Dick

Dick get Dick

Year: 1999 

Director:
Andrew Fleming 

Writer:
Andrew Fleming & Sheryl Longin 

Budget:
13 million (estimated) 

Domestic Gross:
$6 241 697

WARNING - i will try to write this with as few sexual inuendos and penis jokes as possible, however with a film called dick they are bound to happen anyways intentional or not (i have about 20 racing through my head right now) - the movie itself even does it in the classic closing scene with carly simon's 'you're so vain' playing and the girls telling the president what they really think of him.

i think the problem with dick (that's one) and one of the reasons it failed at the box office was because it is a tough film to promote. 

the movie takes place in 1972-73 during the hight of the watergate scandal and the collapse of the nixon presidency.
kirsten dundst and michelle williams play two high school girls who become unwittingly involved in the watergate scandal when they witness g. gordon liddy in the hotel during the bugging.  they also are seperated from their class during a tour of the white house and run into president nixon himself (played by the underappreciated character actor dan hedaya). 

in order to keep the girls quite nixon makes them 'official white house dog walkers' and then 'presidential youth advisors'.  eventually they begin to lear the truth about the president and the movie portrays them as 'deep throat' passing information to woodward and bernstein in an undergroud parking lot - woodward and bernstein are played by will ferrell and bruce mcculloh(from kids in the hall) and they are so funny with their bickering - the opening scene with them being interviewed by 'larry king' and almost blurting out the identity of deep throat is funny stuff.

so anyways, back to why the film failed.  it failed i think because it didn't really fit any particular audience.  the younger crowed who would be the normal target audience for a 'teen movie' weren't alive during watergate and were probably turned off by the historical aspect of the film, while those that were alive at the time and would be interested in the history would be turned off by the percieved silly 'teen movie' nature of the film.  the poster with the prevelence of the two girls as well as the white house and tagline "the unmaking of the president" is also sending a mixed signal that in the end probably helped to turn audiences from both sides away.

this is too bad, because while it is a little 'teen movieish', the film is actually a funny send-up of the watergate scandal and the time and well worth seeing - those with even a general knowledge of the history of the scandal will get a lot of the jokes and references (deep throat, the 18 minutes of silence on the tape, john dean deciding to testify against nixon, etc...).  strong performances a good script and a great soundtrack make dick worth while (that's two). dick is a film that came one day and was quickly forgotten the next.  it is however one that should be remembered, and will probably surprise many who had initially dismissed it based on preconcieved notions about what Dick really is (that's three).

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