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dick poster
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Starring Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams;
Dan Hedaya as Nixon
Written by Andrew Fleming & Sherry Longin
Directed by Andrew Fleming

IN SHORT: A ripping satire for us aged old coots [Rated [PG-13] ]

If the teens of the 90s hate history as much as the teens of the, um, my generation did then you can bet for certain that they don't know Dick about Dick. As in Nixon, the man who deliberately set in motion events designed to undermine the Constitution of the US of A. It wasn't the Watergate break-in per se, that was the problem, It was the knowledge of it and participation in covering up the crime that was the illegal act. So much for history.

And before anyone flames me, Clinton's lying about his adultery (which may still be a crime in most States but is not a Federal one; else most of the Congress would be in trouble as well) was not criminal. The embarrassment may have put a stain on the Presidency for years to come, but you can bet that it won't be 20 years before a satire comes along to take the gray-haired liar down. End of History lesson.

For those of us who remember and who hate Dick, this movie bearing his name (as opposed to the Oliver Stone thing) is an insanely conceived bit of comic genius. At times it strikes out like the best of a Saturday Night Live sketch, and there are enough SNL cast members (now or then) to make you feel that lovely sense of deja vu all over again. Alternately, at time Dick seems like a parody of the worst you could imagine about ditzy 15 year old puppy-love-struck girls. What makes it hysterically funny, if you fall in the category listed above and if you have more than a fondness for SNL, is that all of the principal characters in the "drama" (including Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, G. Gordon Liddy, Bob Haldeman and John Dean) come off as total idiots. It's slapstick stupidity and to be quite honest, Cranky sat in his seat giggling incessantly -- and not believing that he was giggling incessantly at jokes and situations that are just too ridiculous to believe (they happened in real life). Thank God for the movies, because once you suspend that belief, anything is possible.

Dick is the story of two girls, Arlene Lorenzo (Michelle Williams) and Betsy Jobs (Kirsten Dunst) who inadvertently trigger the capture of the Watergate burglars. No, I am not going to tell you how. Once you see it, if you're ready to buy in, this is where the giggles will start. Later, on a school tour of the White House, the girls get appointed "official dog walkers" for Nixon's dog, King Timor (though the poor mutt is always called Checkers, after you know who if you are old enough to know). In the performance of their newly appointed duties the girls a) stumble on to a shredding and payoff operation in the White House b) promote peace and love between the US and the Soviet Union and c) get the President stoned on marijuana spiked cookies.

If you're at the point where you're thinking, "oh this can't be funny" that about the feeling I had . . . and then those damned giggles kicked in. Dan Hedaya, as Nixon, does a good Rich Little doing Nixon impersonation. The makeup alone on Harry Shearer as G. Gordon Liddy had me laughing. The rest of the TV famous cast: Will Ferrell as Bob Woodward, constantly fighting with "partner" Carl Bernstein (Bruce McCulloch) ; Anna Gasteyer as Rosemary Woods; Saul Rubinek as Henry Kissinger; Jim Breuer as John Dean and Terri Garr as Arlene's mom

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Dick, he would have paid...


God help Bill Clinton when it's his turn to fall under this kind of comic onslaught.

Click to buy films starring Kirsten Dunst
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