‘Dicks: The Musical’: Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally Are the Delightfully Demented Parents We All Need
Long lost bros reunite in “Dicks: The Musical,” an unhinged, gender-swapped parody of “The Parent Trap.” Based on Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson’s Off Broadway musical “Fucking Identical Twins,” the film follows two swinging NYC bachelors, Craig (Sharp) and Trevor (Jackson), who discover they are identical twins that were separated at birth by their estranged parents, Harris (Nathan Lane) and Evelyn (Megan Mullally). The pair cook up a hairbrained scheme to reunite their mom and dad, learning a thing or two about themselves along the way.
“Dicks” has multiple meanings here. It is fair to say that both Craig and Trevor, who each brag about many women they bed and have questionable morals, are both dicks, and they both brag about how endowed they supposedly are. But this biggest metaphorical dick belongs to Gloria (Megan Thee Stallion), their boss at their sales job. Ms. Stallion is only in a few scenes, but she is fabulous, especially with her showstopping musical number “Out Alpha the Alpha.” Basically, the boys have grandiose ideas about their prowess in sales and importance to the company, and she puts them in their place.
Craig and Trevor meet at work after their respective companies merge, and they are instantly competitive. After working late that first night, they realize they are identical twins, and set a plan in motion to reunite their parents, believing that their remarriage will fill the gaping hole in each of their lives. Craig was raised by Harris, while Trevor was brought up by Evelyn, and they each don bad wigs to pretend to be each other and visit the opposite parent. This switcheroo is made more humorous by the fact that while Sharp and Jackson look similar, they are no Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills, or Lindsay Lohan and Lindsay Lohan. They still go forward with their plan even after Trevor discovers that Harris is gay and Craig learns that Evelyn’s “pussy fell out.”
There are lots of laughs and plenty of perverse fun in “Dicks: The Musical,” including Bowan Yang as the otherworldly narrator. Even with “Borat” director Larry Charles at the helm, there is more than one moment where the viewer does not think the story will go there, but it does. Sharp and Jackson have plenty of chemistry, but the real delight here is Lane and Mullally, who each let loose and let their freak flags fly as a pair of kooky eccentrics with a very special bond.
Despite having a runtime of only 86 minutes, the film is stretched thin, at least in the third act. This is a result of Jackson and Sharp having to pad a script that was originally written for the stage. After Craig and Trevor finally succeed in getting Harris and Evelyn in a room together, the plot loses its footing. The foursome find themselves underground searching for Harris’ mutant pets he calls “sewer boys.” One just has to see the film to know what these are. Fortunately, Yang is able to ground the story in the final scene and deliver a special message.
“Dicks: The Musical” releases Oct. 6 in select theaters and expands Oct. 20 nationwide.