Dick is a very funny political satire and superb farce...a pure delight on all levels! The DVD looks great, so this upgrade should be stunning. A brilliant and hilarious film, the only thing that could have made it slightly better, would be if they had included the now known fact that the "Plumbers" lookout across the street from the Watergate Hotel missed the arrival of the plainclothes policemen (called to the scene by a suspicious Watergate security guard, and who were dressed for a coincidental and unrelated drug stakeout nearby)...
And the reason the lookout didn't radio a warning to Howard Hunt and the other burglars in the DNC office?...because the lookout was enraptured in watching Attack of the Puppet People on the late show on his own Hotel TV! True Story!
This will go nicely with my Shout Factory Blu of Attack of the Puppet People and All the President's Men as Watergate scandal related movies...six degrees of separation!
This mildly entertaining flick about two girls who accidentally find themselves smack dab in the middle of Watergate is one of the more confounding films of the late 90s - what audience was it aimed at?! Ostensibly, a 'YA chick flick', the topic was already more than a quarter of century old when it was made (years before its target audience was even born). It's also too silly and unfocused to really appeal to older Watergate enthusiasts (like myself). Fortunately, sprightly performances by Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams as the two girls makes DICK easy enough to enjoy. They just so happen to be in the Watergate hotel the night of the break-in in 1972, and just so happen to be touring the White House the next day when they just so happen to end up meeting President Nixon (Dan Hedaya) who just so happens to be having problems taming his dog. Before you can say G. Gordon Liddy, the girls are hired as official Presidential Dog Walkers. Even in their teens, you could see that the actresses had something that they could build careers off of (Ryan Reynolds also has an early role here).
Less successful are Will Ferrell and Bruce McCullough as Woodward and Bernstein respectively. Their goofball antics make the lead actresses look even more mature by contrast. Other veterans in the cast fare better including Teri Garr and Harry Shearer (Liddy), but, Hedaya as the title character is the real star of the adult cast. Even in a comic take, it's one of the better more incisive Nixons on screen.
Co-Writer (with Sheryl Longin) and Director Andrew Fleming make a hash of the Watergate timeline (please kiddies, look it up in your history books!) and their sloppiness is underlined when they include actual Newspaper headlines (with legible dates!) which contradict the screenplay's own chronology. And, the two year span of the story is never credibly explained - we're supposed to believe the girls are in the White House for over a year before they 'notice' the Watergate scandal going on around them. The fun soundtrack similarly contains anachronistic songs - the standing order seems to have been that if a tune came out in the early-70s that's good enough. To be fair, there are a number of witty connections made to 'explain' such true Watergate events such as the tape of the door in the Watergate hotel and the mystery of the 18 1/2 minute gape on the Nixon tapes. The film also has fun with Henry Kissinger's (Saul Rubinek) well known penchant with macking on the ladies.
DICK is amusing enough (and, oh yeah, they milk the title word for all its double entendre meanings) and Dunst and Williams are affecting. It's just too bad that the movie as a whole isn't sharper and genuinely wittier. There are far too many inane antics and gags that fall flat for it to be entirely successful. A little more care and attention to details could have made it as winning as the two leads.
P.S. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when the studio green-lit this project. As I wrote at the beginning -- who was the target audience? Unsurprisingly, despite some good reviews DICK tanked at the box office.
It's a somewhat amusing alternate reality take on a very well-known story. I thought it was amusing and somewhat clever, the first time through at least. It's mostly the appeal of Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams that makes it enjoyable. In our current climate, viewers will tend to fall on the extreme ends of love/hate.