A comedy about a cover-up

Main Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams, Dan Hedaya, Will Ferrell
Director: Andrew Fleming

Plot Summary: Two young teens unwittingly stumble upon evidence that Nixon is behind the Watergate break-ins and decide to pass it along to two reporters.

A very funny spoof on the whole Nixon cover-up and eventual fall, this charming comedy reveals that the all-important source of Woodward (Ferrell) and Bernstein (Bruce McCulloch) were actually two teenage girls: Betsy Jobs (Dunst) and Arlene Lorenzo (Williams).

The two girls are first introduced typing a letter to a crush of Arlene’s, and during their nightly mail run they stumble upon some strange men sneaking around Watergate. They don’t think much of it at the time, but a visit to the White House on a tour stirs up a few of the conspirators, who pull them aside for questioning. There they meet President Nixon (Hedaya) himself, who tries to buy them off with an official title: dog walkers.

The two friends keep going back to the White House and keep finding out things, not by design, but by simple, dumb luck. A funny exchange later in the movie nails it: “How dare those people keep treating us like stupid teenage girls?” “We are stupid teenage girls.” Well, not quite. But they are mostly innocent, very cute, and clever enough to pull down a president. Mostly.

The plot is wickedly funny, designed to showcase just how certain events might have been played if two teens really did possess good information. And where the term “Deep Throat” came from is inspired. And I smiled when one of the girls developed a crush on the president, but quickly fell out of love when his true nature was revealed.

All in all a wonderful comedy, made charming by the two leads, Dunst and Williams. Of course most of the stuff that happens is pretty unlikely, but that gets a pass in a light-hearted comedy. Go with the flow and enjoy the movie on its own terms.

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