Dick (1999)

dick poster 1999 movie michelle williams kirsten dunst
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Goofy fun film, great cast

Often goes for the easy joke

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Dick

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  August 4, 1999

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

dick kirsten dunst michelle williams dan hedaya nixon

Dick’s got secrets

Betsy Jobs (Kirsten Dunst) and Arlene Lorenzo (Michelle Williams) are normal kids. They are in love with Bobby Sherman but happen to live in the Watergate. Betsy and Arlene’s sneak out and their accidentally expose the Watergate break-in. A follow-up field trip to the White House makes them the target of Richard Nixon (Dan Hedaya) and his men. Assigned the position of Checker’s official dogwalkers, Arlene and Betsy accidentally find themselves the center of a political scandal that will rock the United States and the world.

Directed by Andrew Fleming, Dick is a teen political smart comedy satire.  The movie was well received by critics but did not perform as well in the box office.  The film has gained a small cult following over the years partially due to the strong cast.

I saw Dick in the theater and thought it was quite entertaining. The movie’s story is goofy, but smart at the same time. The identity behind Deep Throat (before learning it was Mark Felt) was one of America’s greatest mysteries.  The movie played with both this and real political thrillers like All the President’s Men (which presented Woodward and Bernstein’s side of the story).  Dick is a fun and funny film.

dick arlene nixon beach fantasy nixon dan hedaya michelle williams

Nothing more romantic than Dick Nixon on the beach!

The movie mostly plays with the Nixon persona, and the idea of political thrillers.  Rather than being some deep state threat, it is simply two “brainless” teenage girls that can outwit the secret service and bring down the President. The script explains multiple issues including the erased eighteen and a half minutes of secret tape, the CREEP list, and Nixon’s paranoia. Plus, you can go wrong with all the “Dick” jokes.

Dick is aided by a great cast who have moved on to bigger and better things. Kristen Dunst plays Betsy who’s the probably dingier of the two girls and has Devon Gummersall from My So-Called Life playing her stoner brother. Michelle Williams plays the easily moved Arlene whose crush on Nixon lead to some of the best scenes. Dan Hedaya might not look much like Nixon, but his beach scenes with Williams are classic. Also joining the movie in supporting cast in roles made famous by the scandal are Ana Gasteyer as Rose Mary Woods, Dave Foley as H. R. Haldeman, Harry Shearer as G. Gordon Liddy, Saul Rubinek as Henry Kissinger, Jim Breuer as John Dean, and Will Ferrell and Bruce McCulloch as the fun bumbling Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Teri Garr plays Arlene’s mother with show-killer Ted McGinley as her Nixon lackey boyfriend. There is also a small early role by Ryan Reynolds.

dick bob woodward carl bernstein will ferrell bruce mcculloch washington post

Two lucky bastards

The movie is also just shot with a lot of spirit. There are period songs and though the camera work is rather standard, the movie utilizes it well. I even like the last shot with Arlene and Betsy in their Oval Office Theme skating rink. It just looks like one of those movies that was entertaining to shoot for the cast.

Dick is goofy and that cannot be denied.  While on the surface it is an easy movie with easy jokes, the writers actually put some thought into the script and how it all unfolds.  With a great cast, Dick is work seeking out…Read that line out loud and laugh…it is the type of joke which laces the movie and actually makes it good.

Related Links:

All the President’s Men (1976)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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