Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams in Dick (dir. Andrew Fleming, 1999).

The concept--a cross between Clueless, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, and All the President's Men--is promising, and there are some pleasures here. The leads are appealing, if not quite at the peak of their talents. Dan Hedaya is a funny Nixon, though it would have been better if he'd worn a fake nose or something, because you can't ever stop thinking "that's not Nixon, that's Dan Hedaya." Will Ferrell and Bruce McCulloch as Woodward and Bernstein: brilliant, right? Except that it doesn't really work. Ultimately, the flick's a flop. Still, it's interesting symptomatically as a Clinton-era revisionist historical fantasy, in which the conservative ogres of the imperial past can be safely clobbered by even the virtuously shallow nymphs of late capitalist liberalism (the heroines are nineties girls through and through). If you put ironic quotation marks around the whole production, it's actually amusing in a grim way. But you really do have to put them there yourself, I'm afraid.

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