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Movie Review

The Nixon Watergate scandal has been the center of countless discussions for over two decades now. Yet never before have the mysteries of this controversy been humorously explained away by blaming everything on the comedic happenstances of two teen girls. Enter Betsy and Arlene—best friends experiencing the bliss of adolescence against a backdrop of loud-colored bell bottoms and the groovy tunes of the Jackson Five. They're both blonde (read into that what you will), and their lives center around dreamy crushes, excessive giggling and dramatizing the nominal. Arlene lives in the Watergate building. One night, she and Betsy just so happened to run into the famous break-in on their way downstairs to mail a teen contest entry. The girls are oblivious that anything's amiss. From there, the tale twists and turns through the West Wing of the White House and beyond—linking this clueless duo to every critical detail surrounding the scandal.

Positive Elements: Although the girls' intellects lack much substance, they do seem to aspire to some sort of moral code. Cursing is bad. Caring for animals is good. Being "nice" is a must. And honesty is important. Also, their friendship does stand the test of time.

Spiritual Content: Vague. A teacher scolds Arlene for her seemingly fabricated account during an oral presentation, claiming, "Every lie is another brick in the pathway of hell."

Sexual Content: In an attempt to obtain the Nixon tapes from a house, Betsy distracts the teen resident (by making out with him on his bed) while Arlene snoops around downstairs. In another scene, Arlene finds her mom lounging on the couch with lipstick smeared all over her face. Moments later, a man appears from behind—the insinuation is obvious. Betsy's brother Larry is caught watching a pornographic film (thankfully moviegoers aren't forced to watch part of it with him). The film's title, Deep Throat, is then integrated into the scandal's tangled web. Dick concludes with the girls cutting up an American flag and stitching it into two revealing outfits that they proceed to model. As the credits roll, both Betsy and Arlene are seen licking lollipops in a seductive manner. The candy is emblazoned with the word, "Dick." Several times throughout the film, Richard Nixon's nickname, "Dick" is used in intentionally confusing contexts, leading viewers down sexually loaded trails.

Crude or Profane Language: Christ's name is used in vain almost a dozen times. One use of the f-word and frequent use of other profanities.

Drug and Alcohol Content: It can be argued that any film "documenting" the Nixon era must feature drug use. Nevertheless, Dick not only features drugs, but takes pleasure in them. Larry grows, creates and consumes substances on a regular basis. The young man that Betsy makes out with also drinks a large amount of alcohol which he slurps through a bong. Nixon is portrayed as a very heavy drinker, often drinking hard liquor in the White House. Larry keeps part of his drug stash in his mom's walnut jar. So, when Betsy and Arlene decide to bake the President a batch of cookies, they unknowingly lace them with it. The President loves the treats. So does his staff.

Other Negative Elements: Throughout the film, the President and his administration are portrayed as not only dishonest, but are also presented in a demeaning manner.

Summary: Teen favorites Kirsten Dunst (Small Soldiers) and Michelle Williams (Dawson's Creek) are sure to attract many young viewers to this retro-flavored flick. Harmless comedy? Historically significance? Hardly. This fabricated plot degrades authority, glorifies drug use, spews profanities and remains far from sexually innocent. This is one "history" class worth ditching.

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Kirsten Dunst as Betsy Jobs; Michelle Williams as Arlene Lorenzo; Will Ferrell as Bob Woodward; Bruce McCulloch as Carl Berstein; Dan Hedaya as President Richard Nixon


Andrew Fleming ( )


Columbia Pictures



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Cari Stone

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