I’m no stranger to cinema that leaves you speechless. Just this summer, I was astounded by films like Bottoms, which immersed me into an absurdist fantasy like nothing I’d ever seen before. But coming off the heels of the funniest queer film maybe ever, Dicks didn’t just fail to match that energy…it was an emb34567890-oiuytrewqSZDFGHJKL;’
embarrassingly cringe attempt at camp that won’t make its way into the annals of queer comedy.
Dicks: The Musical | Official Trailer HD | A24www.youtube.com
What is Dicks: The Musical about?
Dicks is pretty much a grown-up version of The Parent Trap. But instead of two baby Lindsay Lohans scheming adorably to reunite Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid, you have two emotionally stunted sales bros trying to pair up their eccentric parents while forging a relationship of their own.
Starring writers Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp as the self-obsessed businessmen, the cast alone was enough to get me into theaters. The stars of this film include Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, Megan Thee Stallion, and Bowen Yang as God. But a good cast does not a good film make.
Why did Dicks: The Musical flop?
The film, which unsurprisingly began as a sketch, feels like an overrun SNL skit. The premise is funnier than the actual storyline, which feels complete in the first third of the movie and gets slowly beaten to death through the course of the film. This musical monstrosity failed to consistently deliver laughs — or even jokes. Yes, there were some well-delivered one-liners from Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally as the divorced parents. However, the majority of the film felt like an endless parade of the same three jokes.
Unlike films like Bottoms, which was continuously surprising and always compelling despite its absurdity, the absurdity in Dicks didn’t feel earned. “Yes, and” can only take you so far as a dramaturgical philosophy. The characters were flat, their problems were unsympathetic, and the overwrought plot of the “sewer boys” took up surprising real estate for absolutely no payoff. There was absolutely nothing in sight to ground the insanity in anything real enough to make me care about it.
What about the music?
You’d think a musical comedy starring Megan Thee Stallion would at least be entertaining. But alas, not a bop or a banger in sight. Though Megan played her role as the She-EO of the boys’ sales company to the best of her ability, the character was underdeveloped and her musical number didn’t come close to making the most of her star power. Though Megan was the best part of the film by a long shot, her natural charm and charisma could not save it.
This year saw musical comedy Theater Camp (starring Ben Platt, Noah Galvin, Ayo Edebiri, and Molly Gordon) smash box office expectations for not just its charm and hilarity, but for its actually good musical numbers. This is proof that, even in a comedic show, musical numbers have to be good for it to be a good musical. And unfortunately, Dicks doesn’t deliver.
The final verdict:
Dicks is a parody of a parody of a parody of itself. Talking about Dicks is funnier than the film itself. Every interview about Dicks is funnier than the film itself. It’s a hilarious concept — but disappointing reality.
No one wanted to like this movie more than me. But if I, who loves queer chaos and musical nonsense, almost walked out of the theater 30 minutes in, then I can’t recommend anyone else even try. Take my Dicks: The Musical review to heart, just rewatch Bottoms instead.