When Dicks: The Musical begins with a hilarious opening number to introduce Chris and Trevor, played by Hollywood newcomers Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson, respectively, the film instantly transports you into this absurd world filled with sewer monsters, flying sentient vaginas, and twincest. The real question is whether or not Dicks will be able to keep you on board for the rest of its 86-minute running time.
While Dicks isn’t an SNL-skit-turned feature, there are many moments where it feels like it is. There are memorable movies based on SNL skits, but unfortunately, Dicks: The Musical feels more akin to A Night at the Roxbury than Wayne’s World.
Like most of these movies, Dicks doesn’t do enough to evolve past its central gag, which is that two gay actors satirically play straight finance bros who discover they are twin brothers who were separated at birth. Upon learning this life-changing information, the two set out to reunite with their parents, played by the brilliant Megan Mullally and Nathan Lane.
Larry Charles directs the film, and his ability to navigate ludicrous comedies hasn’t faded, but it’s not as consistent as his other films like Borat. There are more than a few stand-out jokes and gags throughout, but ultimately, you may find yourself thinking a joke is funny rather than genuinely laughing out loud.
The moments that do land, however, land hard, which includes any scene with Mullally and Lane, and even though Dicks isn’t a laugh-a-minute film like other recent queer comedies, such as this year’s Bottoms, it’s still wildly funny. However, for those viewers who are more interested in the film for its musical elements, Dicks may leave something to be desired, which is partly due to the songs but also how Charles directs them.
For fans of musicals, there’s nothing like getting lost in a lavish musical sequence with sweeping camera movements, but in Dicks, they are all shot very similarly: flat and stagnant. Additionally, the songs sound somewhat the same. The soundtrack comprises mostly talk-singing, which is a lovely ode to the style of classic musicals, but since almost every song is written that way, none of them stand out.
Qualms aside, Dicks: The Musical is still a great time, but how much fun you have will depend on the crowd you see it with, and the rowdier, the better. Dicks is not the movie you watch at home alone or in an empty theatre on a Wednesday afternoon. It begs to be seen with a packed audience of people ready to get lost in the ridiculousness.