge!,” and “Romeo + Juliet.” The musical numbers are legitimately well-done—funny, witty, and sometimes even moving. Jackson and Sharp are at their best when projecting ridiculous lyrics into each other’s faces, and Lane & Mullally are having an absolute blast.

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