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Dicks: The Musical Review - Goes Right Up To The Line And Crosses It

EDITORS' RATING : 7 / 10
Pros
  • Raunchy, gay, and hilarious
  • Standout supporting cast
Cons
  • The last 10-15 minutes are probably TOO offensive
  • Musical numbers could be better directed

However one feels about "Dicks: The Musical" — and there's sure to be a wide range of feelings about it — the film is undeniably the exact movie it wants to be. Directed by regular Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Larry Charles and written by and starring Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson, who adapted it from their off-Broadway show "F***ing Identical Twins," "Dicks: The Musical" is like if John Waters teamed up with Trey Parker and Matt Stone to remake "The Parent Trap." It's extremely gay, extremely offensive, and extremely funny. I laughed until I was too stunned to laugh any longer.

Sharp and Jackson, the film's ironic opening titles announce, are the first homosexuals to "ever write anything" and are truly "brave" for casting themselves in the roles of heterosexual men. These heterosexuals, Craig (Sharp) and Trevor (Jackson), brag about their amazing penises and ability to always get what they want in the musical's opening number, but one song later they reveal that they share one personal insecurity: being raised by single parents, because "single-parent households are not real families." Working at the same sales job together, these idiots soon realize that they are identical twins — they don't actually look alike, but when God (Bowen Yang) tells the audience to "go with it," you go with it. Now it's up to them to reunite their long-separated mom and dad so they can finally have the family they've always wanted.

Two amazing Megans and Sewer Boys

While Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson are funny enough as decidedly unconvincing, prissy caricatures of toxic masculinity, the biggest laughs in "Dicks: The Musical" come from the supporting cast — two of whom happened to be named Megan. Megan Thee Stallion is disappointingly underutilized as the twins' girlboss, Gloria, but her musical number "Out-Alpha the Alpha" completely brings down the house. It's a filthy, funny, and sexy performance that could probably be a hit song on its own even without the movie.

Megan Mullally gets a lot more time to shine as the twins' mother, Evelyn. Supposedly 93 or 94 years old (she can never remember), Evelyn is a hyper-eccentric homebody who has relationships with the kitschy tchotchkes in her apartment and whose vagina has somehow detached from her body (she keeps it in her purse), and she is the most consistently funny part of the film. Nathan Lane, now in his A24 weirdo era between this and "Beau Is Afraid," is also reliably great as the twins' father, Harris, a newly out gay man who loves wine, lavish spending, and Sewer Boys. What are Sewer Boys, you ask? They're tiny inbred monsters found in the sewers who exist outside linear time and need their ham slices regurgitated into their mouths, and Harris would like you to know that they're not disgusting, they're "queer culture."

The songs are all catchy and hilariously wrong, though they could have made an even stronger impression with a director more skilled at directing large-scale production numbers. Larry Charles knows how to direct comedy well, but the musical sequences cut around a bit too much in ways that detract from the humorous choreography. Other limitations in the production work for the campy tone; characters regularly acknowledge when something looks particularly "fake and s***y."

Going too far is the point — but is it still too far?

If "Dicks: The Musical" had ended about 10 or 15 minutes earlier than it did, I might unambiguously love it. The "Parent Trap" story is more or less resolved in a typically outrageous fashion before the film's final stretch, and what transpires after that I can only describe as going too far. A heavy dose of irony and satirical purpose can make any awful subject funny, and "Dicks: The Musical" never lets up on the irony, but whatever purpose there is for the ending of the film is drowned out by the sheer "WHY?" of it all.

I get it — there's a long history of extreme transgression in queer art, and when so many taboos have already been pushed and demolished over the years, finding something that can still inspire such a reaction is a kind of art in and of itself. In the ultimate resolution to their ultra-raunchy musical, Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson have figured out a way to offend literally everyone — of every sexual or political persuasion — which is impressive but also kind of terrifying. One can only imagine the depths of Discourse that will occur when clips appear online.

If you can shut off the part of your brain questioning whether the jokes being made are "good for the gays" or not, you might still find yourself singing along with the final musical number (lyrics and a bouncing ball appear on screen, which is as much as an invitation as it is a dare). So congratulations to Larry Charles, Jackson, and Sharp: They've made the exact film they were aiming to make. Some people will love it, others will hate it, but it is what it is.

"Dicks: The Musical" opens in limited release on October 6 and enters wide release on October 20.

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie being covered here wouldn't exist.