Up until recently, Hollywood wasn't doing Dick. But now it is. I'm talking about going balls out, literally, on full-frontal male nudity in films.
This month, two new releases boast "the man-gina" as co-star: Universal Pictures' Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and New Line Cinema's Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.
And it's about time. Women have been prancing nude on-screen for decades but only recently has equality reared its penis-shaped head.
Sure we've seen glimpses of Dick in films: Harvey Keitel in The Piano, Kevin Bacon in Wild Things and an enhanced Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights, to name a few. But it took his next-door neighbors, The Testes, stealing the show in Borat and helping to propel the film to over $125 million at the box-office for Dick to realize that he too had the power to draw big laughs. Now it seems that the purple helmeted warrior has finally found his niche: comedy. Women's breasts have been a punch line for years and now Dick is funny too, even when he just dangles there for seemingly no apparent reason than to just, well, dangle.
First Dick teamed up with Judd Apatow doing what many stars do in the course of charting a career to mega-stardom: modeling. In Superbad, Dick appears in the end credits in the still-life-as-art form, where he was drawn as different historical and pop culture figures: Dick raising the flag at Iwo Jima, Dick as a Jedi Knight, the sinking of the Titanic with drowning Dicks, etc. And with over $120 million stateside for the comedy, this further enhanced Dick, (pun intended), as a box-office draw.
For his next move, Dick went back to live action and reunited with Apatow once again in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Though viewers didn't flock to the film (Dick blames that on the marketing), he plays a hanging schlong hovering near John C. Reilly's face in a hotel room as he speaks on the phone to his wife. It is one of the film's funniest scenes, (freeze frame 1 hour and 23 minutes in... or so I'm told).
Emboldened by positive reactions from audiences and critics, this month Dick is taking a risk in making not one, but two concurrent appearances at the box office. In Sarah Marshall, (also produced by Apatow, rounding out his penis trifecta), actor Jason Segal lets it all hang out while his girlfriend dumps him. In Harold and Kumar, the two lovable stoners attend a "bottomless" party in Miami. In the latter you may not recognize Dick as he's wearing a Jimi Hendrix style 'fro.
It's a move that risks overexposure for Dick, but given his rapid rise (ahem!) in films this past year, an adoring fan base who thinks he can do no wrong, and the growing number of stars who want to work with him, it appears that male genitalia is hitting its cinematic stride and Dick is finally ready for his close-up.