1999, Movies

Dick (1999, Andrew Fleming)

This is a very silly but very amusing film with the high concept premise “What if Deep Throat was really two teenage girls?”

I remember seeing ads for this in my teens and thinking I didn’t want to watch this with a ten foot pole. Wondering now how I could have missed a movie with two members of Kids in the Hall (my favourite comedy troupe growing up) and members of Saturday Night Live, I read that the film was marketed towards teenage girls because of the leads. It failed to recoup its budget and the reason seems to be that nobody understood what this was. It’s certainly not a movie for anyone who doesn’t know anything at all about Watergate…

This is a really goofy movie – I mean, the premise should let you on to that – but it’s got a lot of ridiculous, silly humour based on the era and context (jokes about drugs, jokes about Nixon’s paranoia) with a ton of great comedians and actors having a lot of fun with their roles. In fact, at this remove you can basically play “spot the famous person,” though most of them are acquitting themselves ably. (Bruce McCulloch is so utterly ridiculous as Carl Bernstein, that it is worth watching this movie for that performance alone. For once, his twitchiness feels like it is in service of the – completely over-the-top – character rather than an impediment. )

It helps that I just re-watched All the President’s Men last night (as the girlfriend had never seen it) and I would strongly recommend a double bill, as (a little too) much of this movie’s humour is in gags centered not just around the Watergate narrative but that particular telling of it. (That may be a problem with the film itself but given that I just watched the target of the parody, it wasn’t a problem for me.)

Anyway, this is very silly but it’s pretty funny.


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