Dicks: The Musical
(MA, 86 minutes)
I didn't make a typo and you didn't read that wrong, that really is the name of this film, and it isn't a movie musical about two guys named Richard who prefer to go by their contractions.
It is a musical comedy about two guys who may have earned that moniker by being absolute piles of human excrement, vacuous cocaine-snorting salesmen who are obsessed with their own genitals.
Despite the name, this production has an impeccable pedigree and a massive amount of talent behind it, even if you have never heard of its two lead performers.
Craig and Trevor (Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson) are the two lead salesmen for a big city company that sells Roomba parts, not the actual vacuum cleaners, just the parts, and they've both been moved to the central office to work together.
It is here they discover their uncanny resemblance (there is none, that's one of the film's ongoing gags), that they've both been carrying around one-half of a heart shaped locket given them them by their respective single parents.
The boys realise they've been "parent-trapped", twins who were separated at birth by their parents (Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally) and brought up as only children.
Both have felt that their lives have been missing the one ingredient that growing up with that other parent might have given them, and so they conspire to dress as each other to explore the lives they missed out on, and then to try and get their parents back together to become a complete family unit.
Sharp and Jackson developed this show for the stage initially, and it ran in New York "Off Broadway" under the title F#*king Identical Twins at the Upright Citizens Brigade, the comedy improv troupe that gave career starts to the likes of Amy Poehler.
The feature film adaptation is funded by the big indie film company A24 and it is a wild ride.
Musicals live in a world that jars against your regular sensibilities, and so this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, but you just need to let go of your prejudices and embrace the cringe, like when you have to go see your child's high school production of Guys and Dolls.
Directors approach the non-sense of people breaking into song in various ways - in the Buffy musical episode, the town Buffy lives in has been placed under a curse, while in Rob Marshall's wonderful big screen adaptation of the musical Chicago, the musical numbers are seen through the eyes of Renee Zelweger's Roxie Hart, explained as her post-trauma delusions.
Director Larry Charles doesn't feel the need to explain this non-sensical musical world away, he doubles down on the implausibility and the fake musical world.
That's Larry Charles of Seinfeld fame, of Bruno fame, of Curb your Enthusiasm fame, of the innate comic sensibility that has pushed the envelope of comedy for the past 30 years.
Larry Charles goes for "rewatchable cult status" for this production, giving us gag after gag and over-the-top acting and he is for the most part successful.
I laughed and laughed throughout, even when the film critic in me was straining hard to sit through some of the awful acting (Sharp and Jackson give the toothy smiling open-mouthed performances of the puppets from Avenue Q, and with possibly less depth).
It is all part of the charm.
The supporting cast are where the talent is, with rapper Megan The Stallion as the boys' boss, Mullally and Lane of course hilarious, and Saturday Night Live discovery Bowen Yang as God, the film's occasional on-screen narrator.