If you like your "Parent Trap" riffs with heaping helpings of horny humor, insane musical numbers and a soupcon of monsters in diapers, then "Dicks: The Musical" may be your jam, especially if blasphemy is your bliss.
To be clear, this film version of an off-Broadway musical comedy (the name of which this family newspaper will publish as "F—ing Identical Twins") could turn into an actual parent trap if families confused it for kid-friendly fare. Your first clue this isn't the Disney version is the opening title card, which proclaims the thing was "bravely written by two homosexuals," helpfully adding that it's the first thing ever written by homosexuals. Then Bowen Yang shows up as disco-fied God ("He/Him," He asserts), and we're off.
Co-playwrights and stars Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson reprise their stage roles as alpha-male douchebags Craig and Trevor, respectively, businessmen in an "American Psycho" mold. (They are, presumably, the title characters.) They're also identical twins — no, the actors don't look alike; just go with it. On discovering each other, they decide to trick their long-separated parents (the redoubtable Nathan Lane and the incredible Megan Mullally) into falling in love again.
Irrefutably male Craig and Trevor prowl the streets of a very soundstagey New York, mansplaining their magnificence, and Sharp and Jackson have a whale of a time butching it up. Veterans of Upright Citizens Brigade, their stage partnership shines through, with impeccable chemistry and timing — due credit to Larry Charles' direction and Al LeVine's editing. By the way, how do we tell these "identical" twins apart? One has long hair ("like a girl"); the other, short hair ("like a lesbian girl").
The proceedings get off to a roaring start, with blink-and-you-miss-them details and deadpan jokes that sail by. While devising their plan, they solemnly agree that "single-parent homes aren't families." Grinningly, they gnaw the hand that feeds them (studio A24) on a porn theater's marquee. There is stunt casting and there are cameos, none of which will be spoiled here — best you don't know who rides in as their boss, for instance.
But then we meet the parents. Lane has a showstopping number ("Gay Old Life") in which his coming out is far from the most shocking thing in the scene. And at last, we get the spectacle of Mullally unleashed as the apparently dotty, sort-of wheelchair-bound mom, lisping her way to glory. She gets some tunes that take advantage of her legit Broadway belt, but her timing, her takes, her delivery, her very specific brand of nuttiness are gold.
"Dicks" can't maintain that level of performative thrust all the way through; it sags a bit in the middle, as one might expect from making the considerable jump from the stage and through the hoops of major revisions. But the film bounces back toward its back nine, with a final number calculated to make heads in certain corners of our political discourse rupture, then explode.
Is the denouement the most blasphemous in the history of movie musicals? If not, it isn't from dint of effort. "Dicks: The Musical" is the most insane possible version of "The Parent Trap" — at least until "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" scores some more bath salts. And stick around for the credits; the gag reel is a relatively clean delight.
'DICKS: THE MUSICAL'
MPA rating: R (for strong crude sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language and brief drug use)
Running time: 1:26
How to watch: Now in theaters