- Dicks: The Musical is praised for its unique blend of raunchy humor and Broadway-style musical numbers, making it one of the most standout films of 2023.
- Nathan Lane’s involvement in the film, despite initial doubts, was integral to infusing emotion and heart into the story, according to songwriter Karl Saint Lucy.
- The visible enjoyment and camaraderie of the cast during the making of the movie adds to the audience’s sense of fun and inclusion in this wild but touching and welcoming ride.
Dicks: The Musical’s unique blend of raunchy humor and Broadway-ready musical numbers has made it one of the most unique films of 2023. Based on a 2014 UCB one-act show written by and starring Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp, Dicks: The Musical manages to expand the original show into a winningly charming feature film. Just like the stage show, the film stars Jackson and Sharp as identical twins Trevor and Craig, respectively, but the cast also includes Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang and Will & Grace’s Megan Mullally.
The musical movie also has a bona fide Broadway legend on its side in Nathan Lane. Lane is known for a huge breadth of work across films, television, and theater, with roles including Timon in The Lion King (1994) and Max Bialystock in the Broadway show and subsequent movie musical The Producers. When it came to appearing in Dicks: The Musical, however, Lane had second thoughts, as revealed by the film’s composer Marius de Vries the day after the film’s premiere:
Marius de Vries: Nathan would turn out to work every morning and say, “This is the greatest mistake of my professional career.” And it was only last night that he finally admitted that it wasn’t.
Nathan Lane’s Positive Impact On Dicks: The Musical
Ultimately, the unhinged humor of Dicks: The Musical works as well as it does because it is built on a foundation of heart. Wilder elements of the film, like Megan Mullally’s silly voice, are grounded by a story that is emotional and relatable, despite being a riff on The Parent Trap. According to songwriter Karl Saint Lucy, Nathan Lane was integral to that emotion, despite his apparent reservations:
Karl Saint Lucy: I also just want to say that Nathan Lane is also really largely responsible for that, because as we were in development, he kept reminding us, “Yes, let’s go for the jokes, but let’s also go for the heart. There has to be a heart to this.” I think that that already existed in the show, but it was incredibly helpful to have Nathan reminding us of that periodically throughout the process.
Dicks: The Musical is crafted to showcase its heart in more ways than one. The way the film is edited, certain actors are seen breaking at the end of their takes; while that wouldn’t be acceptable in most feature films, the visible way in which the stars of Dicks: The Musical enjoy the making of the movie helps make the audience feel as though they are in on the fun. Dicks: The Musical is a wild ride but, to its huge credit, it’s also a touching and welcoming one.