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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dick has some very strong language, including puns relating to the president's first name and a whispered explanation of the original meaning of "Deep Throat." Betsy's brother is a heavy drug user who is perpetually stoned, and some of his marijuana makes its way into the cookies the girls make for the president.
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What's the story?
According to this film, the downfall of the Nixon administration was caused by two bubble-headed 15-year-olds. Best friends Betsy (Kirsten Dunst) and Arlene (Michelle Williams) see a burglar breaking into the Watergate when they sneak out to mail in an entry to the "Win a date with Bobby Sherman" contest. The next day, they take a white House tour and spot the same man (Harry Shearer as Gordon Liddy). Worried that they might tell someone, President Richard Nixon (Dan Hedaya) appoints them "official White House dog walkers" and "secret teen advisors." At first the girls are thrilled, and they believe the President when he tells them that the massive shredding of documents they stumbled upon is for his paper mache hobby. Arlene even develops a crush on "Dick" and is swooningly recording an Olivia Newton John song for him when she accidentally erases 18 1/2 minutes from one of his tapes. When she hears on the tape that he is not what he seemed, the two girls decide to talk to two Washington Post reporters in a dark parking garage.
Is it any good?
The better you remember the early '70s, the more you will enjoy this very funny movie and revisiting the worst hair and clothes decade of the century. Like Forrest Gump, the girls turn out to be responsible for many of the best-remembered historical details of the era. Most of the performances are terrific. Saul Rubinek is a stand-out as Henry Kissinger, and Dan Hedaya is sensational as Richard Nixon -- needy, paranoid, and, in an hilarious dream sequence, positively endearing.
Some teens will enjoy DICK even without a grounding in the history, but they will enjoy it more if they watch All the President's Men first (Bruce McCulloch does a fine job parodying not just Carl Bernstein but also Dustin Hoffman playing Carl Bernstein).
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: August 4, 1999
- On DVD or streaming: December 14, 1999
- Cast: Dan Hedaya, Jim Breuer, Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams
- Director: Andrew Fleming
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: language and drug use
- Last updated: May 19, 2003
For kids who love comedy
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