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Obscene as you think — and funny, too

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“Dicks: The Musical” has an especially helpful title. 

Your intestine response to these three quick phrases will provide help to resolve whether or not you possibly can abdomen this loony A24 film, which had its world premiere Thursday on the Toronto Worldwide Movie Competition — or if it’ll make you retch.

Belief your instincts, as a result of the movie itself, directed by Larry Charles (“Borat”), gained’t change your thoughts.

You go in both loving this form of factor — or loathing it.

This creature from the wacko lagoon has ample obscenities, fixed profanity, razzmatazz songs and dances. And, in my case, plenty of stomach laughs.


film evaluation

Working time: 86 minutes. Rated R (robust crude sexual content material, transient drug use, pervasive language, graphic nudity. In theaters Sept. 29.

That’s partly as a result of I’ve adopted and loved the careers of its proficient writers and stars, Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson, two hilarious and high-energy New York actor-comedians who primarily based the movie on their Upright Residents Brigade present “F–king An identical Twins.” There’s no person else on the market like them.

Additionally it didn’t harm that it premiered within the zany, irrepressible Midnight Insanity part of TIFF, the place the audiences are booze-soaked, delirious or a harmful combination of the 2.

That’s one of the best ways to expertise “Dicks” — oy vey — with a rowdy group of individuals in a theater. Watching this movie at house alone has a whiff of illegality to it, just like the cops might come and cart you off at any second.

Whereas there are extra anatomical references (and visible depictions) right here than you possibly can rely, there may be an precise story, about two equivalent twins — Craig (Sharp) and Trevor (Jackson) — who had been separated at beginning. Each dwell in New York and unknowingly work on the identical firm promoting small components for Vroomba vacuums. 

The chief gag is that Sharp and Jackson, whereas each tall and white, are removed from equivalent. The actors might be fraternal, at greatest. In addition they proudly assert that they’re stereotypically macho once they, er, are usually not. All of the comedy is equally arch and by no means takes itself significantly for a second. 


Aaron Jackson, Bowen Yang and Josh Sharp attend the world premiere of "Dicks: The Musical" at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Aaron Jackson, Bowen Yang and Josh Sharp attend the world premiere of “Dicks: The Musical” on the Toronto Worldwide Movie Competition.
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When the fellows uncover, in music, that they’re truly brothers with two halves of the identical coronary heart locket, they plot to get their mother and father again collectively by switching identities. It’s “The Mother or father Lure,” besides Craig and Trevor are of their mid-30s and utterly out of their minds.

The songs, catchy whereas not making an attempt to interrupt floor, are send-ups of conventional Broadway present tunes. Because the brothers musically profess the void that’s inside them, Sharp sings “This sense that I’m feeling, it feels so very unhealthy!” 

However one of the best is Megan Thee Stallion as their demanding boss, Gloria, who performs a really entertaining rap about ridding the world of males.

As if the film isn’t ridiculous sufficient already, Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally enter because the boys’ dad and mother, Harris and Evelyn. Each are eccentric shut-ins who in all probability ought to stay at house indefinitely.

Evelyn retains wrongly insisting she’s 93 or 94 and is in a relationship with a small ceramic boot, whereas Harris comes out of the closet after which reveals he owns two humanoid lizards he discovered underground that he calls his “sewer boys.”

Suffice it to say, “Dicks” is a difficult movie to summarize.

In truth, the film works greatest while you consider it, not as a film, however as a sequence of linked bits. Charles’ filmmaking is simply OK, and he doesn’t fairly decide on whether or not he desires “Dicks” to look mockably low-cost (in a humorous method) or legit. And the story’s wrap-up is a doozy.


Sharp, Yang and Jackson pose with "the sewer boys."
Sharp, Yang and Jackson pose with “the sewer boys.”
Getty Photographs

However anytime a second doesn’t fairly work narratively, a joke picks issues proper up.

When Harris asks Evelyn, a cat woman with none cats, “How lengthy has it been?,” she replies with a lisp, “2 hundred sixty years.”

“2 hundred sixty years since we final noticed one another?,” asks a confused Harris.

“Oh, no. I believed you meant for the reason that French and Indian Struggle.”

Bowen Yang of “Saturday Night time Reside” narrates the entire shebang as God wearing an outfit that would greatest be described as train-conductor-disco-ball stylish.

And Lane chewing up ham and spitting it within the faces of reptilian puppets is an oddity that can not be unseen.

Having written this script for themselves, Sharp and Jackson are a scream. Think about if a vodka Redbull reworked into two human beings — that’s who they’re.

After “Dicks,” I think there will probably be larger and higher initiatives to come back from this distinctive duo.

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