DICK Send This Review to a Friend
Forget about the orthodox scoop on the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. According to this satirical concoction, he met his downfall because of two ditsy teenage girls who lived at the Watergate and inadvertently were responsible for the discovery of the break into Democratic headquarters. That's not all. They get to meet Dick in the White House, be enlisted as his dog walker and secret teenage consultants and see all sorts of goings on, including shredding of documents and eavesdropping on Nixon spewing profanity and hatred of Jews.
Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams are amusing as Betsy and Arlene, teenagers so dumb as to make the term airhead sound intellectual. They're sweet though in their detached innocence, although way out of their depth. That's the conceit of this often very funny if slender film co-written by Andrew Fleming, who directed, and Sheryl Longin. "Dick" is most clever in the way in which actual characters and events are intertwined with the girls' White House adventures.
The broadest caricatures are of journalists Woodward and Bernstein (Will Ferrell and Bruce McCulloch), depicted as loathing each other and thoroughly competitive and jealous. Dan Hedaya is wonderfully on target and memorable in his portrayal of Nixon. Saul Rubinek is also dead-on in looks, voice and mannerisms as Henry Kissinger. The girls also get to meet such characters as Bob Halderman, John Dean, G. Gordon Liddy, Rose Mary Woods and other names from the past, all portrayed in tune with the film's wacky comic thrust.
The youngsters love to make cookies, unknowingly spiked with marijuana, which they call Hello Dollies. Nixon loves them, too, and they're very helpful in a summit meeting with Leonid Brezhnev. Guess who collectively turn out to be Deep Throat? "Dick" is a slight movie and this sort of satire is very hard to sustain, but the film is different and funny enough to give pleasure at least a good deal of the time. A Columbia Pictures release.