Cinema Savvy

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Movie

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Dickie Roberts, child star of a 70's TV show (The Glimmer Gang) is now 35 and parking cars. Trying find the spotlight once again, he lands an audition for a role of a normal guy in a Rob Reiner film, but the director quickly sees he is anything but normal and jokingly says he would have to relive his childhood to get the part. Desperate to win the part, Dickie hires a family to help him replay his childhood and assume the identity of an average, everyday kid. 

This comedy has an amusing premise, one of the funniest actors in hollywood, and lots of real-life child stars. If all else fails, this movie at least got everyone of your favorite child stars in one room (Rerun from All in the Family, Marcia Brady from the Brady Bunch, etc) for a hilarious sendoff at the end. The movie begins with a hilarious Emmanuelle Lewis cameo and only picks up steam as the movie continues. 

This movie follows the same formula as many other films in what I call the "unique premise" comedy genre. For instance, The Hot Chick (Rob Schneider), The Waterboy (Adam Sandler), Billy Madison (Adam Sandler, The Animal (Rob Schneider), Head of State (Chris Rock), etc. All these movies follow the same basic principle, have a really funny idea (something that you might see on Saturday Night Live or Comedy Central), use situational comedy accentuating the lead actor's finer points (Sandler's goofy, Spade is obnoxious/nerdy little sprite, or Schneider's outrageous wildness), and end the movie with some goody goody ending (usually getting the girl). 

Since we know what we are going to get, the success of the movie really relies on the actors ability to entertain audiences with situational comedy. This is where this movie does well. Although we've already seen the slip n slide routine and the David Spade in the baby carriage scene there are plenty of other routines and sequences which should have audiences reeling with laughter.

The only place the movie gets bogged down in, is when David Spade attempts to do impersonations. One thing David Spade is not really good at is doing impersonations, but yet he insists on filling a good 10-15 minutes in this flick with shotty impersonations. More or less this slows down the movie and takes a little pace out of the laughter. 

Most people won't go into this movie with a lot of expectations, but will leave satisfied in being entertained for nearly 1.5 hours. As long as your open-minded and in a decent mood this movie will make you laugh from time to time. 

See this movie if you're a fan of:

The Waterboy (2002)

The Hot Chick (1998)

The Animal (2001)

Billy Madison (1995)

David Spade (Actor, Tommy Boy, Lost & Found, Black Sheep)

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Box Office Info:

David Spade (as Dickie Roberts)
Ashley Edner (as Heather Bolan)
Scott Terra (as Sam Tracy)

Directed By: Sam Weisman
Written By: Fred Wolf & David Spade
Produced By: Paramount Pictures

Release Date (US): September 5, 2003

Length of Movie: 1h 32min

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for crude and sex-related humor, language and drug references.

Budget: $20,000,000

Opening Weekend: $7,000,000

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Soundtrack

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Soundtrack
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