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Film: Dick

You suck, Dick!

1999 comedy film starring Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams and Dan Hedeya about the fall of Richard Nixon (yes, that's who the title refers to; get your mind out of the gutter).

Betsy and Arlene are two kind-hearted but not overly bright best friends who, in sneaking out late at night to post an entry to a 'meet Bobby Sherman' contest, inadvertently cause the Watergate break-in to be discovered. Later, on a school trip to the White House, they are recognised and spirited away to be interrogated, which indirectly results in them meeting Richard Nixon face to face. Nixon, recognising their lack of interest in politics of any kind but their great interest in petting his dog Checkers, buys their silence by naming them the 'official White House dog walkers', meaning that they are present for all the major moments of Nixon's presidency.

But their naive loyalty is shattered when they discover evidence that Nixon is mean to his dog (oh, and of his large-scale criminal activities and corruption) and vow to bring him down. And so, with the help of the title of Betty's brother's favourite porn movie and the bungling Woodward and Bernstein of the Washington Post, Deep Throat is born...


Provides examples of:

  • Accidental Public Confession: The girls confront Nixon "with what they know". Panicked, Nixon launches into a furious rant denouncing "the radical muckraking bastards at the Washington Post", inadvertently confessing in the process. After a stunned pause, the girls reveal that they were just taking about his abuse to Checkers.
    Nixon:... Who?
  • Anachronism Stew: By the time of Watergate, Checkers was long dead and Nixon had different dogs, but of course, Checkers is the one most associated with him.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: It's the fact that Nixon is mean to his dog that gets the girls really outraged.
  • Butt Monkey: Henry Kissinger gets no respect from anyone.
  • Casting Gag: Both Dan Hedeya and Saul Rubinek had minor roles in Oliver Stone's Nixon, a 1995 biopic of Nixon. In this movie, they're promoted to Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger respectively.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Parodied; in front of Nixon and his Cabinet, Arlene blurts out a rather naive anti-war statement ("War is not healthy for children and other living things.") This leads to a stunned silence, and then a lot of bickering about Vietnam ("If you want to complain about Vietnam, talk to Johnson!").
  • Covert Pervert: It's hinted that Bernstein is one of these.
  • Dance Party Ending: After the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue announces that Betsy and Arlene went on to open a successful roller disco, the credits roll over the two skating around an elaborately lit replica of the Oval Office.
  • The Ditz: Neither Betsy nor Arlene are the sharpest of nails initially, but they gradually become more savvy.
  • Double Entendre: The filmmakers get a lot of mileage out of Nixon's preferred nickname.
  • Flag Bikini: The girls make bikini tops out of a flag.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Because Woodward and Bernstein are too embarrassed they brought down the White House with the help of two teenage dog walkers.
  • Hippie Teacher: Arlene's teacher.
  • Historical In-Joke: The movie was made before W. Mark Felt admitted he was the true identity of 'Deep Throat'.
    • Additionally, the marijuana laced cookies the girls give Nixon help the talks with Leonid Brezhnev go smoothly, leading to the end of the Vietnam War; the eighteen minute gap in Nixon's tapes is because Arlene confessed her love for him on it and he erased the confession; and the two give Nixon the idea to do the V Sign.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title
  • Intoxication Ensues: Betsy and Arlene bake the President cookies, using their brother's secret recipe; however, they aren't aware this includes marijuana...
    • The guards seemed to like em too:
      White House Guards: Got the cookies?
      Betsy and Arlene: (nodding enthusiastically) Uh huh.
      White House Guards: YEAH!!
  • Intrepid Reporter: Parodied — Woodward and Bernstein are portrayed as clowns with overdeveloped egos.
  • Kick the Dog: A literal use of this trope, with Nixon mistreating his own dog.
  • Large Ham: Nixon when he's pissed.
    Nixon: You don't mess with the big boys!
  • Mysterious Informant: Parodied; "Deep Throat" is definitely not what Woodward and Bernstein were expecting.
  • Only Sane Man: Kissinger, for the Nixon administration.
  • Power is Sexy: Arlene falls hard for Nixon (to the point where the entire "18 1/2 gap" was taken up by her message of love to him). Naturally, it doesn't last after they find out Nixon's true nature.
  • Seven Minute Lull: "You can't let Dick control your life!"
  • '70s Hair: Carl Bernstein sports a luxurious pompadour, spoofing Dustin Hoffman's look in All the President's Men.
  • Shout-Out: To All the President's Men and various other movies about Watergate and Nixon.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Arlene becomes infatuated with Nixon.


Deuce BigalowFilms of the 1990sDouble Jeopardy

alternative title(s): Dick
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