Lyrics that include the words “dick,” “fuck” and “pussy” are not the typical wholesome, family content the Academy’s Music Branch tends to recognize. But occasionally, they have allowed a couple to slip through. A24’s “Dicks: The Musical,” the opening night Midnight Madness at TIFF, has an onslaught of hilarious and catchy tunes that I wish the Oscars would be brave enough to nominate.
With so many hilarious tracks to choose from, including “Gay Old Life” and “The Sewer Song,” Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion brings down the house with her delivery on the rap and dance number “Out-Alpha the Alpha.” It could and should be one of the many songs to consider for this year’s Academy Awards, and distributor A24 confirms they’ll submit the movie for Oscar consideration.
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Adapted from stars and writers Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson from their two-person play “Fucking Identical Twins,” the film tells the story of two alpha-male businessmen, Craig and Trevor, who discover they are long-lost identical twins. This leads the two to stage a “Parent Trap”-esque reunion of their eccentric parents (Megan Mullaly and Nathan Lane). Among the cast is Stallion in her feature film debut as Gloria, the foul-mouth boss with musical swag, and Emmy nominee Bowen Yang (“Saturday Night Live”) as you guessed it: God.
Already brimming with chart-topping songs and big names from blockbuster movies such as Billie Eilish (“Barbie”), Jack Black (“The Super Mario Bros. Movie”) and Lenny Kravitz (“Rustin”), it could be difficult for the Houston rapper to find traction for A24’s first-ever musical, but it’s deserving.
The songs were created by Marius de Vries (“Moulin Rouge!”) and Karl Saint Lucy, who wrote the music with Jackson and Sharp for the original stage play. The absurd plotline and unhinged lyrics are still delicately balanced and feel fit for a Broadway stage. I mean, there’s a sing-along pronouncing God as gay. How can you not love it?
The studio has yet to confirm which songs they’ll submit, so they must choose wisely among the 25 eligible tracks. Per Academy rules, no more than two songs from any one film by the same writers may be submitted or shortlisted.
In addition to being an absolute stunner in every frame she inhabits, Stallion is more than willing to “go for it” in her scenes, and I’d be excited to see more acting work from her in the future.
Directed by Larry Charles, best known for helming “Borat” (2006), the midnight showing that dropped inflatable dildos during the film’s final number isn’t something we’re expecting the Academy to embrace (if only they would be that cool). Overtly raunchy comedies are not their forte, apart from specific instances like Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s animated feature “South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut” in best original song. But for every inclusion, there are notable exclusions like “I Love Boobies” from “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.”
Two years after, the Academy randomly brought Stallion to the ceremony as a performer on the non-Oscar-nominated “Encanto” song, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” which she had no visible affiliation with. Now, they can do it for something she contributed towards. Stallion has earned three top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 throughout her career, including the No. 1 singles “Savage” with Beyoncé and “WAP” with Cardi B (coincidentally used in Sony Pictures’ “Dumb Money” which also premiered at TIFF).
Listen, it would be more than amusing to imagine the Oscars’ producers having conversations about how to present a performance where the song contains the lyrics: “So get it in line, drop to your knees, and suck my fucking dick.”
Hip hop has naturally faced adversity with the Academy with three rap song winners in 95 years – “Lose Yourself” from “8 Mile” (2002), “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from “Hustle & Flow” (2005) and “Glory” from “Selma” (2014). Only the first two had the “F-word” in their lyrics.
Colorful language isn’t necessarily frowned upon by voters. However, they still need to “like” your movie and I’d imagine many older, more conservative Oscar voters will tune out after the opening number.
But if they want something a tad more familiar, they can choose the hysterical split-screen duet between Emmy winners Mullaly and Lane, who are just stomach-hurting funny in their roles.
It’s a long shot, but if we’re not pushing the Academy to mature their cinematic palettes, they can do much worse than a few “Dick” songs.
“Dicks: The Musical” opens in theaters on Sept. 29.
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