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Review Roundup: DICKS: THE MUSICAL, Starring Nathan Lane and More!

The new film made its premiere at Toronto International Film Festival this week.

By: Sep. 08, 2023
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A24's first-ever movie musical, Dicks: the Musical, made its premiere at Toronto International Film Festival this week. The new film from comedians Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp stars Nathan LaneMegan Mullally, Bowen Yang, and Grammy-winner Megan Thee Stallion. It is set to be released in theaters on September 29.

The film is based on Jackson and Sharp's stage show, F*cking Identical Twins, which loosely follows a The Parent Trap-style plot. The movie follows two business competitors who realize they're identical twin brothers. In an attempt to reunite their divorced parents, the two decide to switch places in hopes of becoming a family again.

Dicks: the Musical features original songs by Jackson, Sharp and their composer Karl Saint Lucy. The film is directed by Borat director Larry Charles.

Find out what the critics thought below!

Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Times: Despite brief instances when it spills into surreal madness, most notably in a scene set in a sewer, the film is rudderless — which is a polite way to say limp. Its only point is highly self-aware pseudo-gonzo provocation, peaking in a denouement that feels both surprising and inevitable, and looks as if it had been engineered to deliberately unsettle some viewers."

David Fear, Rolling Stone: "Sharp and Jackson know you know and likely love these clichés as much as they do, and that nothing sells outrageous, cabaret-style camp more than Broadway-style song-and-dance numbers. These should be the highlights of Dicks: The Musical — see title! — and the fact that they got Mullally and Lane to sign up for this adds a whole other level of razzle-dazzle nuttiness. Ditto enlisting Megan Thee Stallion to play Craig and Trevor’s boss, which allows the “Savage” superstar to turn a boiler-room office into a set where she can rest her stiletto heels on male underlings’ throats. It’s a stand-alone sequence that stands out by default, simply because she’s doing what she does best; you could release this whole segment as a music video and it’d still work." 

Michael Ordoña, The LA Times: "'Dicks' can’t maintain that level of performative thrust all the way through; it sags a bit in the middle, as one might expect from making the considerable jump from the stage and through the hoops of major revisions. But the film bounces back toward its back nine, with a final number calculated to make heads in certain corners of our political discourse rupture, then explode."

Stephanie Zacharek, Time: "Dicks is clearly engineered to become an instant cult classic. But a movie becomes a cult classic when audiences find their own way to it, delighting in what they see as a private, personal discovery. The whole point is that it isn’t something that’s been sold to them."

Peter Debruge, Variety: "The absurdist brainchild of Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp, “Dicks” is an unapologetically puerile, hard-R novelty that’s just lo-fi enough to maintain its underground cred. If any other distributor were backing it, “Dicks” might shrivel into home-video obscurity. Considering A24’s bizart-house cachet, however, the hipster boutique should be able to leverage the buzz from the movie’s opening (mid)night berth at the Toronto Film Festival — plus the legitimizing involvement of real-deal Broadway stars Megan Mullally and Nathan Lane — to box office success."

Valerie Complex, Deadline: "As silly as Dicks is, the musical production by Marius De Vries is strong and well organized, and the two lead voices mesh well together. Can you imagine how good that script must have been to get two legends of musical theater via Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally and megastar Megan Thee Stallion? Understand, this is from two guys who have never made or starred in a film before."

Allison Wilmore, Vulture: "Jackson and Sharp, who are both making their feature film debuts, originated what would become Dicks: The Musical at the old UCB Theatre on 26th Street, where it played as a half-hour show in which the pair played the brothers as well as their parents. They had to build out the script considerably from there, though Dicks: The Musical still feels thin as an 86-minute movie that struggles to maintain the manic pitch it begins with."

Kristy Puchko, Mashable: "This is an unrelenting explosion of comedy. Sharp and Jackson swing big and broad, fitting both their Dumb and Dumber-style jokes and the musical theater song numbers. Jackson in particular recalls '90s-era Jim Carrey with his rubber-faced mugging and eccentric elocution. There's also gross-out gags, provocative punchlines, juvenile nudity, and Bowen Yang as a gay and glam God, who drops iconoclastic jokes that had the crowd at the TIFF World Premiere absolutely screaming with laughter. Joining this ensemble in mocking the archetype "alpha males" is Megan Thee Stallion in a supporting role that is fierce and fiercely funny, climaxing in a rap number that's wild fun."

Kristy Puchko, Mashable: "To Jackson and Sharp's credit, every song in Dicks is hilarious, jam-packed with so many jokes that the movie demands repeat viewing to catch them all. But it's a stroke of brilliance to bring in Broadway stars Mullally and Lane for several songs."

Gregory Ellwood, The Playlist: "Megan throws down some bars, Lane is as musically hilarious as you’d expect for a three-time Tony Award winner and Mullally reminds everyone she has glorious pipes for days. And Sharp and Jackson hold their own, especially when singing alongside their more revered co-stars."

Ross Bonaime, Collider: "When Craig and Trevor take center stage, their songs are almost primarily overtaken by constant braggadocio and as many “f-cks” as humanly possible. It’s silly at first, but the tone of these songs gets old unfortunately too soon, especially as the first few musical numbers rely solely on them. Like most of Dicks: The Musical, Craig and Trevor are decidedly brash and irritating, and that can occasionally make their characters also feel like a bit too much to handle."

Brian Tallerico, "It’s got that go-for-broke energy that defines comedies that engender incredibly loyal followings. Some people are going to die for it. Some people who can’t get on its wavelength are going to actively hate it. Consider me somewhere in the middle, impressed enough by the fearlessness to appreciate it while also wishing it had been expanded a bit more beyond its loose structure and thin ideas."

Chase Hutchinson, IGN: "While it gets bolder as it nears its end, everything that comes before is far too repetitive and increasingly hollow. For all the fun that the cast seems to be having with Dicks, it’s never as creative in execution as it needs to be. There are chuckles to be had, but the overall experience is defined by narrowness rather than naughtiness."

Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood ReporterCreated by and starring Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp, making the transition from a 30-minute, six-song play called F*cking Identical Twins — mounted in the basement home of New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade — to a feature-length, all-singing, all-dancing, naughty goof on The Parent Trap, the movie packs an infectious albeit ephemeral punch.

Watch the trailer for Dicks: the Musical here:

To read more reviews, click here!


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