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R: ARCHIVE, S: MOVIES, D: 08/05/1999,


Watching dumb people do dumb things on celluloid is frequently more numbing than engaging, and heartless teensploitation wave riders that champion feeble-mindedness only make matters worse. In Dick, Andrew Fleming's oily Oxy pad of a film and the latest subscriber to the Beavis-knows-best theory, Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams portray chirpy imbeciles who uncover the Watergate scandal. Once you move beyond this clever premise and the self-congratulatory chutzpah of the title, there's little more here than pretty girls bumping into things. Nowhere near the berserk delights of the Farrelly brothers and even farther from scathing political satire, Dick spins in place in its own beige-bland roller derby.

There is plenty of pat cuteness -- our heroines work as official White House dog walkers and unwittingly bake LSD-laced Hello Dollys -- but the fizzy details can't hide the lack of meat and bone. True, Dunst and Williams make charming polyester sweet 15s, but it seems that Fleming and co-screenwriter Sheryl Longin riffled through Lisa Kudrow's castaway closet to find their lines. What's left actualizes all of the lame puns and associations the filmmakers don't want you to make: Dick is flaccid, puny, and dopier than even its creators could have imagined it to be.

-- Joseph Manera