So, you want to see Dicks: The Musical? Well grab your strap-ons and prepare to embrace the absurdity of musical theatre because this one’s a doozy. Filled with social commentary and jokes that push every possible boundary, this film will have you laughing, gagging, and covering your eyes for the next 86 minutes of your life.
Think you’re ready to see the TIFF film that’s as brash as its title? Here’s everything you need to know before taking the plunge.
Dicks: The Musical begins with a very important disclaimer: This movie was created by two gay men (Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp) who play straight men. That disclaimer sets the tone for a role reversal, in which two guys from the queer community put every single white male trope into two absurd characters, Craig (Sharp) and Trevor (Jackson).
Trevor and Craig are identical twins, by the way, but they don’t know they’re twins. These “confident heterosexual” salesmen (who sell bristles and brushes for robot vacuums), were raised apart since birth. But when their companies merge, they quickly come into each other’s orbits.
As the title suggests, there’s a bunch of music in this film. Dicks: The Musical actually started as an off-Broadway show called F**king Identical Twins, one that a production company called A24 sank some money into (this is its first musical). So yeah, long story short, this really is a musical. One with lyrics about bodily fluids, genitals, and God being a… well we don’t want to spoil it.
Did you love The Parent Trap? Dicks: The Musical is basically that, but instead of two kids conspiring to get their folks together you’ve got two emotionally stunted (and probably closeted) men with wildly weird parents who pull the old switcheroo to get their family back together.
BDE isn’t the only energy this movie gives off: the parody also feels like a raunchier version of Book of Mormon, with plenty of boundary-pushing scenes a la Borat. For context, Borat and The Dictator director Larry Charles handles this movie as well.
Speaking of wonderfully weird parents, in this case the folks in question are played by none other than Broadway legends Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally. They steal the entire movie with their unique character choices and sheer commitment, which is steadfast despite some pretty wild turns, like Mullally’s 94-year-old character carrying around her detached vagina in her purse. (Yes, you read that right.)
There is no proper way to describe Nathan Lane’s pet Sewer Boys, which is why you really need to just see them for yourself. But… they are something to see. They also lead to one of Lane’s best on-screen moments, which is when he chews and spits up sliced deli meat into their mouths to feed them. If you’re also a fan of that turn, be sure to stay tuned for the post-credits, in which you get to see the birth of that gem.
If you just want to watch this movie to catch Megan Thee Stallion doing her thing, you won’t be disappointed. She slays as Craig and Trevor’s boss, and performs her very own musical number that involves belts as leashes and men on all fours.
And once you see Bowen Yang in this role, there’s no unseeing it. He’s fantastically cast and owns every scene he’s in. The only complaint would be that he’s not in the movie more.
Catch Dicks: The Musical at the Toronto International Film Festival, running now until Sept. 17. Or watch it in select theatres beginning Friday, Sept. 29.