TIFF 23′: Dicks: The Musical

What happens if you take the Broadway musical–what has often been considered America’s most wholesome and charming form of theatre–but it was raunchy and proudly queer?

That’s what Dicks: The Musical tries to answer in its short but song-filled comedy. The film follows Craig and Trevor (Aaron Jackson and Joshua Sharp, who also wrote the film), as they work in the most competitive business ever: attempting to sell the most bristles and brushes for robot vacuums. Working for their tyrannical boss Gloria (Megan Thee Stallion), Craig and Trevor are pushed to their brink to prove their superiority as two heterosexual men (played by two gay men which, the movie jokes, is very brave) and face off in a silly game of one-upmanship only to discover that the two of them are actually identical twins separated at birth.

Directed by comedy legend Larry Charles (Borat, Curb Your Enthusiasm), this riff on The Parent Trap tries to outmuscle its silly subject matter to become not only hilarious but a touching film about love in all its forms. Admittedly, the comedy itself is very obvious. You always can kind of predict what joke they’re going to make, especially when it comes to the songs and the lyrics. This makes the experience feel very repetitive. As a result, when they try to throw something absurd at you, it truly feels like the weirdest and wildest idea they could think of, without considering the story very much making it feel underwhelming. The songs themselves are not particularly strong, only designed to make you memorize some of the more obscene lyrics that will ever be allowed on Spotify’s musical playlists.

The acting is solid from its supporting cast, especially from veterans Nathan Lane who committed hard to his role as the proudly queer dad and Bowen Yang who strangely fits the role of God well. Some fun cameos and a sing-along that feels designed to get people canceled, Dicks: the Musical might be to some people’s taste. Unfortunately, it was not mine.

Dicks: the Musical is now playing at TIFF ’23. For more information, click here.

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