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Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

1 rating: 1.0
Comedy movie directed by Sam Weisman

David Spade embodiesDickie Roberts: Former Child Starwith the snide, glib, and bored attitude for which he is loved by his fans. Dickie, whose mother abandoned him in his youth when his TV show was canceled, yearns to regain the spotlight. But he can't … see full wiki

Director: Sam Weisman
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: September 5, 2003
MPAA Rating: PG-13
1 review about Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

Reclaiming One's Former Fame

  • Feb 22, 2007
In DICKIE ROBERTS: FORMER CHILD STAR, David Spade took an idea he originally had for a Saturday Night Live sketch that never aired and revamped it to portray the title character, Dickie Roberts, a child star of a family sitcom in the 1970s who entered the phrase "Nuckin' Futs" into the American lexicon. Dickie's success kept him from having even a semblance of a normal childhood and after the sitcom ended, he soon found himself down and out and unable to get cast in any worthwhile projects. Dickie Roberts was just another child actor whose life became tainted by his former celebrity. In his mid-30s he finds himself parking cars and competing in a "former stars" wrestling event just to pay the bills. Dickie learns about a project, a movie, that he believes will help him re-launch his career. The director thinks Dickie might be good for the role, but doesn't think he can relate to normal people. Desperate to win the role in the much covenanted film, Dickie hires a family, the Finneys, to expose him to everything he missed out on in his childhood. Mother Grace (Mary McCormack) isn't very excited about the venture, but Dad George (Craig Bierko) won't look a money-making opportunity in the mouth. As for kids, Sam (Scott Terra) and Sally (Jenna Boyd), they aren't very happy at first about the arrangements either. However, mother and children are able to overcome their initial hesitation and reluctance and find in Dickie a companion soul that's really just looking for the family love he never received while growing up. Yet, even though the Finneys appear to be a normal family, they have problems of their own, problems that become exasperated by Dickie's presence. Dickie has to decide to continue in his research or to help heal the wounds of his hired family.

Child actors have an incredible difficult time in life when they grow up. Most grow up secluded from the world outside of Hollywood and by the time their shows are cancelled or they are no longer cute enough to be cast in movies, they usually have a difficult time adjusting to a world without fame. It's a sad commentary about the evil of show business.

Yet, it's also an area that was ripe for being parodied. I just wasn't sure David Spade was the right guy to do it. After all, since the death of his partner in comedy, Chris Farley, David Spade has become an actor that tends to be more grating than he is entertaining. He's made a few bearable movies since Farley passed away, such as JOE DIRT, but for the most part he has ruined every project he has starred in, e.g. 8 SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER. Of course, Spade does have a very fast and witty charm to him that ended up making him perfect for the role of Dickie Roberts.

The movie has a few clich├ęs, yet it's basically a homage dedicated to all the former child stars of Tinseltown. The movie parodies their lives, yet gives them a portion of dignity, too. That's not to say the movie is all social commentary and not funny, because there are some very funny parts. It's just that the movie comes off as being more of a humorous movie of affection rather than a disrespectful laughing shamefest.

Overall, I liked DICKIE ROBERTS: FORMER CHILD STAR. It was a better movie than I thought it would be and wasn't as disrespectful as I had been led to believe. Oh, and make sure to watch through the credits because there are some very funny bits that follow.

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