If you see one movie this year, make it “Dicks: The Musical,” if only because you genuinely won’t see anything else like it. What other movie can give you a “Parent Trap”-esque story of twins trying to get their parents back together that involves God in hot pants, twin-cest and Nathan Lane singing to a pair of “sewer boys” (trust me, don’t Google this before you see it)? And amongst all that weirdness, lies a story of love and tolerance that also pokes fun at conservatives which should be expected considering director Larry Charles helmed the equally audacious “Borat.”
The two eponymous dicks of the film are Craig and Trevor (Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson), a pair of overly confident alpha males who sell robotic vacuum parts when they aren’t having sex with a new woman every night. They come to the realization that they are identical twins separated at birth and become determined to get their parents back together to have a “real family.”
It is downright impossible to truly explain how outrageous “Dicks: The Musical” is and yet for all its insanity it is a heartwarming experience. The audacious tone is set immediately as Craig and Trevor since a song about all the sex they’re having and how downright awesome they are. As the title implies they are, well, dicks. But once they meet they’re shocked by their uncanny resemblance, though it’s all in their heads as Sharp and Jackson share nothing in common, looks-wise, other than brown hair. But that’s where the script, which the pair wrote, gives the audience a choice: believe what is being told to you and enjoy it, or you’ll hate it from this point on.
If you choose to go with it that’s where the humor starts to fly fast and furious, as the selfish young men believe their only opportunity to have a family — despite being grown men — is to unite their parents. The problem is their parents have clear psychological issues that transcend anything you’ve seen before. Trevor’s mother, Evelyn (Megan Mullally) is a wheelchair using recluse with an accent akin to Blanche Dubois if she had a stroke. And Craig’s father Harris (Nathan Lane) lives with his….sewer boys. Suffice it to say the pair have their work cut out for them.
Clocking in at barely 90 minutes, the movie falls into a rhythm of Craig and Trevor engaging with their newly found parents who, remember, can’t tell them apart, and putting them in situations where Harris and Evelyn have to interact. It’s simplistic but it yields to a ton of humor because of how game everyone is to be outlandish. Jackson and Sharp are able to make you hate Trevor and Craig yet just as easily relate to them. Jackson, especially, has such an expressive face that most of the humor comes from how he says “Why?” or reacts to a scene.
But the true MVPs are veterans Mullally and Lane who, as Lane says in the bloopers accompanying the end credits, aren’t afraid to humiliate themselves. Both already have strong musical chops for the songs required, but what works even better is how they convey the love both have for their bizarre children. Whether it’s an argument with Craig about a specific shoe Evelyn wants him to hand her — anyone who’s argued with a parent trying to explain something will relate — or Harris telling Trevor not to interrupt him because “Daddy’s telling a story,” you weirdly believe these are real people.
And you can’t discount rapper Megan thee Stallion in the role of Gloria, Craig and Trevor’s alpha female boss. Her song is easily the most memorable of “Dicks: The Musical,” but, more importantly, Megan thee Stallion shows herself as a strong actress. Her comedic chops are there, although this role isn’t much of a stretch considering her on-stage persona. Regardless, let’s get her in more movies, please!
The third act of “Dicks: The Musical” goes completely off the rails and by that I mean it involves twin-cest and a political message. Interestingly, it is the political message that feels most at odds (if only because the running joke is that the twins are so similar, and are so selfish, that the only other person who would date them IS their twin). Turning the finale into a call for tolerance, as wacky as it may be, just never gels in a movie that, strangely enough, has kept its audience feeling some logical sense of momentum so far. It’s unclear how they could have ended the movie better, but having God condemn a bunch of stereotypical Southern-accented bigots and the Catholic church feels, dare I say, trite?
“Dicks: The Musical” isn’t for everyone and it knows it. But for those seeking something outrageously funny and inventive, it’s the perfect cure for what ails you. Take your friends and don’t tell them anything about it.
A24 is releasing “Dicks: The Musical” in theaters Friday.