Just as funny the second-time around — and a hit with both the press and preview audiences I saw it with — Dicks: The Musical (★★★☆☆) is exactly the silly, sex-obsessed, do-anything-for-a-laugh (including having Nathan Lane regurgitate ham into the mouths of puppets), song-happy spoof implied by the title. And that’s why it works.
“Bravely written by two homosexuals,” according to the opening credits, the film stars those very same creators, Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson, as identical twins Craig (Sharp) and Trevor (Jackson), separated at birth. Now happy, thriving, super-hetero corporate salesmen, each is introduced to us by God (Bowen Yang, of course), who narrates and occasionally joins the action.
Craig and Trevor don’t look a damn thing alike, but they do happen to work in the same office, at Vroomba Parts International, where one day they put two and two together and start plotting to Parent Trap their long-estranged mom and dad into reuniting.
By this point, the film, based on Sharp and Jackson’s two-man Off-Broadway musical Fucking Identical Twins, is three songs deep into its jam-packed score of offbeat, proudly profane tunes, featuring new originals co-written with Karl Saint Lucy.
Pitched to ape the showtune formulas of Broadway and Disney musicals, the songs hit the targets more often than not, although there’s no real showstopper, and the vocals, often live-sung on set, lack oomph in the mix.
Still, the lyrics and the script deal out jokes nonstop, making up in volume what they lack in precision — though some of the gags are razor-sharp. As with Team America: World Police, or any Airplane!-style comedy, viewers should be ready to laugh at some downright stupid humor.
Sight gags abound — a movie marquee hails “X24 presents Everyone, Everywhere All Cums at Once” — as do the one-liners about dick, pussy, and various holes.
Remarkably, no actual dicks end up on display, but a flying pussy does swoop in at a crucial moment to save the day. This is where Megan Mullally and the aforementioned Lane enter the picture, playing the twins’ estranged parents, Evelyn and Harris.
Giving their all to this well-meaning nonsense, like the legendary professionals they are, the pair are a foul-mouthed delight individually and together, duetting on oddball R&B ballad “Lonely,” and slaying the slapstick mayhem of duet “Desperate for Your Love.”
Leaning like crazy into her loopy, lisping Evelyn, Mullally might have run away with the movie, if her character weren’t confined to a wheelchair. She sells the songs with every facet of her famously agile voice, going big and broad, whereas Lane plays his Harris a little straighter.
Although, the fact that Harris comes out as a sometimes gay man — “queer as a 3-dollar bill, and just as thin” — throws a wrench in the twins’ plans to bring their family back together.
Harris also has something else distracting him from family togetherness. He’s too busy taking care of his Sewer Boys, hideous-looking mutant things he found in the New York sewers. It’s an amusing story, that, of course, he recounts in gleefully gross detail, a musical highlight.
The songwriters do better by Lane and Mullally than they do for rap star Megan Thee Stallion, appearing as Gloria Masters, the twins’ badass boss at Vroomba. Supplied a rap-sung number, “Out Alpha the Alpha,” laced with little of the lyrical dexterity that distinguishes Megan’s Grammy-winning music, the Houston Hottie at least aces the sexy choreography by Jeff and Rick Kuperman.
The choreography and lively background ensemble throughout add tremendously to the fun, along with Valerie Klarich’s costumes, including a to-die-for sequined stained-glass cape and habit for Yang’s sassy deity.
Gay dad Harris also loves to flaunt his array of stylish capes, another non sequitur gag that director Larry Charles (Borat) keeps bouncing around this madhouse musical, which surprisingly wraps up on the wholesome and timeless note that “All Love Is Love.”
Dicks: The Musical is playing nationwide. Visit www.fandango.com.
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