Dicks: The Musical, based on the two-man stage production F*cking Identical Twins (which premiered at NYC’s Upright Citizen’s Brigade in 2014), is an NSWF, sing-a-long splendor spilling over with salaciousness and satire. The film follows corporate competitors, Trevor and Craig — working as salesmen at the same company — who come to discover they are long-lost identical twins. They look nothing alike, and that’s part of the bit. They decide to switch places ala Parent Trap and work to deceive their parents into rekindling a long-abandoned relationship, so they can be one big, happy family.
Clocking in at 86 minutes long, the star-studded ensemble — including stage legends Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally, Bowen Yan (as a glittery God), and Meg Thee Stallion (as an HBIC) — use their fleeting moments to conjure uproarious laughter and absurdist delight. So, here’s the nudge you need to buy some tickets, sit back, and clutch your pearls (if you have more refined sensibilities).
The entire film possesses this over-the-top sensibility that pays homage to its stage origins. It feels as if the performers are acting for the balcony. Each gesture is elaborate and grand; each facial contortion is flashy and dramatique. With several split-screen moments to show characters in parallel emotional circumstances, as well as intricately choreographed sequences — from flamboyant dance routines to wheelchair-bound public fornication — the film adheres to its roots while benefitting from close-ups and cinematic editing.
Megan Mullally and Nathan Lane
Megan Mullally and Nathan Lane play Trevor and Craig’s biological parents, whose Broadway-level talent is deliciously deviant in the hands of such a profane script. With an exaggerated lisp, Mullally embodies the kooky Evelyn, who believes she can make sand and has romantic relationships with the various household tchotchkes occupying every inch of her apartment. She even has names for them. Many a year ago, Evelyn’s pussy fell off and hurried away, and she sings about her sagging tits, her broken back, and peeing into a bag with a perfect mix of sincerity and blasé acceptance. She’s gloriously deranged. Happily hokey. She’s lost her marbles, but she’s unfazed.
She’s convinced she’s in her ‘90s and for “breakfast, she only eats hay.” She delivers lyrics that seem occupied with rhyming at the cost of any logical proclamations, but this film is so committed to its absurdity — to pushing the envelope — that it does not necessitate even the slightest degree of believability. Yet, with so much vocal control and power, even when she’s doing parody, Mullally serenades with a song you will be playing over and over again, eventually memorizing the ludicrous language of it all.
Nathan Lane spits ham into the mouths (and stomach-churning faces) of creepy little gargoyle pets he calls his sewer boys as if he’s the mother bird feeding his chicks. Need we say more? Has Lane ever stooped this low for a laugh? It’s a jaw-dropping unexpected moment that will linger in our brains — and traipse through our nightmares for days to come. His character also gets to come out in this film with a song titled, “Gay Old Life,” jumping from one queer stereotype type to the next with a proud but poised fervor. “The answer is perfectly clear, it’s a gay old life being queer,” he tells his son (and the audience). Crooning in an outfit to die for within the walls of a lavish apartment featuring high-end furniture, he explains that there’s “nothing dangerous about vacationing in Spain. That is until you’ve thrown half of your savings down the drain.” However, he then argues that money is meant to be blown on things “lovely and refined.” His voice is at once soothing and entertaining — intoxicating and flippant.
He and Mullally also boast some of the funniest moments when they’re swooning over each other. Their ludicrous sex scene that leaves a restaurant wrecked in its wake — tornado-level destruction left from the speeding wheelchair they both fornicate atop — is comedy genius. It’s top-tier camp.
The profanity and absurdity
It’s called Dicks: The Musical, and it’s based on a show called F*cking Identical Twins. It’s not for the faint of heart, and it is beautifully unabashed in its crudeness. Right when you think it can’t possibly go any further, it won’t dare step over that line it keeps so delicately tip-toeing on, it steamrolls over it with in-your-face (if not down-your-throat) forcefulness.
With an ending unafraid to offend (which we will not spoil), Dicks: The Musical maintains its devil-may-care attitude concerning all things raunchy and profane. It’s self-conscious, fully aware of its mission to be outrageous at any cost, so its rougher edges require no sanding as a result. From flying genitals to Objectophilia and a delicious heaping of toxic masculinity mockery, Dicks: The Musical is a flaming (pun-intended) f*cktastic slice of film. It’s a cult movie in the making. Maybe in 20 years, we’ll be spitting ham in the movie theater right after we throw popcorn during our annual The Rocky Horror Picture Show viewing.
Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson as “super-straight” bros
Sharp and Jackson play the p*ssy-pounding, money-making, no-homo-loving brothers with more flamboyance than a Drag brunch dedicated to Cher and Madonna. They skip to and fro and smile ear-to-ear. They reach for each other’s hands and sit just a smidge too close. They stare into each other’s eyes with longing and hope for a better future — one that isn’t so lonely.
It’s a hetero-mockery; toying with stereotypes akin to the straight male community as much as it toys with those akin to the queer community. Watching these two play straight men with zero conviction (intentionally) makes for some laugh-out-loud moments that will quickly win over audience members who understand the degree of privilege the straight white man enjoys in this world.
Though Dicks: The Musical is a rollercoaster parody, the songs themselves, ranging from upbeat, patter-style numbers to soulful ballads and loving duets, offer all the musical diversity inherent to a more traditional piece of musical theater. Though the lyrics may be preposterous, the melodies and the messages are familiar.
With songs like “I’ll Always Be on Top,” boasting the energy-heightening quality inherent to Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat” or The Prom’s “Tonight Belongs to You” to the longing duet “Lonely,” which is reminiscent of Aida’s Written in the Stars or Rent’s “Cover You” (albeit less moving and ingenious), the Broadway musical intent and the vibe is there. Not to mention, the numbers possess that sing-a-long quality we love in a musical.
There’s a teeny-weeny message far, far beneath the surface
Though it may be buried beneath cum-stained sheets and sacrilegious humor, there is a simple message at the heart of this mad masterpiece. There is a story here about love and acceptance, about the importance of family and the intrinsic human desire to hold others dear — to find and cherish people before our time is up. Though it dedicates most of its brief runtime to outrageous shenanigans, it makes just enough time (albeit it’s not the primary goal) to substantiate some possibly overwrought themes. These themes, though revisited time and again across mediums, seem to be endlessly essential in this ever-divided and judgmental society.
Dicks: The Musical will be in theaters through November 2, 2023, so hurry up. But, if you can’t make it in time, it will reportedly be available on VOD on November 10, 2023.