Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Movie Log: Dick

Dick is an absolute hoot, and I don't know how I managed not to see it for the last ten years. It's a secret history movie -- one in which what we all think really happened during some period in the past didn't really happen that way -- in which two bubble-headed teenage girls were responsible for the downfall of Richard Nixon.

These two girls happened to be at the Watergate the night of the break-in -- one of them lives there, and the other is her best friend -- so they saw G. Gordon Liddy in the stairwell. The next day, their class had a field trip to the White House, and things just spiral weirdly from there. At first, they like Nixon -- one of the girls develops a crush on him -- but, before too long, they are disillusioned with "Dick." (One of the more obvious jokes in Dick -- repeated a couple of times -- is their talking about Nixon in public, as "Dick", and then suddenly the ambient noise is much quieter, so everyone else thinks they mean the other kind of dick, ho ho ho.)

There are piles of very funny people jammed in all sides of this movie -- from Will Ferrell (yes, I know, but he's fine here) and Bruce McCullough as the eternally squabbling Woodward & Bernstein to Dave Foley as Bob Haldeman and Harry Shearer as Liddy.

It's funnier the more you know about Watergate; I found myself laughing out loud and then quickly giving background to The Wife, who's not one to dwell on forty-year-old politics. But if you know the names and the vague outlines, it's very funny. (It doesn't get too insider-y about Watergate; I don't think Jeb Magruder is even mentioned.)

I'm still trying to watch short and funny movies a lot of the time, and this was another attempt, which succeeded better than I expected. It's short (though not too short), and very funny. And Kirsten Dunst is darn cute, too, though she was borderline jailbait at the time. If you managed to miss this movie for the last decade, too, you just might want to take a look at it.
Listening to: Ingrid Michaelson - Overboard
via FoxyTunes


Anonymous said...

So, would you suggest a double-feature night of DICK and ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN?

Andrew Wheeler said...

Anonymous: That would probably be fun -- but it would have to be in the other order. (The old "history repeats itself -- once as tragedy, once as farce" thing.)

Gary Farber said...

Double-feature with Election.

Been enjoying your Fleming series, by the way, Andy. Haven't reread the books in decades, but read them several times as a kid, so seeing them again through your eyes is a pleasure.

And even by the time of my pre-teen reading, Fleming's attitudes towards women stood out as sexist. Not to mention his other racial attitudes.

I sporadically drop by and lurk. Hi.

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